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TMP settles for split -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Shields strikes out 12 as Royals complete sweep -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Indian swimmers seventh in Salina -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS softball splits with Salina South -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS baseball swept at Salina South -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Final home games for Tigers -4/18/2014, 10:14 AM

Tiger softball No. 8 in first region rankings -4/18/2014, 10:13 AM

Indian track competes at Valley Center -4/18/2014, 10:13 AM

Hayes is KSU's next big 'Cat -4/17/2014, 10:44 AM

New group for Plainville track -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Otis track team deals with injuries, illness -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Jets land former Titan Chris Johnson -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

HDN Area Track & Field honor roll, April 17 -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Freeman winds up with N.Y. Giants -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Tigers win on grand slam -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Weber gets extension at K-State -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

HHS' Weigel becomes a Cowboy -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

Humburg jumping well for Ness City -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Doubles team rolls at HHS Invitational -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

HHS soccer improves to 6-2, beats Great Bend -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Prep golf results, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger tennis ends MIAA season in loss -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger golfers ninth in St. Charles, Mo. -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Track results, Redmen Relays, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys win at Ellsworth -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP softball sweeps Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP soccer suffers loss at Garden City -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys' golf third at Goodland -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP baseball rolls past Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

HHS baseball splits with Junction City -4/15/2014, 9:53 AM

TMP softball swept at Colby -4/15/2014, 10:10 AM

TMP golf begins season today -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

HHS soccer rallies for victory -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Rare time off for Tiger softball -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

KSU, WSU Barnstormers coming to Hays -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Watson wins Masters -4/14/2014, 10:08 AM

Royals swept by Twins -4/14/2014, 10:07 AM

Harvick wins at Darlington -4/13/2014, 6:51 AM

Royals ace James Shields struggles in loss to Twins -4/13/2014, 6:42 AM

K-State's Deante Burton feels ready to take his game up a notch -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

Former Jayhawks address football team about facing struggles -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

HHS basketball camp May 27 to 29 -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

Tigers’ Wolf second at K.T. Woodman -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

FHSU tennis drops pair of MIAA outings -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

FHSU softball 3-1 in weekend -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger offense shines in Spring Game -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger baseball 1-3 in series -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

Mattheyer jumps onto scene at Ellis -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

HHS golf finishes second in Garden City -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

HHS pitcher, catcher share chemistry -4/13/2014, 7:56 AM

HHS relay team wins Elite -4/12/2014, 6:37 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
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Injury still ailing Tigers' Brunson

Published on -2/21/2014, 10:22 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

When conference play opened, Fort Hays State University senior forward Dwayne Brunson was averaging 19.9 points and 10 rebounds. He had four contests of at least 22 points, including one game with 33. Brunson had recorded five double-doubles in seven games. Coach Mark Johnson called Brunson possibly the MIAA's best player.

However, throughout the conference slate, Brunson has battled a difficult knee injury. Brunson said he is usually between 85 and 90 percent.

Brunson usually feels the pain on the rise and has become a below-the-rim player on rebounds. Sometimes, he doesn't even jump when he shoots.

Brunson believes he would be the league's top player if he'd been fully healthy. Instead, he could possibly repeat his first-team selection from last season, but likely earn second-team honors.

"I could probably have a lot more scoring in me if my injury wasn't in play right now," Brunson said.

Brunson averages 17.1 points and 7.7 rebounds. He shoots 55.7 percent from the field and 84.7 percent from the foul line.

In several early-season contests after the injury, Brunson couldn't log more than 20 minutes. Since Jan. 6, he has tallied at least 26 minutes in all but one contest.

"He has gotten more confidence as the season has gone on," Johnson said. "Anytime you have a little bit of an injury bug, it sits in your head a little bit. You are hesitant to do things. I think as we have gone on in the season, that's probably not totally gone away, but diminished it a little bit, and he is able to just play and react."

Even with the injury, Brunson's productivity is vital for a Tiger team currently receiving votes in the NCAA Division II poll and ranked No. 6 in the first Central Region rankings released Wednesday. On Wednesday, Brunson went 3 of 9 shooting for six points and collected five rebounds in a 79-70 road loss to Washburn University. Brunson struggled against Washburn forward Alex North, one of the league's top players.

"It's hard for him to get his base and go up and finish on his bad wheel," Johnson said. "I feel bad for him. He has had to battle through it."

The defeat dropped Fort Hays to 20-5, 11-5 MIAA with three regular season contests left, all at home.

"It's real big, because he is our real big presence in the post," sophomore point guard Craig Nicholson said of the 6-foot-7, 220-pound Brunson. "He is the only one who can actually make something happen down there in the post, so we try to find him, but it's just hard when everybody is double teaming him all the time."

Brunson remains the team leader in rebounds and ranks second in scoring behind Nicholson (17.6). Even though he can't jump as high, Brunson has been intelligent on rebounds.

"My high school coach always told me, '70 percent of the shots go long,'" Brunson said. "So if the opponent is shooting the ball on one side, 70 percent of the time, it's going to go on the opposite side, so that's why I am always in the right place. ... I am worrying about the ball and where it is going to be, and if my man is there, then I am going to box him out."

On Saturday, the Tigers play host to rival University of Nebraska-Kearney (12-11, 8-8 MIAA) in a 4 p.m. start at Gross Memorial Coliseum. UNK lost to Emporia State University, 92-83, in its last contest and ended a seven-game winning streak. Connor Beranek averages 18.2 points and 6.6 rebounds a contest, while Ethan Brozek is at 16.2 points and 7.2 rebounds.

"He is probably playing as well as anybody in the league," Johnson said.

Brozek has played in 13 games after he started 27 contests last season. Brozek decided to transfer to the University of Nebraska, but then decided to come back this season, but wasn't able to play until second semester. The Tigers fell 90-83 to the Lopers in Kearney on Feb. 5.

"When we went to Kearney, everyone's head wasn't in it," Nicholson said. "We just didn't show up to play, but now we are all ready for them to play on Saturday."

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