Tuesday, Jan. 22 2013 1:45PM
LSW fights past Hickman for championship
By Stephanie Yeagle
It was a fight all the way to the finish in the championship game between Lee’s Summit West and Columbia Hickman in the Culver’s Classic held Jan. 18 at Lee’s Summit.
But in the end, the Titans came through victorious with a 67-65 victory.
“We played well,” Lee’s Summit West sophomore guard Ryan Williams said. “We got there on defense and got stops when we needed to. We came out and played as a team. I’m happy to get it done. We had a target on our back and we had to defend it.”
Hickman didn’t make it easy for Lee’s Summit West though, battling to take a 20-18 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the fight continued with the Kewpies taking a 24-20 advantage. But Titan junior guard Monte Harrison sunk a three-pointer to close the gap to 24-23. After a Hickman basket, Williams hit a three-pointer to knot the score at 26-26. The Kewpies responded with their own three-pointer, but Williams just went back and sunk another three to keep the score tied at 29-29. Lee’s Summit West junior forward Dale Brown was fouled and hit one free throw to put the Titans up 30-29 at halftime.
“They hit one, so I came down and hit one,” Williams said of his threes. “They went and hit another one and I had to come down and match it. It was close to half and it was a boost to halftime so we could come out and keep playing.”
The Titans revved up their defense in the third quarter, outscoring Hickman 21-19 to take a 51-48 advantage.
“Defensive rebounding, that’s the main thing,” Harrison said. “You can score points, but you can’t win games, that’s not really what it comes down to. But if you play defense, you are going to win games all the time.”
But in the start of the fourth quarter, Hickman hit a three-pointer to tie the score at 51-51. Sophomore guard Jared Dixon hit a basket, but the Kewpies sunk another three to take a 54-53 advantage. The Titans battled back with a basket from Harrison and two free throws from junior guard Thomas Ganaden, but once again Hickman tied things up with a three-pointer to make the score 57-57.
“I think we need to keep our energy up,” Harrison said. “Teams can roll on us when we get down on ourselves, but not if we keep our energy up.”
The score was tied again at 59-59 before senior forward Trevor Gregory and Williams both made a basket to give Lee’s Summit West a 64-59 advantage with less than a minute left to go. Hickman fouled the Titans to get back possession with both Dixon and Williams hitting free throws to make the score 66-61 with less than 15 seconds left in the game.
The Kewpies hit a basket and fouled Dixon, who sunk a free throw to make the score 67-63. Hickman shot a basket at the buzzer for the final score.
“It was a heck of a basketball game,” Lee’s Summit West coach Michael Schieber said. “It really was. We were hoping to just make one more play tonight and win. There were no losers on that court. There was a lot of heart and a lot of guts. Everybody left it out there tonight and I’m proud of my kids.”
The Titans were led in scoring by Dixon with 16 points and by Harrison with 15 points. Williams added 12 points and Ganaden had 10 points. Gary Davis and Brown both had five points and Gregory had four points. Harrison and Lee’s Summit North’s Tyler Anderson were both named to the all-tournament team.
“You don’t win tournaments like this without teams producing,” Schieber said. “We have had different guys produce in different games. I just thought tonight, it was a tremendous, tremendous effort. They (Hickman) are a really, really good basketball team.”
Lee’s Summit West, 12-2, won the Culver’s Classic for the second year in a row, a big win before starting conference play this week.
“It was a big win,” Williams said. “...It’s a boost and we get a break. Starting back on Monday, we have to come out to play and get better and go to practice.”