Lee’s Summit went into halftime with an 11-point lead, grew it to 14 and appeared to be in control against Springfield Kickapoo. But before the third quarter ended, the Tigers fell behind by a point.
Lee’s Summit quickly regrouped, took a three-point lead into the fourth quarter and then put together a quick spurt for a nine-point lead. It was enough for the Tigers to finish off Kickapoo 91-84 Saturday evening in the inaugural 810 Varsity’s Best of The Midwest Showcase Classic at Municipal Auditorium.
It was a nice test for Lee’s Summit, which improved to 12-5. The Tigers handed Kickapoo just its third loss in 19 games this season.
“This gives us a huge confidence booster, playing a great team like that and coming out as a winner,” Lee’s Summit junior Blake Spellman said.
When Lee’s Summit held a 52-38 lead early in the third quarter, the Tigers put it in cruise control, and that allowed the Chiefs to move in front 57-56.
Lee’s Summit went right back ahead 59-57 on a three-pointer by Spellman. The Tigers concluded the quarter with a bucket by senior Drew Lock, making it 61-58.
“We knew we had to come out in the fourth quarter and produce,” Lock said. “We weren’t going to lose this game.”
Lock was fired up early in the fourth quarter. He made two field goals and then showed off his right arm, which any top high school quarterback would be envious of. His pass landed in Spellman’s hands and he converted the layup, putting Lee’s Summit up 69-58.
“He actually does play quarterback,” said Spellman, joking about Lock’s other sport. “It was a beautiful pass.”
Lock will sign a national letter of intent to play football at Missouri on Wednesday on national signing day. He played well Saturday on the hardwood, but so did Spellman.
Thanks to some accurate free-throw shooting by Spellman over the next few minutes, Kickapoo had trouble making one last run. Spellman finished with 23 points.
Lock turned in another stellar performance, scoring a game-high 27 points.
“The ball has been falling in the hole pretty well for us,” Lock said. “We are not going to take that for granted.”
Blue Springs South 75, Webster Groves 62
Blue Springs South made it clear in its 75-62 victory over Webster Groves that it is having a special season.
A day after beating their cross-town rival Blue Springs, the Jaguars, ranked No. 2 in Missouri Class 5, remained undefeated by knocking off the No. 3 ranked team in Missouri Class 5.
Blue Springs South, 17-0, knew it was in a battle and trailed 22-16 after the first quarter. Behind the play of senior Kevin Puryear, the Jaguars took their game to another level in the second quarter.
Propelled by Puryear’s 12 points in the second quarter, Blue Springs South scored 25 points and went into halftime ahead 41-36. Puryear finished with 27.
In the third quarter, junior KJ Robinson took over, scoring eight points and sending the Jaguars into the fourth with a 59-48 lead. Robinson scored 23.
Olathe North 50, LS North 39
Olathe North won the first game of the day.
The Eagles scored the first 10 points on the way to a 50-39 victory in the first of eight high school games featuring teams from Kansas City, Columbia, St. Louis and even as far away as Sioux City, Iowa.
It marked the first time since 2001 that a high school regular-season basketball was played at Municipal Auditorium.
“It was an awesome experience,” Olathe North junior Danny Baker said. “Because of all the history, you want to play well.”
Baker certainly showed he liked the arena, stroking a three-pointer early in the game that gave the Eagles a 5-0 lead.
Junior Alonzo Williams also found Municipal to his liking. He followed Baker’s three-pointer with a field goal and then a three-point play that pushed Olathe North’s lead to 10-0.
“Before the game, we were in the huddle talking about intensity,” said Baker, who finished with 15 points. “It is what we emphasized the whole game. We had to provide our energy. We attacked on offense. We got them down pretty good.”
Baker and Williams combined for 17 points in the first quarter, staking the Eagles to a 21-10 lead.
Olathe North continued to roll in the second quarter and went into halftime ahead 34-14.
