KC Star Photos
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The Kansas student section had a message for OSU's biggest booster during Saturday's game.
Students held up letters that spelled out “OIL CAN' BUY BILL,” putting OSU super-booster Boone Pickens on notice that he can't hire away Self.
Pickens had the last laugh, though, tweeting “Oil can't buy Bill? Did buy Big 12 championship!”, referencing OSU's Big 12 football title this past season.
If you want the short and narrow, here it is: The Kansas Jayhawks aren’t going to lose many games when they score a basket off an opponent’s head.
…Withey had 18 points, 20 rebounds and 7 blocks; Robinson had 24 points, 14 rebounds and 1 block.
“We thought giving those two guys a chance to score inside may play to our advantage,” Self said.
The Jayhawks grabbed 29 more rebounds than the Cowboys, including getting 17 offensive rebounds. They scored 34 more points in the paint. Robinson and Withey did exactly what good big men do, claiming and controlling the territory near the basket.
They knew where the mismatch was and took advantage of it.
“I think it’s hard to beat us when they’re playing like they’ve been playing,” KU guard Tyshawn Taylor said.
The signature moment happened midway through the first half. Robinson caught the ball along the baseline, dribbled and found his path blocked by two Oklahoma State defenders. He tried to pass the ball out top, but it deflected off Le’Bryan Nash’s head into the air and down into the basket.
From there, KU used a 21-7 run to take a 27-point halftime lead.
“That’s a first,” Robinson said.
…Kansas scored 14 points off of dunks, didn’t give up an offensive rebound and shot 63 percent in the first half.
Even the usually picky Self walked into the locker room at halftime pleased.
“I said, ‘I’m really starting to enjoy watching you guys play,’ ” he said. “I told them that. I knew it was a bad mistake as soon as I said it, and, of course, they gave me the opportunity to correct myself at the end of the game.”
To call Elijah Johnson an X-factor might be misleading, considering Kansas crushed a top 10 team earlier this week without Johnson scoring a single point.
Johnson is definitely a variable, though, and Saturday was a microcosm. The junior guard scored 11 points, all in the first half, as No. 7 KU beat Oklahoma State 81-66 at Allen Fieldhouse.
“I think those shots he was taking tonight were the same shots he’s been taking,” point guard Tyshawn Taylor said. “He just hit a couple tonight.”
Johnson, 1-for-11 from 3-point range in his previous two games, buried two quick treys and slammed a lob pass from Taylor to help the Jayhawks jump on Oklahoma State in the opening minutes.
The hot start was welcome after Johnson went 0-for-6 from the floor in 37 minutes Wednesday against Baylor.
“Once he got off to a good start, I definitely started looking to him more,” Taylor said. “Elijah is a streaky shooter, and he can get hot. When he gets hot, we want to ride him.”
…Thomas Robinson and Oklahoma State’s Markel Brown engaged in a little extra chatter as the game neared an end. Brown had tried to dunk on Robinson earlier in the game, scoring the basket but not fully completing the dunk.
Robinson downplayed the late-game exchanges.
“I was just wishing him a good trip back home,” he said.
Sophomore guard Markel Brown was one Cowboy who played with passion throughout, finishing with a team-high 21 points.
Late in the game, the 6-foot-4 Brown even tried to dunk over KU's 6-10 forward Thomas Robinson, failing to get the jam, although the ball went in the hole still, and drawing a foul on Robinson for a three-point play.
“I feel like I can dunk on anybody in this league,” said Brown, who's become a popular highlight provider. “If I would have gotten a better running start, I would have got him. But I got the two points, so it counted.”
…“Coach (Ford) is always stressing, ‘Be tired after the game,'” Page said. “Especially when you're playing in an atmosphere like here in Lawrence. It's a dream atmosphere. It's something you want to play in, these types of games. These are the games you grow up dreaming of playing in.
“The emotions are high, the adrenaline is going. We weren't too worried about being tired.”
