The ball slipped through the net with 4 seconds to play, plenty of time for Christian Brothers College guard Jordan Barnes to work with. In fact, he only needed 3 seconds.
Barnes collected an inbounds pass, dribbled the length of the floor through the Lee’s Summit West defense and finished off another layup before the halftime buzzer sounded. It was the type of play Lee’s Summit West saw often this season — but rarely from an opponent.
Christian Brothers out-ran Lee’s Summit West for an 81-68 win in the Missouri Class 5 semifinals Thursday at Mizzou Arena, ending the Titans’ bid for a state championship. Lee’s Summit West will play at 12:45 p.m. Friday in the third-place game.
“It was very frustrating — they’re very quick,” Lee’s Summit West senior Thomas Ganaden said. “Whenever we would get a bucket, they would beat us down the floor and get a bucket. It was tough because they’re very good and they’re very quick.”
Too good. Too quick.
Lee’s Summit West, 26-4, which prides itself on speed and transition buckets, saw its mirror image collect 18 fast-break points. The Titans managed only four.
Barnes played his role in that.
A quick, smooth ball-handler, Barnes drove into the line at will and put up 14 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Forward Jordan Barnett, a Texas commit, added 20 points and 10 rebounds for Christian Brothers.
“When you got a kid like (Barnett) that can hit shots, and a guard that can get to the rim anytime he wants, and shooters in the corners, it’s incredibly hard (to) guard,” Lee’s Summit coach Michael Schieber said. “As disappointing as it is for us — and it is disappointing — you have to tip your cap to CBC. They’re an incredible basketball team.”
Even so, Lee’s Summit West stayed within shouting distance until the fading minutes. It led by four points in the opening quarter before Christian Brothers responded with a 12-0 burst.
The Titans never led again, but the margin was only single digits over the entire second and third quarter. Titans junior Ryan Williams made sure of that.
Williams buried six three-pointers —two of them from NBA range — to finish with 20 points despite battling an undisclosed injury. Monte Harrison added 19 points and nine rebounds.
“I think the way (Williams) played tonight says a lot about his character and the character of this team,” Schieber said.
Another test of the Titans character will come Friday when they play in the third-place game for the second time in three seasons.
“Every one one of these kids came in this season with the ultimate goal of winning a state championship. Although we fall short of that, we talked about having another opportunity to go play and get a win,” Schieber said. “We have to be mentally tough enough to battle through that. And I think these kids will come out and play well tomorrow.”