Lee’s Summit West coach Michael Schieber grabbed the game statistical sheet almost immediately after it slipped through the courtside printer.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
After a quick glance, he passed it over to senior forward Trevor Gregory. Schieber used his finger to circle a key stat.
The two shook hands, and then Gregory swung his fist through the air in satisfaction.
His work was done. Gregory pulled down 15 rebounds to go along with 15 points, a double-double effort that led Lee’s Summit West to a 66-57 win against previously unbeaten Blue Springs South on Saturday night in the championship game of the American Family Insurance Holiday Classic at William Jewell. The Titans won the Nelson Division.
“The biggest attribute was we had to control the boards — had to,” Schieber said. “Trevor, my God, what a night he had on the boards.
“That’s it. That’s the game.”
A game hyped for its athletic players and talented rosters turned the Titans’ way from the opening tip.
Lee’s Summit West opened the game on a 14-0 run, and though South responded with an 11-0 surge, the Jaguars never led and never regained their footing. The Titans, 8-1, were first to loose balls and 50-50 rebounds, resulting in a 44-21 edge on the boards.
“The mind-set coming in was to be way better in that area,” Gregory said. “The big key was energy. And one of those keys was dominating the boards.”
More of the same from the Titans, who defeated South a year ago in the Class 5 quarterfinals to reach the state tournament.
The consensus is both teams are two of the favorites — perhaps the top two — to reach that game once again. It’s a rematch South, 9-1, would certainly covet after a troubling start Saturday proved insurmountable, but the Jaguars missed their first chance to establish themselves as the team to beat.
“I felt like they were very hungry,” Blue Springs South coach Jimmy Cain said. “They set the tempo of the game physically early in the game.The Jaguars trailed by at least seven points for the entire second half. Carl Martin and Justin Pitts each had 14 points.
Lee’s Summit West junior Monte Harrison, who scored 17, finished off the game with an emphatic two-handed dunk in the closing seconds.
“I love playing them,” Harrison said. “They give us great fight. It’s a game where you know the hardest-working team will win it, and that was us tonight.”
Fort Osage 47, Pleasant Hill 40
Fort Osage senior D’Vante Mosby may not be the Indians’ leading scorer, but he’s often their most valuable player.
Mosby led a fourth-quarter comeback against Pleasant Hill, helping the Indians to a 47-40 win and third place in the Nelson Division after they trailed by one entering the final quarter.
Only the team’s third leading scorer for the season, Mosby paced the Indians, 7-3, with 17 points, but it was work in other areas that titled the momentum in Fort Osage’s favor. He grabbed 11 rebounds — including seven offensive — and added a team-high four assists and three steals.
Freshman Skylar Thompson, inserted into the starting lineup after an impressive showing in a losing effort against Lee’s Summit West, responded with 10 points.
Nick Shore scored 11 in a losing effort for Pleasant Hill.
St. Joseph Central 60, Central 47
Central was unable to slow down St. Joseph Central forward Shun Williams, who scored 22 points to lead the Indians to a comfortable victory in the fifth-place matchup.
Three players scored in double figures for Central — Diego Lee had 12, Gordon Martis scored 11 and Ramar Brown had 10.