A month ago, Oklahoma State had gone into full retreat in a similar situation at Baylor and suffered one of the most lopsided losses in school history.
“We’re out here trying to play one of the best teams in one of the toughest places, but our guys decided to fight back,” Ford said.
High ceilings and 7-footers seem to go together, which raises an obvious question about Kansas and Jeff Withey.
How much higher is the Jayhawks’ ceiling now that Withey is playing like a first-round pick?
“I told our team that Kansas is a Final Four-type team,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said.
That is a polite thing to say, and convenient, too, since Ford’s team lost 81-66 Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
Is it true? Tough to project, but it’s certainly more plausible when Withey is dominating opponents at both ends of the court. The junior center finished with 18 points, 20 rebounds and 7 blocks in Saturday’s win, his second All-Big 12 stat line in as many games.
…Throw out Saturday’s second half, when the Jayhawks got silly against OSU’s press, and KU has looked like a team with major March potential. Few teams will line up two big men like Withey and Thomas Robinson, the player of the year candidate who stands to benefit as much as anyone from Withey’s emergence.
“I feel like I’m not even working to score now, the way Jeff is playing,” said Robinson, who finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds. “My play deserves nothing. This is all Jeff. He’s playing his butt off right now.”
Withey’s offensive outburst has given people a reason to notice his defense, which has been solid all season. His stated goal was to lead the Big 12 in blocked shots, and he has the title in hand after pushing his season total to 79. (Baylor’s Quincy Acy is next on the list with 53.)
…There is no DNA test, of course, to determine the authenticity of what we’re seeing. Withey’s hot streak started against Baylor, a team softer than old fruit, and the sample size isn’t big enough to say he can sustain this kind of play.
In that sense, Monday’s trip to Kansas State will be an intriguing test. If Withey can man up against the Wildcats, a team known for its physical play, it might be time to adjust our concept of KU's ceiling.
“It was great. It’s always great to come back to KU,” Lovellette said. “The fans were great. They’ve always been great.”
“That was a lot of fun,” Lienhard added.
KU coach Bill Self spoke with some of the honorees before practice Friday and attended a reception Saturday night.
“I’m going to go hang out with them and listen to them lie and tell each other how great they were,” Self joked of the team holding a 60th-anniversary party. “I told our guys before the game ... this is (freshman) Ben McLemore’s birthday. I said, ‘Today is not about you at all. It’s about those guys coming back.’ I think 60 years and having that many guys in good health coming back ... our first NCAA national championship team ... having those guys walk around in letter jackets, to me that’s cool.
“And the cheerleading outfits today were cool,” Self added of the cheerleaders wearing 1950s attire. “Everything about today was cool, and I’m sure they appreciated that.”
Saturday LJW: 52 champs talk about KU
Former Kansas University basketball great Clyde Lovellette waved to the fans while walking through the northwest tunnel of Allen Fieldhouse after receiving a standing ovation at halftime of Saturday’s KU-Oklahoma State game.
The 82-year-old Hall of Famer from Petersburg, Ind., stopped not to talk about KU’s 1952 NCAA title team, which had just been recognized, but about the 2011-12 Jayhawk squad that exploded for 51 points in the first half of an 81-66 victory over the Cowboys.
“That group out there is called a ‘team,’’’ said Lovellette, impressed with KU’s unselfish play in building a 51-24 advantage.
“Now we’ve got individuals we can talk about, too. Robinson ... you could make the case he’s the top man in the country,” Lovellette noted of Thomas Robinson, who scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in 33 minutes.
“You’ve got the big 7-footer in there. He has all the material,” Lovellette added of Jeff Withey, who grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds to go with 18 points and seven blocks in 32 minutes. “With those two, you’ve got the basket pretty well covered.”
In the signature play of a first half as dominant as any the Kansas University basketball team has played this season, Thomas Robinson had an open 10-foot lane jumper, but he bypassed it to feed Jeff Withey for a dunk.
