There wasn’t much that went wrong for Blue Valley Northwest’s boys basketball team against Summit Christian in their first-round matchup on Monday in the Culver’s Classic tournament at Lee’s Summit High School.
Summit Christian started the game in a 2-3 zone, likely in an attempt to counter the Huskies’ formidable size down low. The congestion in the middle kept the ball out of the hands of BV Northwest freshman forward Joseph Pleasant, listed at 6-foot-5, and 6-4 sophomore guard Tristan Hull.
But the zone defense couldn’t contain Dalton Schoen. The senior guard took command of the game early, and he didn’t let up until he was pulled early in the fourth quarter so reserves could get some playing time. When it was all over, BV Northwest cruised to a 74-34 victory.
In the first quarter, Summit Christian’s Tanner Butler hit a three-pointer for the first points of the game. Then, Shoen busted the Eagles’ 2-3 zone with a pair of three-pointers of his own. He also made a difficult runner in the final seconds of the quarter.
Schoen scored 10 points in the first quarter and the Huskies led by 11 points.
“Schoen played really well for us today,” Huskies coach Ed Fritz said.
BV Northwest’s full-court defense forced the majority of Summit Christian’s 13 first-half turnovers, which the Huskies turned into fast-break points.
“We thought we had a chance to (fast break),” Fritz said. “We’ve been working on that a little bit.”
Northwest’s A.J. Pleasant, in the second quarter, made a couple of dazzling plays. With the ball on the perimeter, he easily beat his defender off the dribble and floated toward the basket. He seemed to hang, long enough to take a bump from a Summit Christian defender, adjust and then converted the layup with ease. He hit the free throw for the old-fashioned three-point play.
On the next trip down, Pleasant buried a three-pointer for a quick six points. The sophomore guard finished the game with 14 points.
The Huskies also stood out on defense. They held Summit Christian scoreless for the first 5 minutes, 30 seconds of the second quarter. Schoen hit another three-pointer in the period, and by halftime the game was a lopsided 25-point margin.
Fritz kept his Huskies running in the third quarter, whether it was flying around to press the overmatched Eagles or getting out on the break after a turnover.
“We tried to press the whole game,” Fritz said. “I think they got a little tired, but they started to do okay towards the end of the third quarter.”
During the third period, the Huskies had their only scare of the game when Joseph Pleasant appeared to injure his hamstring. He proceeded to stretch near the bench for the remainder of the game. After the game, Fritz said it wasn’t a serious injury.
“He’ll be fine,” Fritz said. “He’s a pretty good freshman.”
Joseph Pleasant finished with eight points.
Schoen added nine points in the third quarter, which helped widen the Huskies’ lead to 63-25. After Schoen hit a pair of free throws to start the fourth quarter, Fritz pulled him and the rest of his starters.
Schoen finished with a team-high 24 points. Hull, meanwhile, contributed 13.
The Huskies, 3-4, will face Lee’s Summit at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday in a semifinal.