Atchison BB

Atchison senior Omarion Daniels goes up for a basket against Schlagle Thursday night.  

Atchison High School had its best start in the Kansas City-Atchison League in a number of years by beating Washington 52-49 Tuesday and Schlagle 73-43 Thursday night.

First year coach Patrick Battle said he is finally starting to see his guys get acclimated to the system.

“I’m proud of how we’re starting to play together,” Battle said. “We’re starting to see the system at work and I’m really pleased with how we’re sharing the ball.”

The Redmen defeated the Wildcats in the final seconds thanks to a steal from Omarion Daniels that put Atchison in the lead 51-49.

Battle said a win like that is evidence of the program making significant strides.

“That’s growth and that’s how you see your program is growing,” Battle said. “They just kept playing and I’m really proud of that win.”

Atchison (7-5) jumped out to a staggering lead against the Stallions 34-9, which they easily rode to a dominating victory.

“We did a really nice job on the boards and were able to get out and run,” Battle said. “Xavier Cushinberry is as good as anybody at getting the rebound and getting it down the floor.”

Cushinberry led the team in points with 16 on the night against Schlagel.

“In past years we’ve struggled in the league,” Cushinberry said. “Now we’re finally starting to play team basketball.”

Senior Xavier Hernandez was second on Thursday with 14 points and Daniels had 10.

Battle said he was pleased with how his team responded after going 1-2 the previous week at the Nemaha Invitational.

“It’s nice to have a good week after a disappointing week at Nemaha,” Battle said. “They have really been able to put that away and move forward. We just have to stay together and learn how to handle success.”

Cushinberry said the team has really learned to respect and admire Battle and is willing to go the extra mile to keep improving.

“We all love and respect coach so everything he tells us we take it to heart,” Cushinberry said. “We’ve been studying the system as much as we can and we’re really trying to come together.”

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