A shorthanded Lee’s Summit West boys basketball team needed a leader — and the 810 Varsity Showcase’s marquee matchup Saturday night needed a star.
Christian Bishop admirably filled both roles.
Bishop put on a command performance with an unusual triple-double — 24 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocked shots — which was what the Titans needed to slip past Christian Brothers College 59-53 during the last of six games played at Lee’s Summit’s Field House.
Bishop’s triple-double was the first in West’s 14-year history and helped the Titans overcome the absence of two of their starters. Guard Mario Goodrich was off on a football recruiting trip at LSU, while center Yor Anei was still battling a bug that sidelined the 6-foot-10 senior for the third straight game.
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CBC (5-8) also was shorthanded, without sophomore guard Caleb Love, the St. Louis powerhouse’s leading scorer and a Division-I prospect, and with Davion Bradford, a 6-11 sophomore ranked No. 25 in his class by ESPN, playing sparingly.
That left the spotlight for Bishop, a 6-7 senior forward headed to Creighton.
“He always rises to the occasion,” West assistant coach Kevin Harrison said. “That’s why he’s a really good player.”
Without Anei, who missed West’s 70-63 loss Jan. 9 at Rockhurst and its 64-44 win Jan. 12 at Raymore-Peculiar, Bishop has had to take on more of the work under the basket.
With Goodrich also out, the Titans had to go to some unusual combinations, but Bishop said he never any added pressure to put in more points.
“We play as one full team,” Bishop said. “When Yor was out, we just put another guy in and he helped us out. Yor’s defense and shot blocking helps a lot, but we just had to pick up the tempo and play harder.”
Harrison said West started out a little too up-tempo in falling behind 13-6 after the first quarter. The Titans missed all 11 shots from the field in the period and managed only six free throws, four from Bishop and two from Phillip Brooks.
Bishop warmed up after West slowed the game down and went more inside-out. He was 5 for 6 during the second quarter, scoring three baskets on dunks and two on put-backs. He ended the quarter with a dunk, a block inside on CBC’s Darius Dorsey and a slam off a nice assist from Anthony Sirna that led to a 30-30 halftime tie.
“We just needed to execute in the half court and run our stuff,” Bishop said. “We finally figured that out and we executed. As soon as we play inside out, it always helps us.”
A 6-0 run capped by two Bishop free throws midway through the third quarter put West up for good 39-34. Rich Johnson, who finished with 17 points, hit back-to-back fast break baskets around a steal for a 47-39 lead late in the quarter.
CBC pulled back within 54-50 with a minute left in the game, but another Bishop dunk put the Titans back in control.
“He battled on the boards and they obviously emphasized guarding him too and defending him,” Harrison said. “He handled all the pressure really well.”
In other action, Lee’s Summit North center Elijah Farr handled Blue Valley big man Siler Tschirhart and led the Broncos to a 58-51 victory in one of the other six Showcase games.
The 6-8 Farr scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed six rebounds while Tschirhart, a 6-8 junior, finished with 17 points and eight boards.
Farr scored six points in a 9-0 run that put North ahead to stay 54-48 in the see-saw game. Javaunte Hawkins, who finished with 16 points, hit a three-pointer during the run. Tschirhart was scoreless as the Broncos held Blue Valley to three points over the last four minutes.
“I was really pleased that we were able to play well those last four minutes,” North coach Mike Hilbert said. “That’s been a stumbling block for us.”
West’s girls improved their record to 10-2 with a 53-37 victory over Blue Valley. Sydney Kemp scored 14 points to lead the Titans, who also got 12 points from Marissa Ritchey and 10 from Kenzie Beeler.
Lee’s Summit’s girls opened the Showcase with a 56-51 loss to St. Teresa’s Academy. Claire Lock scored 25 points for the Tigers, who led 29-26 at the half.