Chapman girls basketball

Chapman senior guard Peyton Suther (22) puts up a shot over the out stretched hands of Abilene defenders Allison Liby (22) and Jenna Hayes (10) during NCKL action last year in Chapman. Lady Irish teammate Ashlynn Bledsoe (23) positions for the rebound.

CHAPMAN – Chapman High School’s new girls basketball coach Drew Gruver expects his first team to be experienced and athletic.

The Lady Irish return five starters from last year’s 7-14 team but the key will be the senior leadership and experience. Gruver is counting on seniors McKenna Kirkpatrick, Peyton Suther, Ashlynn Bledsoe and Kylie Adams to be force of the Lady Irish season.

“We will have a very experienced and athletic team this year,” Gruver said. “We must commit to the defensive end of the floor for us to be successful.”

Kirkpatrick returns at guard or forward after leading the team in scoring with 16 points per game average. She also was a top rebounder for the squad with 7.2 rebounds each night. Suther put up 8.4 points a game from her guard position and she also grabbed 5.1 rebounds a game. Bledsoe shot in 13.4 points a game and grabbed 7.6 rebounds while playing a combo guard/forward role for the Lady Irish. Adams manned a guard position for Chapman and supplied 4.5 points a game and 3.1 rebounds per contest.

Sophomore guard Shannon Anderson also returns as a starter for the Irish. Anderson shot 2.5 points per game and added 4 rebounds per game as a freshman.

Senior Lauren Hill and sophomore Marie Meuli return to the team with experience at guard.

Coach Gruver expects talented freshman Maya Kirkpatrick to see the varsity floor this year.

“We will try to use our athleticism to our advantage on the defensive end of the floor by trying to speed teams up and creating turnovers and turning those turnovers into easy baskets,” Gruver said. “Playing solid team defense, playing together as a team, being disciplined and working for the shot we want on the offensive end will be keys to our success this year.”

Gruver is familiar with the North Central Kansas League as he comes to Chapman after spending several seasons at Clay Center coaching the boys team. He expects the league to be a tough race with Clay Center, Marysville and Chapman fighting for the top spot.

Chapman opens the season Dec. 10 at home with the first round of the Irish Classic that concludes on Saturday, Dec. 14.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

2019-2020 Chapman Basketball Schedule

Dec. 10 – 14 Irish Classic

Dec. 17 at Wamego

Dec. 20 vs. Marysville

Jan. 7 vs. Abilene

Jan. 10 at Clay Center

Jan. 14 vs. Beloit

Jan. 17 at Concordia

Jan. 23 – 25 at Royal Valley Invite

Jan. 31 vs. Holton

Feb. 4 vs. Clay Center

Feb. 7 at Southeast of Saline

Feb. 11 vs. Wamego

Feb. 14 vs. Concordia

Feb. 18 v s. Rock Creek

Feb. 21 at Marysville

Feb. 25 at Abilene

March 2 – 7 at Sub-State – TBD

March 11-14 at State, Salina, TBD

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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