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Hy-Vee/Pepsi Athlete of the Week: Ashley Kramer helps SM South girls basketball win first title since '90s

'Without her, we probably don't win a state championship'
Ashley Kramer Shawnee Mission South
Posted at 2:00 PM, Mar 27, 2024

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — When it comes to Kansas 6A girls basketball, there's nothing greater than a Raider.

This season, Shawnee Mission South High School won its first state title in nearly three decades. The last girls basketball state championship for SM South came in 1995.

"It meant everything to be able to do it with the seniors. All four seniors were captains, they've all played varsity since they were freshmen," said Mark Western, Shawnee Mission South girl's basketball coach.

The group of seniors wanted to recognize freshman Ashley Kramer for her contributions throughout the season.

"They wanted her to realize how much they value her and her effort and her ability to help the team," Western said.

Kramer earned this week's Hy-Vee/Pepsi and KSHB 41 Athlete of the Week Award.

"Coming from them, I feel like it just means a lot more because they're like my second family," Kramer said.

Kramer was clutch throughout the Raiders' state tournament run. She was able to knock down big-time buckets that changed the momentum of the game.

"She was 10-17, huge shots in all three games, and without her, we probably don't win a state championship," Western said.

SM South faced Manhattan High School in the quarterfinals and walked away with a 50-35 win. The Raiders then met Blue Valley North in the semifinals, taking down the Mustangs, 65-49.

For the Kansas 6A State Championship, South met Washburn-Rural, a team that won it all in 2022 and finished second in 2023. The Raiders walked away with a 47-37 win.

"The best experience ever, like it was actually the best thing I've been through with, obviously, my best friends, so I think having them a long the way really made it even more special," Kramer said.

Shawnee Mission South finished 24-1 on the season.