THE SAUNA JOURNAL SPORTS FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 1998 G3 ALL-SALINE COUNTY BOYS South seniors lead team's ascent Three-year starters Charvat, Gibson joined by Douglas, Krone, Stroer on first team By LARRY MORITZ The Salina Journal Hgt. They made it look easy. At times the turnaround of the Salina South boys basketball squad seemed to happen overnight. But the two-year transformation — going from a young team struggling to a 2-19 record to this year's record-setting 18-5 squad — was anything but easy. "I guess you might say we experienced some growing pains in the last two years, going from 2-19 to 18-5," South coacfi Denny Wahlgren said. "It is extremely pleasing for the coaching staff and the players to be able to put in that extra time and effort, and see the results come out to be such a positive experience." Tyler Charvat and Greg Gibson are two of the players who put in the extra effort, working throughout the offseason on improving their game, and both are first-team selections to this year's Salir na Journal All-County Boys Basketball Team. Wahlgren was also selected as County Coach of the Year, after leading the Cougars to a school record 16 regular-season victories and the first state tournament appearance in six years. His team also set school marks for scoring average (66.7 points a game), rebounds per game (35.2) and steals p£r game (11.7). Joining Gibson and Charvat on the first team are Ell-Saline's Josh Krone, Southeast of Saline's Thane Douglas and Salina Central's Pete Stroer. Here is a capsule look at each member of this year's all-county team: TYLER CHARVAT SALINA SOUTH Nobody played more minutes for South this season than Charvat. The three-year, starter at point guard improved statistically in nearly every category, averaging 13.3 points and 4.8 assists a game. "He's come a long ways since playing varsity as a sophomore," Wahlgren said. "I think he made exten- FIRST TEAM Player, School t yler Chart/at, Salina south ............... Thane Douglas, Southeast of Saline ......... .6-1 Greg Gibson, Salina South ...... , , , '. ....... 6*2 Josh Krone, E!l*Salirte , ,....,«... ......... 6«2 Pete Stroer, Salina Central — . ............ 64 Coach of the Year — Denny Wahlgren, Salina South. Yr, 8r. 8r. 8r, Sr, Jr. Pos. G G F C-F F Avg. 13.3 16.0 17.9 18.1 13.2 per game) topped the school's career scoring mark of 980 held for the last 16 years by James Knight. He also set the school record with 161 career steals. JOSH KRONE , HONORABLE MENTION Scott Chrisman, Southeast of Saline; Sam Fujiwara, St. John's Military; Jordan Jefferies, St. John's Military; Curtis Johnson, Ell-Saline; Brian Lamone, Salina Central; Jason Lantz, Eli-Saline; Dahx Marrs, Sacred Heart; Ryan Shriver, Salina South; Ryan Stottmann, Sacred Heart; Ryan Tomlins, Salina South; Clete Wilson, Salina Central. WAHLGREN CHARVAT sive progress from his junior to senior year, some of that due to the amount of experience he received playing summer basketball. He really had a desire and dedication to have a great senior year, and coupled with that playing experience, it really paid off for him." In addition to the minutes played, Charvat also led South in another category — free throws made and attempted. "He was extremely tough to stop in the open court on transition and being able to take it to the basket like he did," Wahlgren said. "That resulted in him being able to score or being fouled and going to the free throw line. He was a real catalyst for us, as far as being able to get the team going." THANE DOUGLAS SOUTHEAST OF SALINE Postseason honors are nothing new for Douglas, but they have typically come following the high school football season. A multi-sport athlete, Douglas makes his second appearance on an all- county team during the 1997-98 school year, after being a first team pick in football last fall. Douglas was honorable mention all-North Central Activities Association a year ago, but moved up to first team after leading Southeast in scoring this season with 16 points a game. "I think one of the most important things Thane brought to the team was a sense of confidence and a calming effect on the team," Southeast coach Marty Griffey said. "He played tons and tons of minutes and sometimes when he wasn't in the game, we got a little sporadic. "We struggled at times this year but I thought Thane had a pretty good season. He's an athletic kid who can do a lot of things well. He's got good skills and can create his own shot, but that calming effect was what helped us most." GREG GIBSON GIBSON DOUGLAS SALINA