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East coach Ron Allen gets mobbed by East students after upsetting Heights 57-51 in February 2012.

East coach Ron Allen gets mobbed by East students after upsetting Heights 57-51 in February 2012. Fernando Salazar/ The Wichita Eagle | Buy this photo

Basketball notes: Former East coach back on the sideline

Published Dec. 5 at 4:13 p.m. | Last updated Dec. 5 at 1:30 p.m.

Ron Allen is back in the coaching game after a year off.

The former East High coach, who resigned in 2012, is helping with the Sunrise Christian Academy’s postgraduate boys team and he’s the coach of the team made up of local athletes.

“I was ready,” said Allen, who won two Class 6A titles and was 280-127 in 18 seasons with the Aces. “I’d been out a year. I’d kind of gotten back into it doing lessons and getting back in the gym like that. If something good comes around, I would certain take a real seirous look at it. This worked for me better than anything else that came across the table.

“There were other opportunities, but they were high school. I didn’t want to go back to where I’ve been. I wanted to move forward. With the prep kids, I wanted to move forward.”

Sunrise, located in Bel Aire, has an academy team allowing it to recruit as well as take players placed there by colleges. It doesn’t compete in the Kansas State High School Activities Association postseason.

Allen, who retired as a teacher in 2012, has a career record of 301 wins, including his stint at West.

He is second in City League history in wins, behind the 315 wins of Carl Taylor, who returned to the City League at West after a one-year hiatus following his retirement from Southeast. Heights coach Joe Auer has 268 wins for third.

Allen has been reunited with Larry Dennis, who was a junior during Allen’s final season at East. Dennis transferred to Sunrise last season and reclassified to a junior.

Dennis is on the postgraduate team, which is in its first season at Sunrise.

The move has worked out well for Allen, who practices with the high school athletes at 6 a.m., then the prep players are in as early as 9:30.

After that, Allen can go fishing, if the weather allows.

“I’m working with prep kids, and that’s been sensational,” Allen said. “… I really wanted to try my luck on the next level, be it small KCAC, maybe an assistant on that level. I wasn’t really intrigued with the junior colleges because I’d have to be moving around a whole lot.

“I wanted to bring my experience to that level and see if it could help. I knew I was ready for that level, and this is a perfect fit.”

Andale’s leadership

Andale coach Jeff Buchanan knew he would have a tough time making cuts when 49 players came out for boys basketball. The Indians have a talented group after finishing third in Class 4A last season.

After final cuts were made, Andale didn’t have any seniors remaining.

“There’s not a coach out there that says a team without a senior is a good thing,” Buchanan said. “You want that leadership. That’s something we’ll work on. It was a fierce competition.”

But not having seniors isn’t a concern when there’s veterans like juniors Hunter Knoblauch and Jason Hermreck. Knoblauch was one of Andale’s standouts on the football team that went 11-1.

“Those two right there have a lot of good varsity experience,” Buchanan said. “At a playing aspect, those guys, the younger ones can look to them and get good leadership.”

Junior Lane Macari also played as a sophomore, and sophomore Bo Knoblauch played last season, too.

“We have a well-rounded group, a mix,” Buchanan said. “We say it every year — ‘Hey, tell the sophomores and seniors we don’t care what grade you are in.’ You’re an Andale Indian. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior. Represent us and play hard.

“That grade stuff is just a number. You get guys with all kinds of different experiences, all different abilities, and that’s what we try to focus on.”

Friday’s schedule

Girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30

City League

Heights at Carroll

Kapaun at East

Northwest at North

Southeast at South

AV-CTL

Campus at Andover Central

Clearwater at Kingman

Derby at Manhattan

Goddard at Dodge City

Maize at Emporia (boys)

Mulvane at Augusta

Salina Central at McPherson

Salina South at Eisenhower

Winfield at Arkansas City

Central Plains League

Bluestem at Belle Plaine

Cheney at Chaparral

Conway Springs at Medicine Lodge

Douglass at Independent

Garden Plain at Trinity Academy

Central Kansas League

Halstead at Remington

Lyons at Ellsworth

Smoky Valley at Abilene

Other area games

Attica at Argonia

Berean Academy at Sterling

Burrton at Chase

Central-Burden at Elk Valley

Chase County at Peabody-Burns

Cunningham at Minneola

Ell-Saline at Hutchinson Trinity

Elyria Christian at Canton-Galva

Eureka at Humboldt

Fairfield at Hutchinson Central Christian

Goessel at Inman

Halstead at Remington

Little River at Moundridge

Pratt Skyline at St. John

SE-Saline at Marion

Sedgwick at Olpe

South Barber at Caldwell

South Haven at Udall

West Elk at Cedar Vale-Dexter

Predictions

Boys

City League

1. Southeast

2. East

3. Heights

4. North

5. Kapaun

6. Northwest

7. Carroll

8. West

9. South

Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail

Division I

1. Maize

2. Salina Central

3. Salina South

4. Derby

5. Hutchinson

6. Newton

7. Campus

Division II

1. Eisenhower

2. Andover

3. Maize South

4. Andover Central

5. Valley Center

6. Goddard

7. Arkansas City

Division III

1. McPherson

2. El Dorado

3. Winfield

4. Mulvane

5. Buhler

6. Rose Hill

Division IV

1. Andale

2. Collegiate

3. Clearwater

4. Augusta

5. Wellington

6. Circle

Central Plains League

1. Trinity Academy

2. Douglass

3. Cheney

4. Independent

5. Conway Springs

6. Medicine Lodge

7. Chaparral

8. Garden Plain

9. Bluestem

10. Belle Plaine

Central Kansas League

1. Hesston

2. Hillsboro

3. Haven

4. Lyons

5. Halstead

6. Pratt

7. Nickerson

8. Kingman

9. Smoky Valley

10. Sterling

Girls

City League

1. South

2. Kapaun

3. Carroll

4. Heights

5. Northwest

6. East

7. North

8. Southeast

9. West

Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail

Division I

1. Salina Central

2. Maize

3. Newton

4. Derby

5. Salina South

6. Hutchinson

7. Campus

Division II

1. Andover

2. Andover Central

3. Valley Center

4. Maize South

5. Eisenhower

6. Arkansas City

7. Goddard

Division III

1. McPherson

2. Buhler

3. Mulvane

4. Winfield

5. Rose Hill

6. El Dorado

Division IV

1. Andale

2. Clearwater

3. Circle

4. Augusta

5. Collegiate

6. Wellington

Central Plains League

1. Garden Plain

2. Cheney

3. Trinity

4. Conway springs

5. Douglass

6. Chaparral

7. Independent

8. Medicine Lodge

9. Bluestem

10. Belle Plaine

Central Kansas League

1. Hesston

2. Hillsboro

3. Sterling

4. Lyons

5. Haven

6. Kingman

7. Pratt

8. Smoky Valley

9. Halstead

10. Nickerson

Reach Joanna Chadwick at 316-268-6270 or jchadwick@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @joannachadwick.