The way Lee’s Summit plays up-tempo basketball, a moment will come when the Tigers put together a nice spurt. Unfortunately, for Park Hill, it came at the start of the second quarter.
Holding a two-point lead early in the second quarter, Lee’s Summit scored the next 15 points. The cushion the Tigers built was enough for them to beat Park Hill 73-50 Wednesday night in the Patterson Division championship game of the William Jewell Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament at the Mabee Center.
In the four-minute stretch in the second quarter, Lee’s Summit showed why its 7-0 this season. The Tigers used a combination of outside shooting from senior guard Oliver Edwards, fast-break buckets led by senior guards Nick Larkin and Blake Spellman and stingy defense.
The 15-0 run started with Lee’s Summit ahead 17-15. Edwards drilled back-to-back three-pointers, making it 23-15. Spellman and Larkin each had a basket during the run.
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“We just move the ball, and we all get involved,” Edwards said. “It is a lot of fun. We just play together, and that’s our game.”
Edwards was red hot during the run. He scored 10 of the 15 points, helping Lee’s Summit build a 32-15 lead. The Tigers went into halftime ahead 38-21.
“We did a really good job of making it difficult for them to run offense and when they struggled, we were able to get deflections,” Lee’s Summit coach Blake Little said. “Offensively, I thought for the first time in the game we moved the ball.
“When we move the ball we are really good. When we don’t move the ball, we become pretty average pretty quick.”
Park Hill, which dropped to 5-3, came out and played better in the third quarter. Senior guard Brandon Townsell drove strong to the basket a couple of times for baskets.
Despite executing its offense at a higher level in the third quarter, all the Trojans could do was match Lee’s Summit in scoring. Both teams scored 16 points in the third quarter.
Lee’s Summit entered the fourth quarter in front 54-37. Park Hill simply couldn’t match the firepower of Spellman, Edwards and Larkin. Spellman finished with 22 points, Edwards scored 16 and Larkin added 14.
One thing Park Hill wasn’t counting on was the scoring from Lee’s Summit 6-foot-6 senior forward Isiah Sears, who knocked down two three-pointers in the first quarter and had three for the game. Sears finished with 13 points.
Patterson Division all-star team
Nick Janssen, Raymore-Peculiar, Reid Titus, Truman, Brandon Townsell, Park Hill, Isiah Sears, Lee’s Summit, Nick Larkin, Lee’s Summit. MVP: Blake Spellman, Lee’s Summit.