SOUTH Gibson's scoring average may have dropped a few points this year, but his importance to the success of the South boys did not wane a bit. The Cougars were a more balanced squad but knew they could look to Gibson when they needed a big bucket. "Greg averaged 21 points a game as a junior, but we talked last spring about what we really need from the team was others to step up and contribute," Wahlgren said. "We wanted more balance, and as a result, Greg's scoring average would probably go down some. "Greg was more interested in the team being successful and the way it panned out, taking away some of the scoring responsibilities probably helped him some. His rebounds went up, his steals average improved and I feel like he really had a very complete season us." The 6-foot-2 senior had 11 double-doubles and played some of his'best basketball in postseason, when he averaged 22 points and 9.7 rebounds in three games. His 31 points in the overtime loss to eventual state champion Kansas City Wyandotte was a season high. Gibson's 1,023 points in 63 games (16.2 ELL-SALINE Krone was one player who made it a little easier for John Johnson during his two years as head coach at Ell-Saline. A two-time all-county selection, Krone was the Cardinals' leading scorer and rebounder each of the past two years. * Krone averaged 18.1 points and 7.9 rebounds a game, and for the second year in a row, shot 56 percent from the field. "Josh is just a great kid and I really enjoyed coaching him," Johnson said, "and I'm not just saying that because he's my nephew. He's a great individual and has a tremendous amount of talent. "Even though he has a fairly light build, he could get in there and play with anyone. He has a great jumping ability and even when there were a couple of guys on him, he could go up and over them. He shot 56 percent both last year and this year, and a lot of those were contested shots." PETE STROER KRONE SALINA CENTRAL Best known for his success on the tennis court, including his Class 5A state singles title a year ago, Stroer has developed into a solid player on another court. Stroer is the only junior on this year's all- county boys team and was named most valuable player of the Salina Invitational Tournament after helping Central to the tourney team title. The 6-foot-4 for- STROER ward, playing varsity for the second straight year, led Central in scoring (13.2 ppg) and rebounding (9.1 rpg). "Every game he brought tremendous effort, a will to win and a lot of strength," Central coach Randy Clark said. "He plays the game so hard that he's going to accomplish a lot. "He's very talented athletically, but again, his mental effort was always there. He cares and tries to do what's right and always gives his best. I would say if young players wanted to watch or copy somebody to learn how to play the game, Pete would be a good person to .watch." ALL-SALINE COUNTY GIRLS 5A runner-up South lands three on team Cougars' Shriver, Wahlgren and Watson on first team as are Knights' Blagg, Weese By LARRY MORITZ The Salina Journal There were times when Alyssa Shriver was green with envy of another player wearing the Salina South green and gold. . Shriver will go down as one of the top players in the history of South girls basketball. But occasionally the 6-foot-3 center wondered what it would be like to possess the ball-handling skills and the defense-penetrating quickness of teammate Leah Wahlgren. "Sometimes I think, 'Wouldn't it be nice to be so quick and be able to pass like Leah,' " Shriver said. "And the foul trouble I get in ... I can't help it if a little girl gets underneath me when I go up for a rebound. "But I know my height has been much more of an asset than a detriment. The opportunities I've gotten have been because of my height. I complain a lot and wish I could do other things, but I wouldn't trade it for anything." Shriver is one of three South players to be selected to the 1997-98 Salina Journal All-County Basketball Team, along with teammates Wahlgren and Jessica Watson. Both South and Sacred Heart established school records for victories this season, and the Knights have a pair of first-team selections in seniors Chrissy Blagg and sophomore Anne Weese. South coach Bruce Erickson, who topped the 200-career victory plateau and earned his 100th victory with the Cougars this season, is the County Coach of the Year for the fourth time in the last five seasons. AH-County girls basketball . FIRST TEAM Player, School Hgt. Chrissy; Blagg.'Sacred Heart...,,;..,, .6-0. ,, Alyssa Shriver, Salina South ,.",,, .6-3 : Leah Wahlgren, Salina South ....... ;'.