A pair of inbounds plays that had gone unused for nearly an entire season — drawn on clipboards and rehearsed in practice — finally found the right moment to be tested Friday.
By ZACHARY SPAIN
Special to The Star
When Rockhurst unleashed those under-the-basket plays, the results could hardly have been better.
The Hawklets scored on back-to-back possessions in the third quarter — an at-the-rim pass for a Michael Jones lay-in, and a Joseph Gibson layup in the lane — and an open fourth-quarter Kyle Wolf three-pointer from the corner to send Rockhurst to a 60-42 win over host Lee’s Summit West in the Class 5, District 13 championship.
Those seven points helped extend what was a three-point lead midway through the third to a comfortable victory — the Hawklets’ second over the Titans this season after losing to LS West in the district final last year.
“It’s a set play,” said Rockhurst coach Mark Nusbaum of the inbounds plays. “You have possession. You’re close to the basket. Why not try to score from there?”
Lee’s Summit West, 21-5, never led in the second half after five lead changes and three ties in the first. The Titans twice cut the lead to one in the third period, but the Titans didn’t make a three in the final 14 minutes while Rockhurst, 22-5, went on a 18-6 run after LS West scored first in the fourth.
And the Titans again didn’t have a player score in double figures. In their 59-39 loss to Rockhurst Feb. 2, Jarred Dixon led the team with eight points. On Friday, he and Trevor Gregory each had eight.
“(Rockhurst) won every statistical category; that means they were the better team,” said LS West coach Michael Schieber, whose team finished third in Class 5 last season. “They’re moving on. That’s all that matters.”
Wolf, a senior who suffered district defeats the previous two seasons, finished with 19 points—including 13 in the second half.
Despite being the top seed in the district, the Hawklets faced a hostile atmosphere on LS West’s home floor.
“Getting revenge is awesome,” Wolf said. “They enjoyed (a district championship) last year, but we get to enjoy it this year.”
Senior guard Bradley Wilkins added 15 points, hitting four threes. His three-pointer from the corner with under 4 minutes left in the third pushed a 31-30 lead to four.
“They will be hard to handle for anybody,” Schieber said.
Rockhurst will play Blue Springs South, 23-2, in a sectional Wednesday at the Independence Events Center, a team they went 1-2 against during the season. The Hawklets won the last meeting, 46-44, at the Shawnee Mission West Tournament on Jan. 19.