Park Hill's Ronnie Bell had a message for fellow Northlander Jalen Lewis to start the second quarter of Friday’s Kansas vs. Missouri High School All-Star Classic.
“Seriously, I’m going to set a screen for you,” Bell said. “And if you don’t shoot it, I’m gonna be mad.”
That particular play didn’t work out, but Bell knew what he was talking about.
Lewis, who goes to Liberty High, soon started splashing three-pointers all over the Mabee Fieldhouse court at Avila University, leading the Missouri All-Stars to a 114-92 victory.
Lewis finished with 27 points on nine three-pointers (none of them within spitting distance of the three-point line) and won the Missouri Most Outstanding Player award.
In a game that featured no fewer than 12 high-flying athletes, the crowd was calling for Lewis to shoot by the time the fourth quarter came around.
“It’s awesome," Lewis said. "I’ve known a lot of these guys for a long time. For them to have the confidence in me to come out here and shoot it, even though they have all the athletic ability, is awesome. It’s special.”
It was Lewis’ range that won the crowd.
“Being able to do that throughout the course of the high school season was big for me,” Lewis said. “It really gets me going.”
The only other drama was deciding the winner of the halftime dunk contest, which came down to Oak Park’s Ochai Agbaji, the DiRenna winner, and Bell, who won the Simone Award.
Bell took home an — ahem — controversial victory by a point.
“Oh, I really won,” Agbaji said as Bell was within earshot. “He knows it, too.”
“I mean, I understand that he can jump a little higher than me,” Bell said with a grin.
Agbaji, who recently signed to play basketball at Kansas, still managed to put on a show, both in the game and in the dunk contest.
“It seems like I’m always competing against him. It’s always fun to see what he has new, and what I have new,” Agbaji said. “I’ve played against these guys for years, and to come out here and compete with them, it was fun.”
Schlage’s Tyon Gant-Foster won the Kansas Most Outstanding Player. He scored 15 points in the game.
Missouri girls 66, Kansas 63, OT
All-star games are all fun and games — unless the score gets close in the fourth quarter.
The last few minutes — and overtime — of Friday’s game took on a spirited air. And in anti-all-star game fashion, it was a steal and pair of free throws from Mid-Buchanan’s Jill Rumpf that sealed the victory for the Missouri All-Stars.
Kansas nearly sent it to a second overtime. St. Thomas Aquinas’ Sereena Weledji corralled a long inbounds pass with 2 seconds left and hoisted a 25-footer for the tie, but the shot was just short.
“It was a lot at one time. Last-second shots are always like that,” Weledji said. “But it was a good game. It was fun.”
Missouri was in position to win at the regulation buzzer, but Kinly Grubb’s last-second layup wouldn’t fall.
“It should’ve came to me, but it went to Kinly,” Notre Dame de Sion’s Amaya Adams said with a grin. “But this was so fun. You come out here and play with your best friends, and if you win, you win. If you lose, it doesn’t matter.”
St. Joseph Lafayette’s Tray Byrd scored 15 and won Most Outstanding Player for the Missouri side. The Kansas Most Outstanding Player was Lawrence’s E’lease Stafford, who scored 12 points.