Three three-pointers by Lee’s Summit North junior Jacob Riley in the third quarter helped Lee’s Summit North close to 37-27 late in the quarter. But the Broncos had too big of a deficit to dig out of.
“We wanted to jump on them immediately,” said Williams, who finished with 14 points. “We kind of slacked off in the second half.”
St. James girls 39, Smithville 34
St. James freshman Mary Goetz came off the bench and helped spark a come-from-behind victory over Smithville. Afterward, she showed veteran insight in describing the victory.
“It wasn’t all me,” Goetz said. “We all played a great game. Age doesn’t really matter. It is all about how we work together. It is all about the teamwork.”
Goetz scored all six of her points in the fourth quarter and one of her field goals gave St. James its first lead of the game at 33-32 with 5 minutes left.
Smithville went back in front on a field goal by sophomore Trace Mosby. The Thunder regained the lead on a three-point play by junior Kayla Staley, and then Goetz solidified the lead with another basket, making it 38-34 with less than 2 minutes left.
“The key was keeping our heads and staying in control,” said Goetz, whose team improved to 7-7. “We all play with such passion. We really wanted this game. We brought our best, and our best was enough.”
Smithville, which dropped to 14-4, led 11-4 during the first quarter and entered the last quarter with a 32-27 lead. But the only two points for the Warriors in the fourth quarter, came from Mosby, who finished with a game-high 16 points.
Gardner Edgerton 75, Liberty 67
An up-tempo first quarter allowed Gardner Edgerton to jump to a 20-9 lead. Liberty played catch-up the rest of the game and never did get even, despite getting 12 points in the final quarter from freshman Jalen Lewis.
Senior forward Kyle Hultgren played well throughout the Trailblazers’ victory. Hultgren scored six in the first quarter, eight more in the second quarter and finished with 25.
Senior Matt Alvey led Liberty with 24 points. Lewis added 23.
Lawrence Free State 60, Lansing 46
Lawrence Free State used the quickness of junior Hunter Gudde in its transition game and the long-ranging shooting of sophomore of Sloan Thomsen in the second quarter in getting by Lansing.
In the first quarter, Gudde raced quickly down court and scored layups in transition. His seven points helped the Firebirds take a 15-13 lead into the second quarter.
Thomsen got on the score sheet in a big way in the second quarter, drilling four three-pointers that helped send Free State into halftime with a commanding 36-23 lead.
“We played good transition and moved the ball well,” Thomsen said.
Gudde led Free State with 22 points, and Thomsen added 15, all coming on three-pointers.
Lansing had its three-point shooters, too. Junior Sam Lorenzen knocked down four three-pointers and finished with 14.
CBC 63, BV Northwest 37
A second before the halftime buzzer, Christian Brothers College junior Jordan Barnes made the shot of the day when he launched the ball near the sideline at least 5 feet before halfcourt, and the ball swished through the net.
The spectacular three-pointer gave CBC, the Missouri defending Class 5 champions, a four-point halftime lead and ignited the Cadets to the victory over Blue Valley Northwest, the Kansas defending 6A champions.
“It felt good as soon as I let it go,” said Barnes, who finished with 11 points. “The shot gave me a lot of adrenaline. I came out in the second half and felt like all my shots were going to start falling.”
It was a close game throughout the first half. The three-pointer by Barnes just before halftime gave the Cadets a 27-23 lead.
“It gave us a lot of energy going into halftime,” Barnes said. “I think it really sparked our second half.”
Sioux City North 69, Columbia Hickman 64
The double-digit lead Sioux City held at halftime and midway through the third quarter almost turned out to be not enough against Columbia Hickman.
Hickman closed to 65-64 with 1 minute, 28 seconds left. But in the last minute, Sioux City North put the game away at the free-throw line. With 42 seconds left, junior Robert Neustrom made two free throws that gave the Stars a three-point.
And in the final second, senior Daniel Tillo sealed his sensational 30-point game with two more free throws.