As senior send-offs go, Lee’s Summit North’s was just about perfect.
The Broncos’ seven upperclassmen went out in style on Feb. 25, downing Raymore-Peculiar 56-41 on Senior Night in the Broncos gym. And all seven – from leading scorer Caleb Berry to rehabbing Matt Brumfield – got to see action in a game the Broncos dominated down the stretch.
“I was really happy the way this turned out for those seven guys,” North coach Mike Hilbert said. “All of them got the opportunity to shoot the ball even if some of them didn’t score. I’m just really happy they get to go out on this positive memory.”
Berry will be remembered for scoring a team-best 20 points and grabbing seven rebounds in his home finale. He hit four three pointers, and fellow senior Zach Lamb added a pair of threes as the Broncos hit seven from behind the arc.
And Brumfield, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee while playing quarterback in the Broncos’ final football game last fall, stepped onto the floor to a loud ovation in the final seconds and heaved the last shot of the game.
“It was nice to get Matt back for this game,” Lamb said. “He’s been out with his ACL this whole season. It was kind of nice to get everyone back together, finally.”
Before North’s seniors could enjoy the evening, they had to put away Ray-Pec, which came into the game on a 10-game losing streak. Still, the Panthers have some size, and North tried to neutralize it with a 2-3 zone defense.
North was able to jump out to a 23-14 lead in the second quarter. But when the offense sputtered, the Broncos’ lead dwindled to 25-22 by halftime.
“If we hadn’t hit our shots we would’ve been in trouble,” Berry said. “We had a drought in the second quarter but we snapped out of it.”
Ray-Pec went up 29-28 on a basket by James Sappington early in the third quarter, and the two teams swapped leads until Lamb hit back-to-back threes that put the Broncos back up 38-33. Berry added another three and a free throw by the end of quarter, and the Broncos were firmly in control at 42-33.
“I’d say we did enough tonight,” Hilbert said. “It wasn’t always pretty, there were stretches where we didn’t execute with a lot of efficiency. But when it was tight, when it was the moment of truth, our guys did make some plays.”
Sophomore guard Anthony Lupardus had 15 points for the Broncos, who wrap up their regular season tonight at Blue Springs South before beginning district play next week at Raytown. The seniors will get to play on, but not on their home floor.
Which made this evening all the more special.
“We just wanted to pass the ball around and have fun in our last home game of the year, and forever,” Berry said.