www.mozilla.com Weather Central

Castorino named MIAA Men's Soccer Athlete of the Week -10/21/2014, 3:23 PM

Babyak, Thompson earn MIAA weekly honors -10/21/2014, 3:05 PM

Hays High girls claim 4A title -- TMP sixth -10/21/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP soccer falls at Garden City -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Manning, Broncos pound 49ers -10/20/2014, 10:26 AM

Charles the Chiefs' all-time leader -10/20/2014, 10:17 AM

'Boys move to 6-1 -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

K.C. kicks past Chargers -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

Jump back to 1985 -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

Keselowski keeps title hopes alive with win at Talladega -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

FHSU women earn shutout, set record -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

KSU sits atop Big 12 -10/19/2014, 6:42 AM

Early mistakes sink Jayhawks -10/19/2014, 6:41 AM

Tigers nab 'W' at Emporia -10/19/2014, 8:21 PM

Knights secure district, playoff spot -10/19/2014, 6:34 AM

TMP claims MCL tourney title -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Monarchs take team to Class 4A state -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Area prep football roundup, Oct. 17 -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Indian volleyball second at WAC -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

HHS has high expectations for 4A golf finale -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Buhler hands Hays High first loss in blowout -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

FHSU men win eighth straight -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

FHSU Tiger Open XC results -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

Tiger women record third consecutive shutout -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Tiger volleyball wins third straight match -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Indians' Forinash goes 0-2 at 4A state -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

TMP falls in district opener to Beloit -10/17/2014, 11:46 AM

HHS soccer falls to Bishop Carroll -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

FHSU men's soccer wins seventh straight -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Tigers look to climb back above .500 -10/17/2014, 10:38 AM

HHS fourth in WAC meet -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

TMP boys 2nd, girls 3rd at Lakeside -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

TMP volleyball goes 2-0 in first day at MCL -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Indians' Forinash in 4A state field -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Wichita State's Darius Carter shows off his jumper -10/17/2014, 10:27 AM

KVA prep volleyball rankings, Oct. 15 -10/16/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP drops close one to Liberal -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

TMP gets Beloit in district opener -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

K.C. headed to first World Series since 1985 -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Selden ready to step into bigger role -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Big district game for Hays High -10/16/2014, 10:31 AM

Area prep football district standings, Oct. 16 -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Royals sweep O's, headed to World Series -10/15/2014, 7:17 PM

Tigers fall in three -10/15/2014, 11:39 AM

Chiefs' Johnson sheds weight in hopes of return -10/15/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants win walk-off on throwing error in 10th -10/15/2014, 10:12 AM

Wildcat running backs looking to break out -10/15/2014, 10:12 AM

Royals one win from World Series -10/15/2014, 11:44 AM

Sports Scores


Prep basketball


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


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

myTown Calendar

[var top_story_head]

Tigers picked fourth, sixth in MIAA polls

Published on -10/24/2012, 11:21 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story



One mantra Fort Hays State University men's basketball coach Mark Johnson likes to follow is his Tiger teams are never "finished products." Each season, Johnson wants his team playing better basketball in late January and February than in November.

This season, Johnson will have his most inexperienced squad of a 12-year tenure that has delivered a 226-98 career record and five NCAA tournament appearances. Fort Hays returns just four Tigers, including two players in senior guards Lance Russell and Ben Congiusta, who have seen significant playing time.

"That is going to be definitely a true statement this year," Johnson said during MIAA men's basketball Media Day on Tuesday. "We are going to have to go through some growing pains to get to where we want to be. I feel like our guys are working hard and trying to get better everyday."

Last year, Fort Hays finished 19-9 overall and 12-8 in the MIAA for fifth place.

In the coaches' poll, the Tigers were picked to tie for fourth place with Pittsburg State University in the new-look 15-team conference. In the media poll, FHSU tied for sixth with Lindenwood (Mo.) University. Washburn University is picked No. 1 in both polls.

The MIAA moved to 15 teams this season, adding Lindenwood, University of Nebraska-Kearney, University of Central Oklahoma and Northeastern State University for basketball.

Instead of the normal home-and-home conference schedule, the MIAA will switch to an unbalanced pod system this winter. Fort Hays will play only certain teams, such as Northwest Missouri State University, Missouri Western State University Nebraska-Kearney and Washburn, twice. Fort Hays opens the regular season at home against McPherson College on Nov. 10.

"An improved league off a year ago. I think adding the teams has only made it stronger," Johnson said. "With the pod system, it will be interesting to see, not everybody playing the same schedule, how that affects the standings, but I think every game will be a challenge."

With so few returners, Johnson said the team still has to figure out what style the Tigers will play at.

"Do we need to play uptempo, do we need to slow it down, do we need to play big, do we need to play small?" Johnson said. "Those are things from a coaching staff, we are probably not going to know until games are played."

Overall, though, Johnson has enjoyed the group. Last year's team was arguably the most frustrating and difficult season in his successful tenure.

"They are a good group to be around," Johnson said. "Everybody is buying in. Everybody is an unselfish guy. I think our team chemistry will come around fairly quickly because of the people we have."

Conguista and Russell are entering their fourth and third year in the program and are expected to produce big seasons.

In 2010-11, Russell took a medical redshirt because of a foot injury. He averaged 6.6 points per game in a reserve role last winter.

Congiusta started two seasons ago and was a strong defender and 3-point shooter. Then, he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury before the 2011-12 year began and took a redshirt. Johnson called Congiusta probably one of the most improved players in his tenure.

"He is just playing with a different quickness level," Johnson said.

"Playing with a different confidence level. ... Having the injury was a big blow to us last year, but probably might have been the best thing that happened to him. I know it was tough to go through, but I think it's made him a better player, a year older and just the confidence is real high."

Among the returners, Johnson expects freshman Craig Nicholson to play significantly at point guard. While some other freshmen, namely Corbin Kuntzsch, have been contributors as freshmen, Johnson said Nicholson may be counted on more than any freshman he has ever had

This year's team has more size than last season with 7-foot senior center Rundell Mauge, a transfer from NCAA Division I Pacific University, 6-8 junior forward Andrew Victoria and 6-7 junior forward Dwayne Brunson. Junior guards Nick Capiti and Carson Konrade, also transfers, will likely see significant time.

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News