Liberty North’s boys don’t expect to win a lot of games when All-State senior forward Brinkley Jolly doesn’t score.
However the Eagles did just that Friday, defeating St. Thomas Aquinas 43-31 in the Hy-Vee Shootout at Avila University. Liberty North improved to 5-2 with the victory, while the Saints dropped to 1-3.
“It means we have depth,” junior guard Brian Sharp said. “Brinkley is our biggest player and our returning all-stater, but if he’s having an off-night we have guys that can step up and do the job.”
The Eagles finished with three players in double figures, led by Sharp who scored 14 points. Senior guard Ian Sanderford followed with 13, and sophomore forward Michael Hughes added 11, as well as a team-high nine rebounds.
The teams were tied at 13-13 at the end of the first quarter, and Aquinas scored seven straight points to take its largest lead of the game shortly after that. The Eagles found themselves trailing by five points at halftime for the second straight game but responded in a big way in the second half, outscoring Aquinas 26-9 after the break.
“We were true to who we were, system-of-playwise,” Liberty North head coach Chris McCabe said. “We were really solid defensively. We contested every shot, made them shoot over us, made them try to drive into us — where in the first half we had some breakdowns that allowed them to be in a favorable spot.”
Aquinas shot just 17 percent from the field in the second half, after 45 percent in the first half, and recorded three field goals. Junior guard James Pyle led the Saints with nine points.
Liberty North shot 47 percent in the second half and finished with 10 assists on 15 field goals in the game.
Bishop Miege 54, Fremont (Neb.) 53
The Bishop Miege girls struggled to contain Fremont junior forward Jessica Shepard, who finished with 40 points and 12 rebounds, but emerged victorious Thursday night.
Shepard, who is committed to play at Nebraska, came into the game averaging 33.5 points and 17 rebounds per game. She posted 23 of Fremont’s 27 points in the first half, but Miege hung in, trailing by just one basket at the break.
The ball was back in Shepard’s hands with 3 seconds on the clock, but she slipped on the left sideline and turned it over.
Sophomore guard Tristen McFeders and freshman guard Hunter Bentley led the Stags with 19 and 16 points respectively.
Sumner Academy 71, Hogan Prep 48
Sophomore forward Derek Sykes scored 26 points as the Sumner Academy boys defeated Hogan Prep .
Sumner jumped out to an early 16-6 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The Sabres led by as many as 28 points in the fourth quarter and improved to 2-3 with the victory. The Rams dropped to 4-6.
Senior forward Deomonte Sykes joined Derek in double figures finishing with 10 points and tied for a team-high eight rebounds with senior forward Dairionn Billberry.
The Sabres shot 44 percent in the game and held the Rams to 39 percent with 26 turnovers. Junior forward Tyus Franks led the Rams with 11 points and five rebounds.
Center 87, Washington 73
Senior guard Quincey Butler led Center’s boys with 22 points and five assists on Thursday night as they defeated Washington in an actual shootout.
Center senior forward Trevon Wilson turned in a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and sophomore guard Alli Ragsdale-Colbert added 16 points. Center improved to 5-3 with the victory while Washington dropped to 2-2.
The lead changed nine times before Center settled in for a double digit lead in the second quarter. The Yellow Jackets shot 49 percent from the field and held the Wildcats to 39 percent while outrebounding them 37-31.
Three Wildcats finished in double figures led by senior guard Jeremee Bennett who scored 22 points. Junior forward Kalem Harrison followed with 14 and senior forward Sakair Love had 11.