Shawnee Mission South coach Brett McFall sported a huge grin after his Raiders beat Blue Springs South 50-47 in the weather-delayed finale of the HyVee Shootout on Saturday at Avila College.
But the smile was a bit wider, the congratulatory high-fives delivered with a bit more gusto. It’s a long season, but McFall and the Raiders chose to savor this one.
“We had a big game (Friday) night against Shawnee Mission West. We didn’t play well and we found a way to win, so this was a way to come back and respond,” McFall said. “We were tired, and this is just a game where we were at a huge height disadvantage. We challenged them to win the boards, and if we outhustled and outexecuted, we could beat them. We stepped up to the challenge, and I’m so proud of them.”
Shawnee Mission South, 6-1, led by as many as 12 before Blue Springs South, 8-2, reeled off a 12-0 run — 10 of which came at the start of the third quarter.
The Jaguars took their first lead midway through the third quarter on a three-pointer by Thomas Abarca.
Shawnee Mission South junior Dainan Swoope made sure it was the Jaguars’ only lead. Swoope’s three-point play gave the Raiders the lead back.
But it was his four-point play in the last minute of the third quarter that really boosted the Raiders. Swoope was fouled at the top of the key, and watched from the ground as his three-pointer somehow climbed over the front of the rim and fell in. He finished with a game-high 21 points.
“It felt short, but it went in for me,” Swoope said with a smile. “Playing in a game like this is crazy. We knew we were undersized. We knew it was going to be a physical game. (Friday) night was a physical game. The body’s sore, but you have to fight through it.”
Blue Springs South, which got 20 points from Kevin Puryear, had a chance to tie the game after getting the ball back with 17.9 seconds left. The Jaguars didn’t generate a clean look, and a desperation three-pointer at the buzzer fell short.
It was a long way to climb after such a slow start.
“We were just more comfortable. Earlier in the game we weren’t comfortable with the ball,” Blue Springs South coach Jimmy Cain said. “Their speed bothered us. Once we slowed down and got comfortable in the game I felt like we were going to be fine, and we were.”Blue Valley Northwest 68, Lee’s Summit West 63
Blue Valley Northwest senior Clay Custer, an Iowa State commit, spent Saturday afternoon watching the Cyclones lose their first game of the season.
He spent the evening dropping 34 points on Lee’s Summit West in a hard-fought victory.
Custer was 13 of 18 from the free-throw line, and he spearheaded a team that outhustled and outworked Lee’s Summit West.
“We were super-excited to play this game the first time. We didn’t even think it was going to get (snowed) out,” Custer said. “It’s a good win against one of the best teams in Missouri. That’s always a good feeling.”
Blue Valley Northwest, 4-1, had to change its strategy a bit when 6-foot-6 forward David Salach sat most of the first half because of two quick fouls.
“We had some guys that hadn’t stepped up who really did step up tonight,” Huskies coach Ed Fritz said. “Chase Kilty and Brandon Barber and Logan Summer gave us some solid minutes, and that really helped us.”
It was a boost Blue Valley Northwest needed.
“For Logan to come in, it was huge and we started being aggressive when (Salach) went out. I tried to get to the basket and make plays for my teammates and myself,” Custer said.
Lee’s Summit West, 8-2, got 21 points from Monte Harrison and 18 from Jared Dixon. The Titans stayed within arm’s reach, but never were able to get within one possession.
“Hopefully we learned a lesson,” Lee’s Summit West coach Michael Schieber said. “We can do a lot of things really, really well, but if you have one aspect of your game that doesn’t go well, it could cost you.”