Paola had a definite advantage in the lane during its Kansas Class 4A Division I boys third-place game on Saturday.
Paola starts seniors Mason McDow and Alex Wilson — both 6-foot-7 — while 6-5 Tanner Moala comes off the bench. Andover Central, though, has no player taller than 6-3.
Yet, Andover Central outrebounded Paola 33-29 and consistently was able to drive inside the lane on the way to an 81-70 victory.
“It doesn’t take anything away from anything else,” said Paola coach Dave Cash, whose team finished 21-4. “It’s been a very successful season. We couldn’t ask anything more of our eight seniors. It just so happens we didn’t get the job done today.”
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McDow scored a game-high 26 points and had 12 rebounds, making 12-of-22 shots from the field. Paola guard Justin Criddle added 24 points, including four three-pointers.
Paola got within 70-65 when Kyle Wokutch hit a three-pointer with 2:24 left in the game. Andover Central’s Cole Taylor made six-of-six free throws in the game’s final 51 seconds.
Andover Central was led by seniors Darraja Parnell (25 points) and Jordan Birch (16).