Summer Sneak Peak – Topeka Update Continued
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Last weekend, three Topeka schools got together for a series of scrimmages. We covered those three schools – Highland Park, Topeka High and Topeka West – in a feature on Monday. Let’s pick up the theme by taking a mid-summer…
Last weekend, three Topeka schools got together for a series of scrimmages. We covered those three schools – Highland Park, Topeka High and Topeka West – in a feature on Monday. Let’s pick up the theme by taking a mid-summer look at the other schools in the Capital City.
A year removed from a state-tournament run, the Wildcats appear to have lost a ton from the team that went 12-12 last year. The big loss, obviously, is the loss of coach Dwayne Paul, who moves to Free State. Hayden turns the reins over to Trey Brown, a Shawnee Heights grad who coached Cair Paravel last season.
Graduation brings the illustrious end of Joe Otting‘s career. An all-state candidate on the hardwood, he now moves on to the Notre Dame gridiron. The Wildcats also bid farewell to warrior Jake Muller, a multi-sport star and quiet leader.
Making matters much worse, 2026is moving to Kanas City for his sophomore year. He was a talent to build around in the future. Senior guard practiced with Highland Park in the recent scrimmages, so he is apparently no longer a Wildcat either.
The Wildcats return some nice guards in, Dominik Ridley and . But Coach Brown will have some rebuilding to do.
Nearly every team in the city was hit hard by graduation. Though Washburn Rural loses all-state guard Jack Bachelor, they actually may return the most talent of any school in town. They lose a couple of solid forwards in Wyatt Conklin and Jacob Hirschi. But there’s a lot of talent returning.
Leading next year’s group should be a solid guard tandem ofand . Those two combined for 12 points and 4 assists as sophomores. They will spend a lot more time on the court together next season. Size and power will be found in some combination of JC Heim, Griffin Durst and Max and Sam Bettis.
Returning the best one-two punch in the city is Shawnee Heights.and (pictured) are capable of scoring from anywhere and will give the T-Birds some serious firepower. Add in senior Jayden Holly, a 6-foot-3 forward who really crashes the boards, and you have a nice nucleus to build around.
A player to watch for the T-Birds is 2026, a big guard who really impressed in spring action.
The Vikings had a really nice senior tandem in Kaeden Bonner and Aron Davis, but both experienced some injury issues in their final season. A new crop will have to step into those roles. Also departing is wingwho practiced with Topeka High at the weekend’s scrimmage.
Look for 2026 Kaevon Bonner to step into his brother’s leadership spot. As a freshman he contributed 8 points and 2 boards, and that production will certainly increase. Braden Chapman and Bryar Finley will have the opportunity to step up as well.
Cair Paravel showed two seasons ago it can put together a state-caliber basketball team. But now the Lions will start with a new coach after Brown took the Hayden job. They hired Chip Kueffer this summer to lead the program. We don’t know a lot about the Lions after they struggled to an 8-12 mark last season other than that they return second-team all-league pick Evan Will.