•.*.. —5-8 :: : Jessica Watson, Salina South ............. ,6*10 . '^rine Weese, Sacred Heart >,; ......,'.«,., -. ,v ,5-9 ;, Coach of th» Year — Bruce Erickson, Salina South ' ' Yr. Jr, >,Sr. , G: 'F '0, Avfl, •15,1, • 15.9. .15,5, 7.6 17.3.,' WATSON '«Jennifer Broberg, Sacred Heart; ,., .,.,.,.. . Southeast of .Saline; Jenni Lindqulst, Ell-Saline; Janelle Lund, Southeast of Saline; Sydney Moshler, Salina Central; Annie Olsen, Southeast of Saline; Lynsle Tischhauser, Salina Central; Bridget White, EII«Sallne. * ™ ' , BLAGG ERICKSON Following is a capsule look at each of the first-team members: CHRISSY BLAGG SACRED HEART Blagg was one of the biggest surprises in Saline County during the 1995-96 season when she averaged 18 points a game as a sophomore. There have been few surprises since. Constantly hounded by opponents' gimmick defenses, Blagg still managed to average 15.1 points and 9.6 rebounds a game this season. Three times she has been selected to the all- county and all-Cottonwood Valley League first teams, and helped the Knights to a 55-12 record in the last three seasons. "Her freshman year was our first losing season since I started here," Sacred Heart coach Barry Fritz said. "Once she came in, we've had 18,18 and 19 wins. She's a big reason for that. "She's worked hard and gave us a presence inside, and we're really going to miss her." ALYSSA SHRIVER SALINA SOUTH Shriver has established herself as one of the top players in the history of the South program. Her 601 career blocked shots are a Kansas high school record, but she also scored 1,204 points and grabbed 849 rebounds as a four-year starter for the Cougars. Shriver has been a part of three state tournament teams and her teams have won 74 games during her playing days, including a 44-3 record the last two years. "She has really developed her game from where she used to be a good player inside seven feet to where she's now a good 3-pointer shooter," Erickson said. SHRIVER "She's developed so much in four years and it will continue into college.and she will be a good college player. "What a great kid to have on your team. She's worked hard to get where she needed to be, but she keeps the other kids loose. You hate losing kids like that." LEAH WAHLGREN SALINA SOUTH An all-county selection a year ago as a sophomore, improvements in Wahlgren's game came primarily in her outside shooting and ball-handling abilities this season. She made 51 3-pointers and shot 48 percent behind the arc, and. her 15.5 points a game were a career high. She also averaged 4.1 assists and 3.6 steals a game and drew a bunch of fouls while hitting 86 of 115 free throws. "Leah shot the 3 so much better this year and cut her turnovers down a lot," Erickson said. "There are games when she is going to have some turnovers because the ball is in her hands so much, but her decision making is much better and that comes from maturity. "It's nice to have somebody out there that understands what needs to be done for us to be successful." JESSICA WATSON and Shriver, Watson was easy to overlook. But as a starter for the last three years, she's played an important role in South's success. Watson was the team's third leading scorer (7.6 ppg), and second on the team in rebounding (4.9) and assists (3.5). She will play volleyball next year at Barton County, the state's leading junior college program. "Jessica's not a Division I basketball player," Erickson said. "But with her athletic abilities, she could have played at a (Division II) school. She's always been a steady player and is like the old chameleon, blending in with Shriver at the post and Wahlgren at point guard. "She is the true definition of a team player. She does all the jobs that need to be done and never questions it. She is going to do whatever it takes to be a winner." ANNE WEESE SACRED HEART Like Blagg, Shriver and Wahlgren, Weese makes her first appearance on an all-county team as a sophomore. After combining with Blagg to give Sacred Heart a solid inside-outside threat, Weese will have more responsibility placed on her shoulders in the next two WEESE WAHLGREN SALINA SOUTH With a starting lineup that included two all-state caliber players in Wahlgren years. This season she led the Knights in scoring with 398 points and 17.3 points a game, and was second on the team with 7.2 rebounds a game. She was a first-team all-CVL pick and helped Sacred Heart to a school record 19 victories. "We knew when Anne came in as a freshman she was a great player," Fritz said. "Her first year she had a lot of seniors around