Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

All-City Boys: Malik Keith, Ryan Zeferjahn Share Player of the Year Honors

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

All-City Boys: Malik Keith, Ryan Zeferjahn Share Player of the Year Honors

Article excerpt

Highland Park senior Malik Keith and Seaman senior Ryan Zeferjahn share city boys player of the year honors after leading their teams to breakthrough 2015-2016 seasons.

Keith led the Scots to a 17-8 record and a fourth-place finish in the Class 5A state tournament while Zeferjahn led the Vikings to a 15-7 record and had a city-high 41-point performance.

Keith and Zeferjahn helped their teams post a 17-3 record against city opponents and a combined 11-win improvement over the previous season.

Joining Keith and Zeferjahn on the 2016 All-City boys first team are Topeka West senior Jordan Newby, Shawnee Heights junior Poncho Freeman and Hayden sophomore Jett Canfield.

Newby was the city regular-season scoring champion while Freeman and Canfield helped their teams reach sub-state finals and post 15- 7 and 12-10 records, respectively.

Keith, Zeferjahn, Newby and Freeman all earned first-team All- Centennial League honors, while Canfield was a second-team all- league pick.

Highland Park coach Jason Jones, who led the Scots to a seven- win improvement in his second season at the school, is the city coach of the year after his Scots posted a 10-1 record against city foes.

Highland Park was the only city boys team to make a state tournament appearance.

Shawnee Heights junior Michael Brooks was selected city newcomer of the year after averaging 15.1 points over the T-Birds' final seven games of the season, including two games of 20 points or more during that closing span.

All-City capsules:

JETT CANFIELD

5-FOOT-9 SOPHOMORE, HAYDEN

Canfield moves up to the All-City first team after being the city newcomer of the year and earning third-team All-City honors as a freshman. A second-team All-Centennial League pick, Canfield averaged 14.4 points for the 12-10 Wildcats, making 33 3-pointers and shooting 81.4 percent from the free-throw line. Canfield cracked double figures in 16 of 22 games with a season-high of 37 points.

"He adjusted very well to a new role from where he was as a freshman to a sophomore, going from being a distributor and a key cog on a senior-dominated team to a guy who looked to score and took on more of a leadership role this season," Hayden coach Ted Schuler said. "I couldn't be more proud of the strides he made."

PONCHO FREEMAN

6-FOOT-2 JUNIOR, SHAWNEE HEIGHTS

In his first season as a starter, Freeman led the 15-7 T-Birds in scoring and rebounding. Freeman earned All-Centennial League first- team honors, averaging 15.9 points and cracking double figures in 17 of 19 games. Freeman scored 20 or more points in five games, with a season-high of 30 points. Freeman missed Heights' last three games with a foot injury.

"Poncho isn't one to say much and just lets his play do the talking," Shawnee Heights coach Steve Wallace said. "With no starters returning I think there were a lot of question marks coming into the season, and without Poncho leading us in scoring and rebounding, we would not have had the success we did."

MALIK KEITH

5-FOOT-10 SENIOR, HIGHLAND PARK

Keith moves up to the All-City first team and earned city co- player of the year honors after being a second-team pick as a junior. A first-team All-Centennial League selection, Keith led the Scots to a 17-8 record and a fourth-place finish in 5A. Keith averaged 17.3 points and reached double figures in 22 of 25 games. He had nine games of 20 or more points, with a season-high of 28.

"His work ethic was just tremendous," Jones said of Keith. …

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