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Hailey Contreras on KSHSAA’s Top 15 to Watch List

Brock Kappelmann - November 29, 2023 2:17 pm

15 CLASS GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2023-24
Wichita South’s Zion Butler

ZION BUTLER, WICHITA SOUTH

Butler, a senior, took her game to a higher level last season, and the Titans followed suit. The 5-foot-5 point guard averaged 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.5 steals as South went from eight victories in 2021-22 to a 15-7 record last season. Butler, an All-Class 6A third-team and All-Greater Wichita Athletic League first-team selection, scored 31 in a victory over Wichita North and hit a game-winning floater in the closing seconds of a sub-state victory over Wichita Northwest. Along with senior RaMya Kennedy and Butler’s younger sister, Mahogany, the Titans have three returnees who averaged in double figures.

Washburn Rural’s Zoe Canfield
ZOE CANFIELD, WASHBURN RURAL

Canfield saw her junior season end after eight games, suffering a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter of Rural’s ninth game that forced her to miss the Junior Blues’ run to a second straight Class 6A state championship game. At the time of her injury, she was averaging 12.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3 assists per game. A University of Kansas signee and four-year starter for the Junior Blues, Canfield is a deadly 3-point shooter, setting a school record by hitting 47.5% in a single season in which she made 67, which ranks third on the single-season charts. Canfield missed part of volleyball season recovering from her injury, but is back at full strength for her senior basketball season.
Liberal’s Hailey Contreras
HAILEY CONTRERAS, LIBERAL

Contreras is primed for a big senior season after a consistent junior campaign in which she led Liberal in scoring (12 points per game) and assists (3.1 per game). She put up a season-high 21 points against Hays and scored 20 against Junction City in a first-round sub-state win. Liberal went 18-4 last year, falling to Wichita Southeast in the sub-state final. Contreras was an honorable mention All-5A pick by KSHSAA Covered and a first-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection last season.

Blue Valley North’s Jaliya Davis
JALIYA DAVIS, BLUE VALLEY NORTH

Davis returns for her junior season looking to continue her electric play from a season ago when she helped lead the Mustangs to a state championship. The 6-foot forward averaged a double-double last season with 19 points and 10 rebounds per game. She also dominated on defense with 3 steals and 2 blocks per game. Davis earned all-state and All-EKL first team honors last year. Blue Valley North finished 21-4 to win the Class 6A state title, the program’s fourth and first since 2005. Davis will be just one of the many returners from that team eyeing a repeat this season.

Olathe Northwest’s Jillian Huckabey
JILLIAN HUCKABEY, OLATHE NORTHWEST

Huckabey returns for her senior campaign following a year where she earned all-state second team and All-Sunflower League first team honors. The 5-foot-11 guard averaged 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.7 steals per game last season. Huckabey might have to take on a little more of the scoring for this team as teammate Skyler Pierce opted to graduate a semester early to join the University of Nebraska volleyball team this spring. The Ravens finished last year with a 15-8 record and reached state before losing in the first round to Derby.
Shawnee Mission Northwest’s Gabriella Jackson
GABRIELLA JACKSON, SHAWNEE MISSION NORTHWEST

Jackson earned All-Sunflower League second team and all-state honorable mention honors last year. She averaged 14.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game last year. The Cougars finished the year with a 12-10 record, reaching the sub-state finals before losing to eventual state champion Blue Valley North.
Lawrence’s Brynnae Johnson
BRYNNAE JOHNSON, LAWRENCE

Johnson returns for her junior season following a year where she earned All-Sunflower League first team and all-state second team honors. The 5-foot-8 point guard led the Lions in scoring last year with 12.6 points per game. Lawrence finished the year with a 19-4 record, reaching state before losing to eventual state runner-up Washburn Rural in the opening round.
Wichita Southeast’s Ma’Khiyah Jones
MA’KHIYAH JONES, WICHITA SOUTHEAST

Jones was part of a youthful Southeast squad that ended the program’s 35-year absence from the state tournament. The Buffaloes fell to eventual 6A champion Blue Valley North in the quarterfinals, but their 16-7 season pointed toward a promising future. With an all-underclassmen starting lineup and just one senior on the roster, Jones led Southeast in scoring and rebounding to earn All-Greater Wichita Athletic League first-team honors. She also was named to McPherson’s Mid America Classic all-tournament team as the Buffs reached the title game.

