Throughout the Nelson Division championship game, Lee’s Summit West hurt Blue Springs South with the inside play of 6-foot-7 junior forward Elijah Childs. Sophomore guard Phillip Brooks added a nice outside touch in the fourth quarter.
Consecutive three-pointers by Brooks midway through the fourth quarter staked Lee’s Summit West to a 15-point lead and well on the way to handing Blue Springs South its first loss of the season.
Lee’s Summit West turned in a team effort to beat Blue Springs South 70-55 Wednesday evening at the William Jewell Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament at the Mabee Center. Lee’s Summit West improved to 6-2, and Blue Springs South dropped to 8-1.
“It means a lot,” Brooks said. “Last year we actually lost to them by 20, so it was a statement game, letting them know that won’t happen again.”
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The Titans established an inside game by repeatedly going to Childs in the first quarter. He responded with five points.
Perhaps the biggest points in the first quarter came at the buzzer, when sophomore guard Mario Goodrich banked in a half-court three-pointer that gave Lee’s Summit West a 17-12 lead.
Behind the guard play of Brooks and Goodrich, the Titans kept pushing the ball up court, and that led to some layups in the second quarter.
The Titans continued to play the same way in the third quarter. They pushed the ball and when Blue Springs South was back on defense, Lee’s Summit West moved the ball around and eventually the ball got into the hands of Childs. Brooks, Childs and Goodrich each scored 17 points.
“The biggest thing is you can’t be great offensively every night,” Blue Springs South coach Jimmy Cain said. “We have been good offensively in eight out of our nine games. Tonight we weren’t, and we weren’t very good defensively. That is something we got to get better at.”
The Titans entered the fourth quarter ahead 42-33 and a few minutes into the fourth quarter, Brooks put the Jaguars away with his two three-point daggers that gave the Titans a 52-37 lead.
“It was good because we knew they were going to make plays to come back,” Brooks said. “I’m glad my teammates got me open so I could knock down the shots.”
Childs was selected the division’s MVP and the all-tournament team included Goodrich, Jaiden Bristol of St. Joseph Central, Dezmond McDaniel of O’Hara and Briley Moore-McKinney and KJ Robinson of Blue Springs South.