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Oiler girls are a true treasure
CP girls team.jpg

I remember back in the 1990s, when I told countless people you’ve got to see this girl from Claflin.

Best I’d ever seen.

I asked St. John coach Clint Kinnamon (yes that Clint Kinnamon) why his best girl was shooting everything left-handed. Kinnamon told me she had broken her right wrist in a game at Ellsworth earlier in the season. The injury sidelined her from several games while she recovered.

All Claflin Hall-of-Famer Jackie Stiles did was average 18 points shooting left-handed. 

The state’s all-time scorer with 3,603 points eventually became college basketball’s all-time leading scorer at Southwest Missouri State with 3,393 points until Washington’s Kelsey Plum broke that mark.

Stiles is a living legend.

So is Central Plains Oiler point guard Emily Ryan. 

You’ve got 27 chances to see Ryan perform next season. You will absolutely thank me if you see Ryan and her Central Plains teammates play basketball after they’ve won a state record 111 games in a row.

How about the amazing good fortune of Central Plains coach Pat Stiles?

He’s watched every game Jackie Stiles and Emily Ryan has ever played.

Kinnamon said Ryan’s best skill is her vision and passing ability, judging the right pass at the right time. Central Plains coach Pat Stiles believes Ryan’s defensive tenacity is also underrated.

The Oilers are an absolute treasure to watch. They average 80 to 90 percent of their baskets on direct assists. They play the game the right way — finding the open shooter.  

Ryan sets the tone with her unselfish play. Ryan delights seeing a teammate score whenever see delivers a perfect pass.

Central Prairie League member Kinnamon sees Central Plains Oiler Emily Ryan up close several times a season. Ryan has scored 2,292 points, ninth on the all-time state scoring charts.

Everyone but Jackie Stiles is reachable on the all-time scoring charts. Ryan would have to average 32 ppg to pass Moundridge’s No. 2 all-time scorer Laurie Koehn (3,160).

I believe Stiles’ single-game record of 71 points against Macksville is possible, but I don’t see that happening. Although, Ryan’s top two scoring games came against Macksville this season.

The Oiler girls will be better next season. 

Oiler starters returning are Emily Ryan, Rachel Lamatsch, Addison Crites and Delaney Rugan. 

And that’s after a season where they broke state records for point differential (49.2) and defensive scoring average (24.5).

INACCURATE RECORDS — Obviously, KSHSAA officials do not care whether their state basketball programs list accurate records.

That’s because virtually every 1A record (Hanover girls being an exception) listed in the KSHSAA game program was wrong. The Central Plains’ basketball records were listed as 25-0 in the game program. They were both 24-0.

The state maintains a silly custom of adding a “fake victory” because of a regional bye. A bye is not a victory. A bye does not count as a win. 

Both Central Plains teams finished with 27-0 records. The state will incorrectly post their records at 28-0 in their next flawed edition of their record yearbook. 

Time-after-time, media incorrectly reported the Central Plains basketball teams as finishing with 28-0 records.  The Great Bend Tribune will continue to report the Central Plains basketball teams ending with 27-0 records.

The solution is simple. 

Add the “fake victory” in house, and if a tiebreaker is required, just list the team with an asterisk in brackets/ or in the state programs.

In the past, the KSHSAA has employed flawed tiebreakers which were exposed as poorly crafted.

An old volleyball tiebreaker employed was least points permitted, which penalized a team playing three close sets rather than two lopsided sets.

A former 13-point football tiebreaker was also poorly crafted. In that case, a three-way tie was broken by a point-spread rule. However, after the first team was determined, when two teams were tied, a head-to-head decision was used.