A high-flying dunker and a dead-eye shooter weren’t enough to get the Kansas boys or girls teams a victory in Friday night’s 20th annual Kansas vs. Missouri High School All-Star Challenge basketball games.
Zach Thornhill of St. James Academy put his dunking ability on display in the boys game and in the slam dunk contest at halftime. Thornhill’s off-the-backboard-between-the-legs won the dunking contest, and his 11 points and five rebounds in the game helped the Kansas stars stay close before falling 102-96 at Shawnee Mission South.
Thornhill, who was selected the Kansas team’s most outstanding player, scored seven of his points during a wild back-and-forth second half. His jumper in the final minute pulled Kansas within 94-93 in the final seconds before a three-pointer from Barstow’s Jacob Gilyard dashed their hopes.
Nic Slavin of Olathe South matched Thornhill’s 11 points and shared top-scoring honors with Thornhill in the game, which is presented annually by the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association. Darien Jackson of Blue Valley Northwest made three three-pointers for nine points.
Hunter Bentley of Bishop Miege showed off her shooting skills in the girls game, making six of 13 shots for 17 points in Kansas’ 56-54 loss. Bentley was selected the Kansas girls most outstanding player as she helped her team battle back from a 12-point deficit early in the third quarter. Her three-pointer late in the fourth quarter cut Kansas’ deficit to three, and she made three of four free throws in the closing seconds that kept her team within a point.
Bentley was the Kansas team’s only double-digit scorer. Azia Lynch of Blue Valley scored eight points and Terrion Moore of Leavenworth finished with seven.