High School Sports

Elijah Childs leads Missouri to sweep of Kansas in annual GKCBCA all-star basketball game

Highlights from the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association dunk contest

Missouri and Kansas high school basketball players participated in a dunk contest at halftime in the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association high school basketball game at Shawnee Mission South High School. Video by ALLISON LONG | along
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Missouri and Kansas high school basketball players participated in a dunk contest at halftime in the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association high school basketball game at Shawnee Mission South High School. Video by ALLISON LONG | along

On the back of Lee’s Summit West senior Elijah Childs, Missouri capped a sweep of the 20th Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association all-star basketball game with a 102-96 win over Kansas at Shawnee Mission South on Friday night. The girls team defeated Kansas 56-54 in the earlier matchup.

Childs, who was named Missouri’s most outstanding player, came out hot for Missouri, slamming a trio of dunks and blocking a shot —all in the first three minutes.

He took a secondary role as the high-powered game went on, giving four teammates a chance to score in double digits as well.

Kansas had gone ahead on a Tyler Geiman (Blue Valley) three-pointer but Childs’ dunk in the final 2 minutes of the game took the lead away.

Although Zach Thornhill (St. James Academy) gave Kansas a 94-93 lead on the next possession, Jacob Gilyard sparked Missouri with a personal 5-0 run for a 98-94 lead in the final minute.

“I was just trying to get any bucket I could,” Childs said. “They were letting me go in and dunk, so that’s what I was getting.”

Childs tied for the game high with 13 points and added nine rebounds and two blocks. Isaiah Burton (Raytown) also finished with 13 points. Clayton Adams (Liberty) and Arinze Mgbemena (O’Hara) scored 12 points apiece and Gilyard (Barstow) added 10.

Thornhill was named Kansas’ most outstanding player and won the halftime slam dunk with perfect scores on all four attempts.

Unlike fellow finalist Mgebemena, who tried and failed in using teammate and contestant Curtis Lewis II (Pembroke Hill) as a springboard — he fell onto Lewis without landing the shot — Thornhill was steady on his own. He didn’t employ any spin moves but went behind his back on his first attempt in the final round. For his final attempt, he took an assist off the backboard, put the ball between his legs and dunked it thunderously.

“I’ve always watched the NBA and college dunk contests and picked up off them,” Thornhill said. “…That last one I did, that was the first time I’d ever done that one.”

Thornhill scored 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting and grabbed five rebounds for Kansas. Olathe South’s Nic Slavin was 3-for-5 from three-point range and added 11 points. Darien Jackson (Blue Valley Northwest) and Mitchell Ballock (Eudora) each scored nine points, with Ballock dishing four assists and pulling down six boards.

Girls: Missouri 56, Kansas 54

Kansas attempted a comeback in the final quarter, outscoring Missouri 15-10. But for every foul Kansas drew, Missouri matched. Kansas came within a point of a tie twice in the last 1:16 but never went ahead.

Claire Rose (Grain Valley) was the final player to go to the free throw line. With Kansas trailing 55-54, Rose gave Missouri an extra point of cushion with 4.9 seconds left in the game.

Ashlyn Dotson (St. Joseph Lafayette) was named Missouri’s most outstanding player of the game after scoring nine points. She was 3-for-5 shooting, hit a three-pointer and grabbed five rebounds and blocked a shot. Tiffany Davenport (Blue Springs South) added seven points and a three-point play of her own.

Hunter Bentley (Bishop Miege) scored a game-high 17 points and was named the most outstanding player on the Kansas team after shooting 6 for 13 from the field and nabbing a pair of steals. Blue Valley’s Azia Lynch, Kansas’ second-leading scorer, added eight points.

The rosters for both games were comprised of seniors selected by the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association.

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