A light 7 a.m. practice wasn’t enough to wake up the Hogan Prep Rams on Saturday morning. The first half of their 9 a.m. game against Shawnee Mission West at the Hy-Vee Shootout wasn’t much of a wake-up call either.
“I think the team was sleepy. We had to wake up. The coaches were yelling at us at halftime, hitting the walls and kicking stuff,” Hogan Prep senior Tyus Frank said.
The Rams received the message and came out with enough energy to rally from a 10-point deficit for a 60-58 win at Avila University’s Mabee Fieldhouse.
Hogan Prep, 7-4, willed its way back into the game by turning up the heat on the press. The 10-point deficit early in the third quarter turned into a two-point lead just 6 minutes later.
The Rams’ press led to turnovers, which led to easy baskets. Once it was rolling, Shawnee Mission West, 3-2, had no answer.
“That’s our bread and butter. It gets us going every game,” Frank said. “When Daron (Davis) got the dunk, that’s when we started playing faster.”
Only four Rams, Davis (18) Frank (17), Daveon Farley (14) and Damien Daniels (11) scored. Coach Rob Heitman would’ve liked to see a bit more balance, but he’ll take the result.
“Four guys scoring is not a recipe for success, but we’ve played 11 games before Christmas, probably more than anyone else in the city,” Heitman said. “We’ve rattled off four straight wins in a row… we’re still trying to find our way, but they gave coach a Christmas present today.”
Shawnee Mission West was led by 17 points from Tyriq Gunnels.
“We just didn’t do the little things very well. That’s what we talked about, just a little bit of toughness. I love our guys, but we’ve got a lot to work on,” Vikings coach Ryan Darst said.
Rockhurst 51, Blue Valley Northwest 30
Five minutes of the third quarter had elapsed before Rockhurst coach Pete Campbell looked up and noticed that his team had yet to allow a point in the second half.
The Hawklets held Northwest without a point for a 10-minute stretch in the second and third quarters and cruised to an easy victory.
Rockhurst held Northwest to just 23 percent shooting from the field.
“I’m ecstatic with the way we played defense. We had two good shooting nights the first two games, and the next three we had poor shooting nights,” Campbell said. “I told them, playing defense isn’t a bad night or a good night. Playing defense is a matter of heart and want-to.”
The Hawklets, 3-3, got 15 points from Cartier Dean, and nine from Adam Bowers.
Northwest was led by Joseph Pleasant’s eight points and seven from A.J. Pleasant.
Blue Valley North 71, Central 45
Blue Valley North had battled the flu all week. The Mustangs took out their frustration on Central, jumping to a 15-0 lead and rolling to the victory.
“We told the guys the first few minutes are going to be crucial for us,” North coach Ryan Phifer said. “We really think Center is a good team. They get after it with their press and that’s a lot different style than we’re normally used to playing. We tried to simulate that the last few days as much as possible.”
North senior Cooper Cook could not be contained, finishing with 33 points and 14 rebounds. Miles Emery finished with 13 points.
“Cooper is our catalyst. He makes our team go. He scores inside and out at such an efficient rate,” Phifer said. “Our guys feed off of that. We’ve got a lot of guys who are capable of playing and contributing a lot.”
Center was led by 10 points from Angelo Allegri.
Leavenworth girls 73, Blue Valley North 17
Leavenworth finished the 2014 portion of its schedule in strong fashion by cruising past Blue Valley North.
Eleven different Pioneer players scored, led by 20 points from Alicia Brown and 12 from Destinee Robinson.
“We talked about bringing intensity the whole time, working on our defense and things like that. Our girls came out and played the whole time, and it was a really good thing to see,” Leavenworth coach Jordan Mellott said. “We got all 11 girls in, so that was good.”
Blue Valley North was led by 11 points from Jordan Fritz.