It’s almost always a dogfight when Lee’s Summit West and Lee’s Summit North square off. Add in a full house and a district title on the line, and it becomes a backyard brawl.
Lee’s Summit West jumped ahead early and never trailed, but the Titans still had to hang on for three quarters until they could pull away for a 71-57 victory in the Missouri Class 5 District 13 final in front of a packed house at Lee’s Summit High School.
“This time of the year, when you’re ending people’s seasons, they’re gonna fight,” LS West coach Michael Schieber said. “I thought we weathered a lot of storms tonight. We played through a lot of adversity tonight.”
That adversity included playing much of the game without junior guard Mario Goodrich, a main spark on the Titans’ offense, who limped off the court after apparently injuring an ankle just before halftime. LS West led 35-27 at the half, but LS North battled back and cut the deficit to 47-43 by the end of the third quarter.
But the Titans went back to what they do best in the fourth quarter: scoring in transition and getting the ball inside to big men Elijah Childs and Christian Bishop. Bishop, who led the Titans with 18 points, scored on an alley-oop slam to start the quarter, and scored seven points during a 12-0 run that put the Titans up 66-50 with 1:03 left.
That was also about the time LS North’s Elijah Farr and LS West’s C.J. May exchanged words and shoves, leading to two fouls and two technicals in the highly-charged game.
“It was just a dogfight the entire game,” Bishop said. “We just had to power through and play with it.”
Logan Jenkins and Emil Spriggs scored 11 points each to lead LS North. The Broncos, who rely heavily on three-pointers, made only five three-point baskets against the Titans.
Lee’s Summit girls 35, Belton 33
If Lee’s Summit was going to win, Jessica Crawford felt the Tigers were going to have to win a defensive battle.
And that’s just what they did in the girls Missouri Class 5 District 13 final.
Lee’s Summit focused on stopping Belton’s Courtnie Lewis, the 5-11 senior forward who came into the game averaging over 22 points a game. Against the Tigers, and with point guard Paige Elston guarding her most of the game, Lewis managed only six points.
“Paige Elston’s job today was to shut her down,” Crawford said of Belton’s Lewis. “And she definitely did her job tonight.”
Lee’s Summit held Lewis to two points over the first half, so Belton had to look for its points elsewhere. The Pirates found them in Sydney Bandy, who hit three three-pointers, the second of which gave them their first lead at 9-8 early in the second quarter. Her third three ended a 7-0 run and put Belton up 16-10 before Lee’s Summit came back to tie it 18-18 at the half.
Lee’s Summit led 28-23 after the third quarter, and the teams swapped leads until a three-pointer by Claire Lock put the Tigers up for good 33-31 with 2:03 to play. Lee’s Summit missed the front end of two one-and-ones and made only 2 of 9 free throws from that point, but Belton couldn’t get untracked against the Tigers.
Lock led Lee’s Summit with 12 points. Belton, which upset undefeated Lee’s Summit North 47-46 in the semifinals, was led by Bandy with 11 points.