On the western side of Missouri, the road to the boys Class 5 state tournament in Columbia goes through Lee’s Summit via the Independence Events Center.
Lee’s Summit made it possible with its 67-58 victory over Fort Osage on Wednesday evening in the Class 5 sectional. Early in the day, Lee’s Summit West defeated Park Hill.
So the city showdown will take place 2:45 p.m. Saturday.
This game will be emotional for Lee’s Summit’s first-year coach Blake Little, who still teaches at Lee’s Summit West and coached many of the players on that team in junior varsity.
“For me it is going to be unbelievably difficult,” Little said. “We have a dream we want to achieve and a dream we worked hard to achieve. I know they have, too. The hard thing is I coached all those kids. Everyone of those kids played for me in JV. I love those kids. That coaching staff over there are my best friends, besides the ones I’m with here.”
Lee’s Summit, which improved to 21-7, looked in championship form against a gritty Fort Osage team.
The Tigers scored the first 10 points of the game and never trailed. But they led only 30-26 at halftime and 45-40 after three quarters.
Fort Osage had trouble keeping pace with the scoring of Lee’s Summit junior Drew Lock in the second half. Lock scored 10 points in the third quarter and 10 more in the fourth quarter to finish with 29.
“Drew does a really good job of involving his teammates early, and that is when we are best,” Little said. “We are at our best when Drew has 20 and the rest of the team contributes.
“The second half he had to take over for us because we got into a funk. He really came through.”
It was more than the Lock show though. The Tigers worked the clock to perfection near the end of the second quarter and scored a three-pointer by Blake Spellman to give them a four-point halftime lead.
Lee’s Summit got a three-pointer from Lock near the end of the third quarter for a five-point lead.
The Tigers put the game away in the fourth by making all 12 of their free throws.Lee’s Summit North 55, Truman girls 53
Lee’s Summit North showed why regular season games and records become meaningless in postseason play.
The Broncos avenged two, regular-season losses to Truman in the girls Class 5 sectional. It was just Truman’s second loss of the season in 27 games.
“Truman is an excellent team,” said Lee’s Summit North senior guard Erica Nelson. “They are probably our biggest rival. It is tough going out there and beating them.
“I think we mentally prepared ourselves and our game plan was just outstanding.”
Lee’s Summit North, 22-5, advanced to the quarterfinals and will play North Kansas City at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Lee’s Summit North trailed 9-4 after one quarter and then played at another level in the second and third periods, and in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
“I think we were all a little scared to play out here in front of all these people,” Nelson said of her team’s slow start.
The Broncos played tough defense, shutting down Truman’s inside game and used crisp passing for open looks inside. Imani Johnson, Stevie Anderson and Aaliyah Johnson benefited from the nice passes.
“We got the nerves out, and now we can actually play the basketball we learned how to play,” Nelson said.
The Broncos went into halftime ahead 21-18 and led 32-30 after the third quarter. They scored the first eight points in the fourth quarter for a 40-30 lead. Truman spent the last 5 minutes trying to catch up.
“This time of year, teams guard you and you have to hit shots under pressure,” Truman coach Steve Cassity said. “Bottom line: we just didn’t play well enough to win.”Lee’s Summit West 70, Park Hill boys 40
Lee’s Summit West bolted to a 10 point lead in the first quarter and never let up in its victory over Park Hill in a Missouri boys Class 5 sectional.
By halftime, the Titans held a 38-19 lead, putting an end to Park Hill’s Cinderella run. Park Hill finished 14-14.
Lee’s Summit West improved to 25-3 and will play at 2:45 p.m. Saturday for the right to go to the Missouri Class 5 state tournament in Columbia.
The Titans were led by junior guard Gary Davis, who scored 16 points. Junior Jarred Dixon had 15 points and senior Monte Harrison added 13.
For Park Hill, Deionte Wilson scored 16 and junior Landry Shamet added 14.North KC girls 50, Lee’s Summit West 42
The first basket by North Kansas City girls’ team was a three-pointer. It was a sign of good things to come for the Hornets.
The shot by Kianna Lane erased North Kansas City’s only deficit of the game, propelling it to victory.
After Lane’s three gave North Kansas City a 3-1 lead, another sophomore found the range from behind the arc. Selena Salas made three, three-pointers. Her final one at the start of the fourth quarter gave the Hornets a 41-29 lead. North Kansas City finished the game with eight three-pointers.
“The three-pointers helped a lot,” Salas said. “We set good screens and we got open shots and made them. It definitely gave us confidence. They started to miss and when we made them, it gave us more confidence.”
Lee’s Summit West fought back and closed to 46-40 late in the fourth quarter. Solid free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter by North Kansas City prevented the Titans from getting closer. The Hornets went seven for eight from the line in the final period.
North Kansas City senior Aries Washington led the way with 19 points.