As his shot slipped through the net, Shawnee Mission North senior Marcus Weathers turned to the student section and flexed his arm muscles. An old-fashioned three-point play had pulled the Indians even.
Sixty-three seconds later, his twin brother, Michael, rehashed the sequence. The three-point play. The flexing. Except his play put the Indians in front. For good.
Shawnee Mission North defeated Blue Valley Northwest 54-42 in the Kansas Class 6A state semifinals Friday at Charles Koch Arena.
“We locked down in the second half,” Shawnee Mission North coach Steve Stitzer said. “And once we spread it out on offense, our speed just killed them.”
The Indians, 20-4, will meet Wichita Southeast in the Class 6A championship game at 6:15 p.m. Saturday.
The Weathers twins led them there.
The back-to-back three-point plays ignited a game-changing third quarter for the Indians, who trailed 23-20 at halftime but led by 12 points heading into the final period.
It was a series filled with showcase plays, too.
Marcus Weathers dunked three times in the eight-minute spurt, in which Shawnee Mission North scored 23 points. Marcus had 12 of them.
“When we came in at halftime, we were down three, so basically, I told the guys (if) we build a lead on them ... they’re going to get frustrated and they’re going to start playing one-on-one ball,” Marcus said. “So we just came out and tried to stay focused and keep our energy up.”
Marcus Weathers finished with 16 points whole Michael Weathers had a game-best 23 points.
Blue Valley Northwest, 19-5, will play Lawrence in the third-place game at 2 p.m. Saturday. Joseph Pleasant led the Huskies with 15 points.
Wichita Southeast 74, Lawrence 61
The rallying cry was redemption. As the Lawrence Chesty Lions made a run to the Kansas Class 6A state tournament, they often mentioned the desire to improve on last season’s second-place finish.
But in the semifinals Friday, it was too much Jerrick Harding. And too much Israel Barnes.
The Wichita Southeast duo combined for 66 points to upset top-seeded Lawrence 74-61 at Charles Koch Arena on the Wichita State campus.
“The feeling from last year is still fresh. So this hurts,” said Lawrence senior Price Morgan, who posted a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. “It’s tough to win a state championship. We saw that last year.
“But we gave everything we had out there.”
None of it, however, provided an answer for Harding and Barnes. After scoring 42 points in the quarterfinals Thursday, Harding poured in 39 points Friday. Barnes added 27. The two combined to shoot 22 of 27 from the free-throw line.
“They can just flat-out score it,” Lawrence coach Mike Lewis said. “Defensively, you gotta be almost perfect to stop them. I thought we were pretty good on a number of possessions, but we just weren’t perfect, and it was advantage to the offense tonight.”
Even so, Lawrence managed to take a 50-47 lead into the fourth quarter. But junior Jackson Mallory fouled out with 3:09 left after scoring 17 points, and point guard Justin Roberts labored through noticeable pain after aggravating a shoulder injury late in the third quarter.
On a trip they planned to conclude with a first-place trophy, Lawrence, 21-3, will settle for the third-place game at 2 p.m. Saturday.
“Our motivation tomorrow is this is our last game together,” Roberts said. “We’ll be ready to play. Tomorrow is going to be our championship game.”