A new high school basketball tradition was ushered in Monday when the Time Warner Cable Showcase took over the Sprint Center in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
By any measure, the inaugural event, which also marked the first time high school basketball was played at the Sprint Center, was a success and seemed certain to return in 2014.
I think this showcase can be a huge thing for the city and for the (Interscholastic League), Central coach Lewis Smith said.
He explained that a lot of the inner-city schools dont get the type of pub that maybe the outlier schools do. Its big for us. Its big for the community. Its big for everybody.
Sure, ultimately there were winners and losers decided, but the broader message of the games wasnt glossed over.
Dr. King wasnt far from hearts and minds.
It means a lot, Washington coach Eric King said. Growing up in Louisiana, we knew a lot about the civil rights movement and how hard Dr. King and others worked for these young men and myself to be able to have this opportunity.
Even the players, who mostly were born in the mid-1990s, seemed to understand the tourneys broader reach and importance.
He made a lot of sacrifices so we could be here today, so Im going to always cherish this moment, Grandview junior Damon King said.
Its something Ill remember when I get older, Raytown sophomore Jailen Gill said. When I have kids, Ill tell them I played at the Sprint Center court. That will be pretty cool to tell them.
Raytown South 54 Raytown 44
Overcoming a seven-point halftime deficit, Raytown South, led by senior J.C. Johnson, got a 54-44 comeback win against rival Raytown.
We werent executing on offense (in the first half) and we were taking bad shots, but the second half our offense just flowed, Ray South senior Kalan Tucker said.
The points mostly flowed through Johnson, who led the Cardinals rally with 33 points all in the second half.
Johnson scored 17 in the third quarter as Ray South, 6-8, rallied from down 19-12 at halftime and took a 36-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
Lincoln Prep 73
Lincoln Prep got six points apiece from senior Charles Harris, sophomore Jonathan Reese and freshman Issac Smith in building a 22-11 first-quarter lead against Central.
The Tigers, 9-8, never looked back in a 73-54 win.
We wanted to come out and play Lincoln basketball and show everybody how good we are, Tigers coach Steve Evans said.
Reese finished with a game-high 14, while Harris and Smith added 12 each.
The Eagles, 5-12, were led by senior Marcus Sanders, who matched Reeses 14.
Washington 76 Wyandotte 46
Washington rebounded from a loss in the third-place game at the Topeka West Invitational with a 76-46 dismantling of rival Wyandotte.
With four players in double figures, the Wildcats made it look easy and made coach Eric Kings 100th career victory a memorable one.
I want to thank all my young men, the young men whove played for us, and then I have great coaches, King said.
Seniors DeAndre King and Jaamie Trevillion led Washington with 14 points each, while senior James Jappa added 13 and senior Kindred Williams chipped in 11.
Rockhurst 74 Grandview 33
Playing its fourth game in five days didnt seem to faze Rockhurst, which crushed Grandview 74-33 in the nights penultimate game.
Im fine with less practice and more games, said Hawklets senior Kyle Wolf, whose 23 points led all scorers.
Rockhurst, 15-3, jumped ahead 18-6 after the first quarter and continued to pour it on from there.
Defensively, we did a great job of making sure they didnt get to do what they wanted to do, Rockhurst coach Mark Nusbaum said.
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.