her so she didn't want to step on a lot of toes. She could have taken over a lot of games this year, but wants to get everybody involved. "She's probably the best overall player that I've ever had. She sees the floor well, she shoots the outside jumper and can take it to the basket. She's just a special player who has everything and I thank God I've got her for two more years." T GOLF Day bolts to two shot lead Early birdies, steady play propel 'All Day' to top of leaderboard By The Associated Press NEW ORLEANS — Glen Day didn't live up to his nickname in the first round of the Freeport-'McDermott Classic. The man called "All Day" because of his slow, deliberate style looked as if he wis<in a hurry to get somewhere else on Thursday. ;-; •* Day made eight birdies on the first 12 holes, then played steady par over the final six to finish at 64 — two strokes off the coiifse record — giving him the lead and a leg up on the final exemption for next week's Masters. Two players — Jay Delsing and Steve Flesch — were tied for .second two strokes back at 66. A group of golfers finished at 07, including D.A. Weibring. There was another jam at 68 and a group at 69 that included Bob Tway... "I'm playing good golf now;and when you play good, the best thing you can do is get out of your own way," Day said. "I'm not worrying about The Masters. My job is to play this tournament and do; the best I can do in this tournament. Now, if I win it, obviously that'gets me a ticket to The Masters. .T3ut I've got to take care of this -business here and if I win it, good things will come." Day used a 45-foot bunker, shot to birdie the par-4 first hole, then added birdies on the second, 'fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth, llth "'and 12th. He missed five greens, but saved par each time. "' r " "Good shots breed confidence and confidence breeds good shots," Day said. "So which came first, the chicken or the egg?" Defending champion Brad Faxon finished the 7,116 yard course at par 72. He was in a group that included Davis Love III and Lanny Wadkins. ;•"'<; Seve Ballesteros, playing ini' his first U.S. tournament of the year, shot a first-round 73. Day had a two-stroke lead with nine holes to play in last week's Players Championship, only to finish two strokes behind Justin Leonard, tied for second. Last year, Day finished 98th on the money list. His best finish ;pn the Tour was second place in 1994. Seniors SCOTTSDALE,, Ariz. — For more than two years, Tom Wargo has struggled to find his putting stroke. It reappared Thursday, carrying Wargo to a 4-under-par 68 and a one-shot lead in The Tradition at Desert Mountain. Wargo needed just 23 putts on the 6,972-yard Cochise course, carding four birdies and 14 pars to grab the lead in the $1.4 million tournament that is one of four majors on the Senior PGA Tour. David Graham, 1997 player t of the year Hale Irwin and Spain's Jose Maria Canizares each shot 69 on the Cochise Course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Two shots back was a group that included Jim Colbert, Dick Hendrickson, Jimmy Powell, John Morgan and John Bland of Sotith Africa. . "••* Defending champion Gil Morgan was among 10 golfers three shots behind at 71. Also in that group was 'South African Simon Hobday, who shared the lead until he double-bogeyed the 16th and bogeyed the 17th. His double bogj£y included a missed putt from 18 inches. "I lost my putting stroke a little bit," Wargo said. "I got to fishing with it, and it just left me. "No matter how well I played, I shot the same because when I was hitting the ball well, the pujtts lipped out. It was driving me nuts." As a self-taught golfer, Wargo continued to work on the stroke himself and said, "I think we'rp 'on a positive track now. This is.; the first time in about three years <that I've started out well." '" LPGA : LINCOLN, Calif.— Carin Koch, an unheralded member of the successful Swedish contingent on the LPGA tour, shot a 6-under-par 66 on Thursday and holds a tljjree- stroke lead over five players after the overcast and cold first round of the Longs Drugs Challenge. Koch, 27, a non-winner who has two career second-place ties in her four LPGA seasons, carded a 33>33 round that included eight birdies and two bogeys on the 6,412-yard Twelve Bridges Golf Club. Donna Andrews, Brandie Burton, Cindy McCurdy, Pearl Sinn and Jan Stephenson are tied for second after rounds of 70. Reigning U.S. Open champion Alison Nicholas and Hall of Fame member Pat Bradley are among 10 players who shot 71.
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