Posted On: 03/30/18 6:11 PM
SEASON RECAP: A look at Topeka Hoops
It was a terrific season overall for high school hoops in Topeka with one team winning a state title, two others advancing to the state championships in various brackets. Here, SWMOBasketball takes a look at the season in T Town.
Highland Park Scots (8-12)
Team struggled to replace some key defections, but the Scots still had some solid moments this season and won several big games. Highland Park also got several strong individual performances this season, but lose six key seniors and will be looking to a host of key newcomers to step up next season and beyond.
Kenny Stewart (6’0, 2018). A 6’0 guard, Stewart put together a breakout season and showcased the ability to create his own shot and get to the basket. He finished the season averaging nearly 20 points and 6 rebounds per game and shot nearly 50 percent from the field.
Dasani Giardina (5’11, 2018). A scoring point guard, Giardina is a tough-as-nails competitor who can fill it up from behind the 3-point arc. He averaged 17.5 points and connected on a team-high 44 3-pointers.
Will White (6’1, 2018). A well-rounded player who defends at a high level and plays with poise, White put together a well-rounded stat line, averaging nearly 12 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists per game.
Hayden Wildcats (17-8)
Hayden ended the season as the Class 4A II state champions, finishing the season 18-7 overall. The Wildcats featured plenty of high-end talent as well as terrific depth. Hayden will have to replace some key seniors, including DeShawn Hanika, Jett Cqnfield, Hayden Federico and others, but will return a talented nucleus that included 2019 standout Zach Harvey.
Jett Canfield (5’11, 2018). A standout point guard, Canfield has been a big part of varsity basketball in Kansas throughout the past four years and battled through injuries his senior season. He has committed to be a preferred walk on at Creighton.
Zach Harvey (6’5, 2019). One of the state’s most talented players in the 2019 class, Harvey is a well-rounded wing player who can score in a variety of ways. He has drawn college offers from a host of programs.
DeShawn Hanika (6’6, 2018). A talented forward with a diverse skill set, Hanika was a tough match-up for opponents at both ends of the court. He is capable of putting up big numbers on the boards, can step out and knock down perimeter shots or score in the paint.
Topeka Trojans (17-7)
After a slow start these guys came alive in the second half of the season and put together a big year, advancing all the way to the Class 6A semifinals in Wichita before falling to Free State on Friday. Larry White, a 6’5 2018 forward, put together a big season and had a terrific run at the state tournament. In three games, White averaged 21 points, 9 rebounds and shot 51 percent from the field. He will definitely be missed next season.
However, Topeka returns a pair of standout 2020 players in point guard Ky Thomas and 6’5 forward DaZVonshai Harden. Thomas is among the state’s premier young point guards and is also a terrific football prospect, while Harden is a strong, versatile forward who can play inside-out basketball.
Mix in the return of key role players such as King Sutton, a 6’5 2020 forward, Marquis Hidalgo, a 6’0 2019 guard, and the future is bright next season for the Trojans.
Topeka West Chargers (15-7)
A senior laden squad that put together a huge season, capping a turnaround in the program that began three years ago when the Chargers went 2-19. They lost the right to play in their home town in the Class 5A state championships when Bishop Carroll knocked off West in the sub-state finales, 49-46. It was a reflection of much of the season for West, even against their losses they played tough and gave themselves a chance to win. The Chargers graduate a lot from this year’s team and return just one full time starter in Korbin Kid.
Eddie Griffin (6’2, 2018). One of the state’s biggest sleepers, Griffin put together a big season, averaging 15 points and showcased a well-rounded versatile game. He can handle the ball, post up and put together an efficient offensive season.
Koriyon Carr (5’11, 2018). Carr put up big offensive numbers and put together a big career for the Chargers. He averaged 17.5 points per game as a senior and led the team with 42 3-pointers.
Kendall Sutton (6’1, 2018). An underrated athlete, Sutton played above the rim at both ends of the floor and gave the Chargers a shot blocking and rebounding presence.
The Sluggers put together a great season, but ran into a Pittsburg buzzsaw at the Kansas 5A state championships in Topeka. Seaman will have to replace shooting guard Nathan Heinen, a reliable scorer, and forward Jackson Cobb, a big, physical interior player, but return a lot of key pieces.
Kobe Binner (5’10, 2019). A tough point guard, Bonner is a standout leader who is capable of leading a team from the point or putting points on the board when needed. He is a tough defender and helped the Sluggers put together a big season.
Trey Duffey (6’5, 2019). A skilled big man, Duffey is capable of scoring in the post, or stepping out and knocking down perimeter shots. He is a standout free throw shooter, rebounder and helped carry the Sluggers at the offensive end.
Washburn Rural (11-9)
Rural won its first Class 6A sub-state contest against Wichita East, but bowed out in the finals with a 56-50 loss to Topeka. The team still has several talented players returning next season, including 2019 guard Jordan White, among others.