Just how good is Lee’s Summit West right now?
Try scary good. And an even more frightening thought for Suburban Conference teams is that the Titans believe they can get better.
It’s hard to see where they could improve after Jan. 28, when West carved up Truman 81-44 on its home floor. The Titans would certainly be hard pressed to improve on a first-quarter onslaught in which they fast-breaked and dunked their way to a 31-9 lead.
“It’s up there,” West coach Michael Schieber said after being asked if that was the best quarter his 13-2 team had played this season. “Hopefully we’ll have more quarters like that if we progress through the season.”
This one will be hard to duplicate, even with a player like Monte Harrison on the court. Harrison put on a high-flying show, scoring 21 points on nine-for-11 shooting, grabbing eight rebounds and slamming home four jaw-dropping dunks. Harrison had 15 of his points during the opening quarter and sat out much of the second half while the game got out of hand.
“It was just one of those nights where I was making buckets,” Harrison said. “My teammates were feeding me the ball and I would do the same for them.”
West wasted little time taking control. The Titans’ quickness produced a slew of Truman turnovers, which fueled West’s transition game. Harrison scored the first two baskets, his second on slam set up by a turnover. He had two dunks in the first three minutes. That led to a 13-3 run over the first four minutes, and the rout was on.
West led 50-19 by halftime and 70-34 by the time Schieber emptied his bench early in the fourth quarter.
“We got off to a really good start defensively, that’s a big thing for us,” Schieber said. “That gave us some transition opportunities that we were able to finish. It was just one of those nights where every thing goes right.”
While it may have been a highlight reel night for Harrison, he wasn’t the only Titan to have a big game. Dale Brown muscled his way to 13 points and 10 rebounds, Gary Davis contributed 11 points, eight assists, six rebounds and six steals while Jarred Dixon and Richard Dunn also scored 11 points apiece.
“I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again, we’ve got some kids that make me look real smart,” Schieber said. “They do a tremendous job of getting up for every game and staying focused.”
How focused is West right now? Consider this: Since losing to Blue Valley Northwest 68-63 at the Hy-Vee Classic Jan. 11, the Titans have reeled off five straight wins with an average margin of victory of 26.6 points. Schieber hopes his team can maintain that focus, even on nights when things don’t go so smoothly.
“It’s easy to play hard when everything goes right,” he said. “Hopefully we’ve put ourselves in enough hostile situations where everything doesn’t go our way that we will still have that mental toughness.”
Which means the Titans may not be done improving.
“Oh we can get a lot better,” Harrison said. “We want to peak at the end of the season when it really matters.”