After 15 lead changes, top-seeded Liberty slipped past Raytown 59-51 on Saturday at the Niles Media Group Holiday Basketball Tournament at William Jewell. Liberty will face third-seeded Grandview at 7:30 p.m. Monday for the Cardinal Division title.
By KATHLEEN GIER
The Kansas City Star
Liberty went on a 10-0 run to start the second quarter and built a nine-point lead, but Raytown hung around, trailing by just one point at the half. It took until the final minutes of the fourth quarter for Liberty to finally pull away. Liberty forced two turnovers and finished on a 9-0 run to seal the victory.
Our defensive effort and focus and purpose on those possessions was better than the entire game put together, Liberty head coach Roger Stirtz said. We didnt knock down some shots we usually make, so I think we carried that over to the defensive end.
Brandyn Moultrie led Liberty with 15 points and Derrick Walker had a game-high 16 for Raytown.
Grandview 72, Park Hill 60
Stellar late-game free throw shooting lifted Grandview to victory over Park Hill in the Cardinal Division semifinals.
Park Hill cut the Grandview lead to five points, but Grandview went 11-for14 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Tyrone Taylor led the Bulldogs with 21 points while Landry Shamet and Deionte Wilson scored 20 and 19 points respectively for the Trojans.
Blue Springs South 73, Rockhurst 60
For the second straight game, Rockhurst proved it could hang with the top seeds.
Rockhurst trailed top-seeded Blue Springs South by just five points at the half, and it wasnt until the Jaguars started the third quarter with a 10-0 run that they started to pull away.
Rockhurst cut the lead to single digits just once in the second half. Blue Springs South will face Park Hill South for the Nelson Division championship on Monday at 6 p.m.
We did a much better job in the start of the third quarter stopping their transition that gave us fits all first half, Blue Springs South head coach Jimmy Cain said. We did a much better job containing the dribble drive, helping on the weak side and getting rebounds.
Kendall Blanton led the Jaguars with 22 points followed by Kevin Puryear and Brandon Kilgore, who scored 18 and 12 respectively. Cartier Dean had 21 points and a team-high five rebounds for Rockhurst.
Park Hill South 62, Lincoln Prep 36
After jumping out to a 10-point lead by the end of the first quarter, a sharp-shooting Park Hill South squad routed Lincoln Prep in the Nelson Division Semifinals.
Lincoln Prep scored just eight points in the first half while shooting 7.7 percent from the field. Park Hill South, on the other hand, shot 50 percent and followed that with a 57.1 percent performance in the second half to finish at 53.5.
Robert Lane was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and led Park Hill South with 13 points. Payton Meek followed with 12 points and Ryan Welty added 10. Steve Dudley was the only Lincoln Prep player to break double figures, finishing with 12 points.
Lees Summit West 60, Winnetonka
Faced with a dwindling lead in the final minute of his teams semifinal matchup, Lees Summit West head coach Michael Schieber got the response he wanted from his upperclassmen.
Lees Summit West, which starts two seniors and three juniors, held on while shooting eight-for-10 from the free throw line and holding the Griffins scoreless for the final three possessions. With the victory, the Titans advanced to the Patterson Division final.
This was one of the first ballgames that weve had that was a difficult stretch all the way through, and it was great to see the kids respond, Schieber said. Our kids kept their poise, battled through some tough situations and made free throws. Thats what youve got to do to beat good teams.
Lees Summit West was led in scoring by Jarred Dixon who finished with 14. Dale Brown followed with 13 and Monte Harrison added 10 for the Titans. DJ Rivera finished with a game-high 21 points for the Griffons.
Ray-Pec 40, Liberty North 39
Raymore-Peculiar weathered a third-quarter comeback to advance to the Patterson Division championship game.
The Panthers held a 25-13 at halftime but were outscored 18-4 by the Eagles in the third quarter. Ray-Pec faced a two-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter and responded with a 7-0 run to regain the lead. Nick Janssen knocked down a pair of three throws with 10.2 seconds left to seal the victory.
Janssen led the Panthers with 14 points and Ian Sanderford scored a game-high 17 for the Eagles.
To reach Kathleen Gier, call 816-234-4875 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.