Tuesday, Jan. 15 2013 1:58PM
Too much to overcome
Raytown South pressures Lee’s Summit to loss
By Brian Spano
Special to the Journal
A pressure defense and a lot of team speed were too much for the Lee’s Summit Tigers to overcome in its 73-58 loss to Raytown South Jan. 14 in the opening round of the 38th Annual Culver’s Classic Boys Basketball Tournament at Lee’s Summit.
The Cardinals, 5-6, keyed on sophomore scoring threat Drew Lock all night and disrupted any offensive rhythm the 5-7 Tigers tried to establish. Lock finished with 13 points and six rebounds, but this was not a typical game for him.
“Their defense really disrupted our offense,” Tigers head coach Keith Miller said. “They were really physical with our guards, and that kept us from running any kind of half-court offense. They put one guy on Drew, and took him away, and he got a little impatient. These are things we have to work on and try to get better. They played really well.”
South methodically built a 10-point lead midway through the second quarter, but the Tigers began to chip away with stops on defense and hitting a few clutch shots. The lead at the intermission was five for the Cardinals.
The Tigers were even able to briefly cut the lead to four in the third quarter, but South turned up the defensive pressure even higher and began to pull away, extending the lead to eight after three quarters and then 20 before eventually winning 15.
Senior forward Matthew Crance, who got into foul trouble early, was able to help spark that rally, but knew they weren’t able to get over the hump.
“We were having trouble with the pressure they were putting on us,” he said. “That’s something we work on in practice, and it just hasn’t translated into the games yet. Hopefully, Wednesday it will be there, and we’ll learn from what happened tonight.
“They shut Drew down, and that’s something we need to recognize in the first couple minutes of the game and use him more as a decoy and not as a primary scorer, so that backdoors are open, send Drew out to the corner, have someone cut behind him. His man is going to follow him out, and it will open up shots for somebody else.”
Junior guard Tyrone Gibbs was seemingly unstoppable for the Cardinals. His physical play resulted in a game-high 20 points and nine boards. Senior guard JC Johnson added 18, included three three-point buckets.
“We’re going to have to be tougher than we were,” Miller said his team’s next game. “We have to not let the defense not dictate the offense in the half court, and we can’t have empty possessions. We had a lot of those.”
Senior forward Alex Evans went down in the second half with a leg injury. He was able to limp off the court under his own power, but grimacing in pain. He didn’t return to the game, finishing the night with eight points and five rebounds.
With the loss, the Tigers will play in the consolation bracket at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday against the Ruskin Eagles. The Cardinals move on to play the No. 2 seed Columbia-Hickman Kewpies at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinals.