The Lee’s Summit West Titans say they were motivated by past success during their victory last Friday in the Missouri Class 5 high school boys basketball third-place game at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
In the minutes after it, though, they were already looking toward the future.
One day after falling to eventual state-champion Christian Brothers College of St. Louis in the semifinals, the Titans finished off their season with a 70-58 win over Hazelwood Central — a victory coach Michael Schieber says he hopes sets things up for next season.
“We told those guys coming back they’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill for some guys that set some pretty high marks,” Schieber said.
But not quite as high as they had hoped.
Lee’s Summit West opened the season with a goal to win the state championship – and they fell two victories short. Christian Brothers College, which defeated Columbia Hickman in overtime to win the Class 5 championship, halted the Titans’ 13-game winning streak, which was built on an improved defense and continued balance in the scoring column.
“It was bad that we lost (in the semifinals), but we could be one of only two teams in the state to end the season on a win,” shooting guard Jarred Dixon said. “It was kind of hard to get up to play (for third), but we dug it out and got the win.”
Senior forward Monte Harrison led the Titans during the season with 15.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, and he is a finalist for the DiRenna Award, handed to the top player in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
But the Titans have talent returning, too.
Dixon (14.5 points per game) and point guard Gary Davis (13.6 points per game) headline a returning junior class that also features Ryan Williams, who made six three-pointers and scored 20 points in the semifinal loss.
In addition to Harrison, Lee’s Summit West will also lose seniors Dale Brown, Thomas Ganaden, Richaud Dunn and Devin Holland. That group combined to score 35.2 points per game this season, which equated to 51 percent of the team’s offense.