The highlight of the game belonged to Blue Valley Northwest junior Darien Jackson, and even his coach accepted this as fact.
Except they disagreed on that exact highlight.
Jackson punctuated a 70-51 win against Wichita South in the Class 6A quarterfinals on Thursday at Charles Koch Arena with an alley-oop and two blocked shots.
He opted for the alley-oop as his favorite play. His coach picked the blocks — where on each occasion he ran the length of the floor and stopped fastbreak layups.
“I’ll take the alley-oop,” Jackson said. “That was really exciting. It got the whole energy up for all of us.”
Jackson was one of four players in double figures for Blue Valley Northwest, finishing with 15 points. Joseph Pleasant had 16.
Shawnee Mission North 55, Wichita East 52
As he stood and watched his team warm up late Thursday, the only worry Shawnee Mission North coach Steve Stitzer had was how his team would respond to sitting around and waiting.
The Indians managed it just fine.
SM North held off Wichita East in the nightcap for a 55-52 win in the quarterfinals.
Shawnee Mission North, 19-4, will play Blue Valley Northwest in the semifinals on Friday at 8:15 p.m.
The Indians led by 15 points in the fourth quarter before Wichita East cut the margin to one point with 1:10 left in the game.
The Weathers brothers again led the way for SM North. Michael Weathers scored 24 points, and Marcus Weathers had 21.
“I think we got a little rattled at the end,” senior Michael Weathers said. “We can treat that as a learning experience. You can’t come to state and expect an easy game. There are no easy games here.”
Lawrence 55, Dodge City 46
The shots flew from behind the three-point arc. A few of them traveled from several feet beyond it. And they weren’t falling.
So Lawrence senior Price Morgan tried another approach.
Against an extended zone defense, Morgan found the pockets on the interior. He picked apart Dodge City for 22 points and led top-seeded Lawrence to a 55-46 win in the 6A quarterfinals.
“Early on, we were jacking deep shots that they wanted us to take,” said Morgan, who made 8 of his 9 field-goal attempts. “When we did a better job with our shot selection, that’s when they started falling.”
Lawrence, 21-2, made only 3 of 15 three-point attempts, but it attempted 12 from long distance in the first half and only three after halftime.
Justin Roberts finished with 18 points for the Chesty Lions.
Lawrence will play No. 4 seed Wichita Southeast in the semifinals at 4:45 Friday.
Wichita Southeast 78, Olathe East 61
A deflection off the opening tip landed in the hands of Wichita Southeast guard Jerrick Harding, and 7 seconds later, he drained a three-pointer for his first points of the game.
The first of many.
Harding scored 42 points in a 78-61 win against Olathe East on Thursday.
That was more than enough to offset the double-double from Olathe East senior Josiah Talbert, who had 20 points and 12 rebounds.
“We had a really bad first quarter, which kind of set the tone of the rest of the game,” Talbert said. “They came out ready to play, and we didn’t.”
Cedric Roland also posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds for Olathe East, which finished 18-5.