The Big 7 League’s Final Year, a Short Preview
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The 2024 season will be the final year of existence for the eight team Big 7 League. Seven teams will be joining Mid-East League teams Rossville, St. Mary’s, Silver Lake, and Riley County to form the Big East League. Riverside…
The 2024 season will be the final year of existence for the eight team Big 7 League. Seven teams will be joining Mid-East League teams Rossville, St. Mary’s, Silver Lake, and Riley County to form the Big East League. Riverside will be joining the Northeast Kansas League.
Perennially strong, the Big 7 frequently sends teams to state tournaments. Last season Riverside nearly scored the 2A state championship, falling to Berean Academy to finish second. Nemaha Central came up short in 3A, losing in a sub-state final to Riley County. The 2024 should prove to be very intriguing as only half of the 14 all-league selections (10 first team, 4 honorable mention) from last season return. That means plenty of opportunity for younger players to step forward.
As every team but Riverside and Holton is a class 3A school players expected to be impactful in the 2024 season will be listed alphabetically by school. A big thank you goes out to Phillipe McCree for his help in compiling the list.
Abby Elffner, 6’1″, SF, 2024 – Elffner is a returning unanimous first team selection. Long with good athleticism Elffner elevates well challenging shots around the rim. She also moves well into space and shoots with range quickly off the catch and off her own dribble.
Addison Williams, 5’5″, CG, 2026 – Williams has Good speed and ball skills with vision to make transition dishes. She also is a perimeter threat of the step and catch.
Kaiya Taylor, SG, 2025 – Taylor is a solid perimeter threat who shoots well in flow with little wasted movement.
Brooke Willcott, 5’7″, CG, 2025 – Defensively quick and active the lengthy Willcott anticipates passes well off the ball. The Varsity Kansas and Big 7 honorable mention selection has solid transition speed and finishes challenge shots with either hand. .
Ella Dickey, PG, 2024 – A returning honorable mention selection Dickey can score in traffic and finish with athleticism. She also has a quick trigger on her perimeter shot.
Verlee Sanders, 6’0″, C, 2024 – Sanders is clearly has the greatest overall size of any center in the league. Few girls step in front of her on the move to finish. Solid hands to catch on the move and north-south speed. Holds her ground well against post attackers
, 5’8″, PG, 2024 – The honorable mention returner is quick with the ball. She is also lithe and athletic to twist through defenders for a scoop. She makes the quick, catchable pass to a cutter, finish in transition, and has very good interior vision. She will drop dimes, kick out to shooters, or pull up for the short jumper.
Cami Dalinghaus, PG/SG, 2025 – Dalinhaus handles well in transition and with speed. She anticipates where the ball is going in the full and half court to generate steals. She also gets finishes at speed.
Reagan Gerety, Nemaha Central, 2025 – Gerety is a returning honorable mention selection. With good size and strength she holds her ground well defending inside. She is also a solid shot blocker including with an ability to do so without fouling. Good interior quickness.
Hallie Holthaus, 5’7″, PG, 2025 – Holthaus has a good energy and solid handles. A three point threat who makes the quick and soft interior pass Holthaus also hits cutters well. Watch for her quick hands defending the ball and her footwork recovering well on basket drives.
Taylor Damme, 5’11”, SF, 2024 – Damme has good speed, length and athleticism. Having handles in transition should give her easy basket opportunities. She also is a perimeter threat with range. Damme has a quick, defensive half step. And with her hops she is able to recover nicely and use her quick hops to generate shot blocks.
Ryleigh Morgan, 6’0″, PF, 2024 – Morgan brings good size and transition speed to the table. Jumps to the ball well rebounding.
Abby O’Grady, 5’4″, PG/SG, 2024 – O’Grady has solid handles in transition and can feed basket cutters on the fly well. She also shoots the three ball with range. Solid handles in transtion. Can feed basket cutters on the fly in transition well. Will shoot the three ball with range.
, 5’4″, PG, 2024 – A unanimous first team selection last season Studer has long been the straw that stirs the Riverside drink. A strong ball handler with quickness on both ends of the floor she can slice up full court defenses with the dribble when needed. She dishes and hits transition basket cutters well. She also will hit the three ball. Defensively Studer closes well and is sticky.
, 6’2″, C, 2024 – Not only a unanimous first team selection she was also selected as the Varsity Kansas and Sports In Kansas 2A Player of the Year. Her game flat took off following the 2022 summer club season and really showed how much of a multiple threat she is. So much so that the University of Central Missouri landed her commitment to play for one of the top Division II programs in the country. Weishaar is fast, very long, has great hands, and is a quality defender on the perimeter and inside. She will hit the three with range, attack the basket with ball skills, and score well in the mid-range and around the block.
Samantha Klotz, 5’9″, PF, 2025 – While undersized versus many other players in the league playing the power forward and center spots Klotz competes well due to a combination of length, solid strength, and quickness to take advantage of her 27″ vertical.
Alexia Hayden, 5’7″, SG, 2024 – From a team that lost a large group of seniors Hayden is the leading returning scorer at 5.9 points per game. A quality perimeter shooter Hayden has among the quickest releases off the catch around. She is solidly built and has good transition speed as well.