Shawnee Mission West’s Izzy Joyce
IZZY JOYCE, SHAWNEE MISSION WEST

Joyce returns for her senior year after earning All-Sunflower League second-team honors a year ago. The 5-foot-7 point guard averaged 14.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 3.5 steals per game. She might have to take on a little bit more of the scoring burden this season now that S’mya Nichols has graduated, now playing for University of Kansas women’s basketball team. The Vikings went 11-11 last year, reaching the sub-state final before losing to a Shawnee Mission South team that was undefeated at the time.
Shawnee Mission East’s Abigail Long
ABIGAIL LONG, SHAWNEE MISSION EAST

Long returns for her senior year planning to be an offensive force once again this season. She has the range to pull up from anywhere on the court and her coach has given her the green light to do just that. She averaged 21 points, 2 assists and 2 steals per game last season as an All-Sunflower League first-team and all-state second-team selection last year. Long will lead a Shawnee Mission East team hoping to find the right mix of experienced upperclassmen and standout sophomores to improve upon last year’s 4-17 record. The Lancers lost to eventual state champion Blue Valley North in the opening round of sub-state.
Olathe West’s Emma Sales
EMMA SALES, OLATHE WEST

Sales returns for her junior campaign following a season where she earned All-Sunflower League first-team and all-state second-team honors.The 5-foot-10 guard averaged 13.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game last year. The Owls finished last year 14-8, reaching the sub-state finals before losing to Blue Valley.
Gardner Edgerton’s Landri Schaffer | Chloe Cook/Chloe Cook Photos
LANDRI SCHAFFER, GARDNER EDGERTON

Schaffer returns for her sophomore campaign after firing on the high school basketball scene last year. The 5-foot-10 guard averaged 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.7 steals last year. Schaffer earned All-Sunflower League first team and all-state honorable mention honors. The Trailblazers finished last year 8-13, losing to Olathe West in the opening round of sub-state.
Blue Valley North’s Aubrey Shaw
AUBREY SHAW, BLUE VALLEY NORTH

Shaw earned All-EKL second team and all-state honorable mention honors as a sophomore last season on a state championship team. The 6-foot-1 guard averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks per game last year. Blue Valley North finished 21-4 to win the Class 6A state title, the program’s fourth and first since 2005. Shaw will be just one of the many returners from that team eyeing a title defense this season.
Shawnee Mission South’s Camryn Smith
CAMRYN SMITH, SHAWNEE MISSION SOUTH

Smith returns for her senior year looking to lead a Raiders squad that will have a lot of returning firepower and a lot left to prove after how last year’s season finished. The 5-foot-8 guard averaged 14.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.8 steals last year. Smith earned all-state and All-Sunflower League first-team honors last season. She was a big reason why the Raiders dominated the regular season a year ago. Shawnee Mission South went undefeated in the regular season and reached state, only to get bounced in the first round in an overtime loss against Blue Valley. The team’s expectations remain very high as Smith is one of many key returners from that group.
Blue Valley’s Jadyn Wooten
JADYN WOOTEN, BLUE VALLEY

Wooten has been the centerpiece of a Blue Valley team that has earned a spot in the state semifinals each of the past two seasons. The 5-foot-6 point guard averaged 21.0 points, 4.7 assists, 6.5 rebounds and 2.2 steals last year as she earned all-state and All-EKL first team honors. Wooten was also named as her league’s most valuable player. Blue Valley knocked off top-seeded and undefeated Shawnee Mission South in the opening of the state tournament before losing to Washburn Rural in the state semifinals. In that win over Shawnee Mission South, Wooten hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send the game to overtime before the Tigers won 41-34.

 

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