For the second time in about 16 hours, the Lee’s Summit boys basketball team tried to fight, claw and rally its way to a victory in the Missouri Class 5 state tournament on Friday.
The Tigers battled down the stretch, and as was the case on Thursday night in the semifinals, they lost in the third-place game at Mizzou Arena.
Third-place final score: St. Louis University 70, Lee’s Summit 67.
It was the Tigers’ second consecutive loss after entering the semifinals with a 29-0 record.
Friday’s third-place game was tied 49-49 after three quarters, and Delshaun Presley’s basket at the start of the fourth period gave Lee’s Summit its final lead. A few minutes later, Somaj Brewer drove to the basket and scored, closing Lee’s Summit’s deficit to 1, 57-56, with 5:14 left.
After four SLU free throws and a three-pointer during the next minute, SLU’s lead was back up 64-56 with 4:14 left.
Still, Lee’s Summit would make one final push.
Trailing 70-64 with 30 seconds left, Lee’s Summit’s Blake Spellman hit a three-pointer, then SLU’s Micheal Sanders missed a free throw with 16.1 seconds remaining. Lee’s Summit got off two three-point attempts in the final seconds, but both were off the mark.
“It takes a lot out of you as a team” said Lee’s Summit coach Blake Little about the Tigers having to battle back in two straight games. “Our kids played hard today. I felt like we were just a step slow. That’s not usually the case.”
Isiah Sears led Lee’s Summit with 17 points, and Spellman, who had a shadow everywhere he went in SLU’s David Jackson down the stretch, added 12 points.
Five SLU players scored in double figures, led by Brandon Mckissic’s 16 points.