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Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Three Tigers crowned MIAA champs -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Bowyer, after crash, slams qualifying format -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Phillipsburg girls knock off TMP at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Hays High girls snap losing skid -2/15/2015, 2:21 PM

Hays High stunned by Liberal at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger women's streak halted at Pitt State -2/15/2015, 10:26 AM

Tiger softball 1-3 to start season -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger men fall at Pitt -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tigers drop to 0-2 with losses to Mines, Regis -2/15/2015, 1:10 AM

KU coach kicks off tour in Hays -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

K-State guard Johnson laughs off hecklers at W. Virginia -2/13/2015, 10:13 AM

The Tigers' do-it-all Shaw -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

Samac staying on court, providing big games for Tigers -2/13/2015, 11:09 AM

Wichita State baseball players see winning as antidote to distractions -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals, Herrera agree -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals purchase contract of Derek Gordon -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

KU's Ellis near 1,000 points -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Hoxies' record just a matter of time? -2/12/2015, 3:26 PM

New coach, new season for FHSU softball -2/12/2015, 11:25 AM

Tigers look for better pitching in 2015 -2/12/2015, 10:14 AM

Shox roll to win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

Kansas State rally again falls short at W. Virginia -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

FHSU wrestling rolls to dual win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

2015 Eight-Man All-Star rosters -2/11/2015, 11:54 AM

Indiana State backcourt thrives with new characters -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Scott City rolls over TMP -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Jayhawks cruise past Texas Tech -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Kansas State braces for Mountaineers' full-court press -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Salina Central outlasts Hays High -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Tigers' Lehman earns seventh MIAA honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

FHSU's Samac earns MIAA men's honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

KBCA rankings, Feb. 9 -2/9/2015, 1:47 PM

Big day for Plainville grad Dani Winters -2/9/2015, 11:24 AM

Cowboys' Forte plays through flu -2/9/2015, 10:17 AM

At KU, Smith played on scout team -2/9/2015, 10:16 AM

North Carolina coaching icon Dean Smith dies at 83 -2/8/2015, 5:19 PM

Wichita State easily beats weakened Missouri State -2/8/2015, 4:52 PM

FHSU men hold off Hornets -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

TMP's Rhoades third in Phillipsburg -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

TMP girls win 13th straight -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

Defense lifts TMP boys past Norton -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

La Crosse boys nab big road win -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

Hays High's Hannah Hearld will miss softball season -2/8/2015, 12:46 PM

Tiger women outlast ESU for 21st straight win -2/8/2015, 1:13 PM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
Dominant title run didn't come easy for Norton

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Dominant title run didn't come easy for Norton

Published on -3/3/2014, 10:06 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Norton High School had a big poster that hung down from the second level at one end of Gross Memorial Coliseum. The laminated poster had the Bluejays' team motto "Cowboy Up" with each of the state qualifiers dressed in cowboy garb and a nickname.

The words served as the foundation for a Norton team, that despite multiple illnesses and injuries, battled to its second straight Class 3-2-1A state championship at Fort Hays State University with 127 points -- the fourth title for Norton in five seasons, and seventh crown in the last 11.

The Bluejays lost two state medalists for the season in Caysean Campbell and Ethan Ross and Gavin Lively, a returning state qualifier, missed most of the year with injury.

"That's what I finally leveled with the kids in practice," coach Bill Johnson said shortly after the trophy presentation late Saturday.  "This would devastate most teams, they can't overcome that."

But Norton, with its superior depth, could. The Bluejays had just one state champion, senior 113-pounder Branson Addington in a surprising 3-2 victory, but had one runner-up, three others finish third and a pair of wrestlers earn sixth.

All 10 scored. Runner-up Rossville had 81. The Bluejays finished 2.5 points back of last season's winning total.

"Three weeks ago if you would have told me that we would win the state title by (46) points, most of the people in our community would say, 'Well, I don't know,' without three kids that were pretty important to our team not being in the lineup," Johnson said.

Normally, Johnson chooses a wrestler of the week for the hometown weekly Norton Telegram, but said he couldn't do that after state.

"You've had 10 individuals come in and score so many points -- it was a total team effort," Johnson said. "Even the kids that lost, looked outstanding."

Additionally, Johnson and his wife, Joy, had their first grandchild at 1:05 p.m. Friday at Hays Medical Center. Kruz Matthew Wyatt was born to Matthew Wyatt and Kelli Wyatt, the lone daughter of the Johnson family's four children.

"Since we got out early last night, I got to go to the hospital and hold him and spent some time with her," Johnson said. "That was kind of sweet."

Johnson wore a HaysMed green lapel pin showing he was a grandparent.

"We started winning more after my wife brought me that pin," Johnson said with a smile. "...We wrestled not too great before that."

Norton, despite being ranked No. 1 all season, had several struggles, including in early February at the Panther Classic in Phillipsburg. Norton finished fourth at the tournament.

"At the Panther Classic every year, it's about the time you need to either get with the program or get out of the way," Johnson said. "The theme of that meeting was 'Hey, it is time for us to step up.' Because regionals is just around the corner. It was stern, but I think that sometimes you've got to have some tough love. The kids came up and wrestled really well ever since then."

Addington had one of the biggest improvements in the second half of the season. He lost to Thomas More Prep-Marian's Tucker Rhoades, the eventual sixth place finisher at state, at the Western Kansas Tournament of Champions in the last week of January.

At the regional, Addington came back and defeated Rhoades 11-0. At state, Addington defeated previously unbeaten Ty Nienke of Ellsworth in the championship. Nienke defeated Addington 9-2 earlier in the year.

The victory pushed Addington's career record to 100-51 with four state qualifications, including a fourth-place medal last year.

"It's all right up here," Johnson said, pointing to his head. "That's what I tell my kids. All of the postseason is what's going on between this ear and this ear is almost more important than what is going in the weight room or in the wrestling room. My dad always told me, 'If you think you can, or you think you can't, you are probably right.' He thought he could, and he did."

Johnson took a look at the team statistics and noticed Norton had just nine pins among 10 wrestlers. Norton won multiple close matches, including a pair of one-point victories for Addington, two by senior 138-pound runner-up Alec Hager and one each for senior 132-pounder Toby Nickell and senior 170-pounder Cole Renner.

Nickell (11-12) and senior 195-pounder Kolton Harting each lost their first match and came back to take sixth. Johnson couldn't recall the last time he had someone with a losing record collect a state medal.

"That's the Norton way," Johnson said. "I tell them all year, it doesn't matter what happens before regionals, everything else is practice. This is now for real -- and our kids really came to wrestle."

Norton had the state title secured entering the third place and championship rounds, but continued with some upsets. Sophomore Skylar Johnson took third at 106.  

At 145, senior Jared Tallent defeated Oberlin senior standout Dayton Dreher 6-2 for third place. Then, Norton freshman Jacob Green pinned Phillipsburg junior Luke Jacobs for third place before Addington earned the Bluejays' final win of the year in the championship.

"We saw a lot of wild matchups here," coach Johnson said. "Who would have thought that Jared Tallent would be beat Dreher, or that Jacob Green would pin Jacobs? We were not favored."

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