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Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Three Tigers crowned MIAA champs -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Bowyer, after crash, slams qualifying format -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Phillipsburg girls knock off TMP at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Hays High girls snap losing skid -2/15/2015, 2:21 PM

Hays High stunned by Liberal at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger women's streak halted at Pitt State -2/15/2015, 10:26 AM

Tiger softball 1-3 to start season -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger men fall at Pitt -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tigers drop to 0-2 with losses to Mines, Regis -2/15/2015, 1:10 AM

KU coach kicks off tour in Hays -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

K-State guard Johnson laughs off hecklers at W. Virginia -2/13/2015, 10:13 AM

The Tigers' do-it-all Shaw -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

Samac staying on court, providing big games for Tigers -2/13/2015, 11:09 AM

Wichita State baseball players see winning as antidote to distractions -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals, Herrera agree -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals purchase contract of Derek Gordon -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

KU's Ellis near 1,000 points -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Hoxies' record just a matter of time? -2/12/2015, 3:26 PM

New coach, new season for FHSU softball -2/12/2015, 11:25 AM

Tigers look for better pitching in 2015 -2/12/2015, 10:14 AM

Shox roll to win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

Kansas State rally again falls short at W. Virginia -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

FHSU wrestling rolls to dual win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

2015 Eight-Man All-Star rosters -2/11/2015, 11:54 AM

Indiana State backcourt thrives with new characters -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Scott City rolls over TMP -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Jayhawks cruise past Texas Tech -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Kansas State braces for Mountaineers' full-court press -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Salina Central outlasts Hays High -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Tigers' Lehman earns seventh MIAA honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

FHSU's Samac earns MIAA men's honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

KBCA rankings, Feb. 9 -2/9/2015, 1:47 PM

Big day for Plainville grad Dani Winters -2/9/2015, 11:24 AM

Cowboys' Forte plays through flu -2/9/2015, 10:17 AM

At KU, Smith played on scout team -2/9/2015, 10:16 AM

North Carolina coaching icon Dean Smith dies at 83 -2/8/2015, 5:19 PM

Wichita State easily beats weakened Missouri State -2/8/2015, 4:52 PM

FHSU men hold off Hornets -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

TMP's Rhoades third in Phillipsburg -2/8/2015, 8:58 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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Two weeks critical to FHSU's season

Published on -1/29/2013, 10:48 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Fort Hays State University men's basketball coach Mark Johnson doesn't set specific preseason goals. Instead, Johnson likes to have the season play out and then set goals with around 10 games left depending on where his Tigers stand.

This year, Johnson will wait even longer to set benchmarks for his team, currently 11-6, 5-4 MIAA through the first half of conference play. Fort Hays had arguably the hardest first-half MIAA slate, and its six conference road contests were tied for the most in the 15-team league.

University of Central Missouri leads the MIAA at 8-1 with its lone loss in Hays, and Johnson considers the Mules the league favorite. Seven teams, including FHSU, have three or four league losses.

In the next two weeks, Fort Hays has four straight home games -- and an opportunity to move up in the league race.

"Right now, these next two weeks are our season," Johnson said in his weekly news conference Monday afternoon.

The stretch starts Wednesday against University of Central Oklahoma (7-10, 5-4 MIAA). The Bronchos, one of four new MIAA squads this year, are 1-3 at home in conference and 4-1 on the road. After a slow start, UCO is 5-2 in its last seven games. Junior Josh Gibbs leads a physical team with 16.1 points per contest. The Bronchos pace the conference with 20.9 personal fouls per game. This marks the fourth time in the last six seasons the two teams have matched up. The previous three came in the NCAA tournament and UCO held a 2-1 advantage.

"It's a terrible matchup for us, tough matchup," Johnson said.

Because of league expansion, the conference has a different MIAA tournament than past years. Now, the top four teams earn a first-round bye to Kansas City, Mo.

Seeds 5-8 have a first-round home game versus seeds 9-12 with the winners going to Kansas City. The bottom three squads are out. Johnson believes success in the next two weeks sets FHSU up for an opportunity at a top-four seed and solid position for an NCAA tournament bid.

"What we do is up to us now," Johnson said.

Entering the second half of MIAA play, Johnson wanted to be at least 5-4 to have a chance down the stretch. FHSU accomplished that with a road win at Truman State (Mo.) University on Saturday.

"We can still make a push," senior guard Ben Conguista, the conference leader in minutes played and No. 15 nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (44.3 percent), said. "We've got a lot of games left. We have gone through a very tough stretch. I think we have done fine.

"Winning (Saturday) is obviously a big help, but being home is not going to be any easier," Conguista added. "We play some really tough teams at home, so every game is a new game. We've got to take each day as it comes."

Against Truman, Congiusta took a nasty cut above his left eye when he was involved in a midcourt collision with a Bulldog player and the ball. He had to sit out a couple minutes in the first half because the cut required a wrap. At intermission, he had a shot and stitches and missed the first few minutes of the second half. Several times during the game, blood ran down his face. Still, Congiusta finished with 14 points in 36 minutes. Congiusta said his head was throbbing after the game. Johnson said the team was expected to know more Monday on Congiusta's condition, but said "a lot of guys wouldn't have played" under those circumstances. The senior was expected to be fine.

"From a senior and leadership and a toughness standpoint, that's probably as good as is gets. I haven't told him this yet, but it was over and back," Jobnson said with a smile. "It would have been our ball if he wouldn't have dove on it, so if he would have been a little smarter on that play, he wouldn't have gotten hurt. It was great obviously to try to make the play."

Congiusta, freshman point guard Craig Nicholson, senior guard Lance Russell and junior forward Dwayne Brunson (team-high 14.5 points per game) all average scoring in double figures. Johnson has asked for more production from his bench. Junior guard Carson Konrade had averaged nearly 10 points per game, but is slow coming back from a thigh injury. He has 16 points in four games since he returned.

"Not quite back to playing where he was," Johnson said. "... He is a perfectionist. He over thinks out there at times and gets down when things aren't perfect, and things aren't going to be perfect. He needs to just play at times."

FHSU did have production from juniors Nick Capiti and Marty Wendel in last week's road trip to Lindenwood (Mo.) University and Truman. Capiti finished with 10 points against Lindenwood, his most in a conference game. Wendel has played few minutes because of his limited offensive game. He finished with a career-high eight points and also pulled down seven rebounds versus Truman. Johnson said UCO's matchup problems could allow Capiti and Wendel to see more playing time than usual.

"It's a team thing," Congiusta said. "If somebody gets into foul trouble, we've just got to bring our people off the bench. I thought somebody like Marty, he was fantastic (Saturday)."

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