The Jayhawks left their edge in the locker room at halftime and held on for an 81-66 victory against Oklahoma State after taking a 51-24 lead at the break.
Despite the lousy second-half play, more good than bad came from this one, most notably the loud statement that Withey has emerged as a serious scoring threat, and teammates welcome it. His confidence clearly fueled by that, Withey turned into a rebounding monster for at least one afternoon. He finished with 18 points, a career-high 20 boards and seven blocked shots.
Even looking for Withey as often as he did, Robinson still managed 24 points and 14 rebounds.
…Originally credited with the basket that bounced off an Oklahoma State player’s head, Robinson had that taken away when the rule book showed it should be credited to the KU team. Robinson took other potential baskets away from himself by looking for Withey.
“Definitely,” Robinson said of looking for the 7-footer. “I know that he’s capable of scoring. He proved that the past two games, and right now he’s on a roll. I felt like it’s my job to keep him on the roll, especially when people are focusing their attention on me a lot. That just leaves Jeff right there.”
“It’s unexplainable,” OSU sophomore Markel Brown said of his team’s first-half egg. “We laid down. They attacked us in every area, and we didn’t fight back until the second half.”
…“Going into halftime, we were getting beat in every single category,” said senior guard Keiton Page, who led OSU with 19 points on 5-of-16 shooting. “We played a little bit better (in the second half), but if we hadn’t have put ourselves in such a deep hole, we could have kept it a game.”
…Oklahoma State, which played just five guys in the second half and did not commit a turnover, outscored Kansas 42-30 after the break. The Cowboys’ defense limited Kansas to 34 percent shooting and forced several sloppy turnovers with a full-court press that seemed to bother Kansas. Asked about the turnaround, Ford did not take credit for coming up with a magic answer at halftime.
“I just said, ‘Hey, we’re not going to hold anything back in the second half,’” Ford recalled. “‘We’re going to be different than we were in the first half in all aspects, mentality and approach.’ When Kansas plays the way they did in the first half, even if we’re playing good, we’re going to have a tough time. But, again, I think (we) showed some resiliency and some character in the second half.”
Johnson said making early shots — he made two of his three-pointers before the first media timeout — helped get him going.
“It shouldn’t be that way, but it’s just human nature for it to be a totally different ballgame for you,” Johnson said. “You’ve just got an extra little juice going to get turned up defensively and offensively.”
Johnson was a big reason for KU’s defensive success against Baylor on Wednesday. Matched up mostly against three-point specialist Brady Heslip, Johnson barely allowed the sophomore to get a shot off.
Heslip’s one three-point attempt against KU was a season low, while he failed to make a three for just the second time all season. It also was the second time this year Heslip failed to score a point.
“I’m more excited to play defense than offense. I feel like it makes me calm,” Johnson said. “Most people that think about offense get amped and get going, but when you think about defense, it usually just calms you down.
Because you know what you’re doing, where (on) offense you don’t know what situation you’ll be in.”
Johnson was critical of his defensive effort against OSU guard Brian Williams on Saturday. Williams, who averages 8.1 points per game, scored 11 points, making two of six field goals and seven of eight free throws.
“I could’ve been there faster. I could’ve shut a lot of plays down if I just did one small thing,” Johnson said. “Just being aware, being alert, I could’ve changed the game eight to 10 points.”
Future KU forward Perry Ellis, a 6-foot-8 senior from Wichita Heights, attended with family members. ... Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel sat with KU football coach Charlie Weis on press row in the north end zone ... The students for the second straight home game did not chant “Home of the Chiefs” at the end of the national anthem, perhaps signalling the official end to the practice. “Home of the Brave” has appeared on the videoboard near the end of the anthem for the last three home games. Self earlier this season told the Journal-World he’d like the students to sing the actual words to the anthem.
It was only a week since Kansas center Jeff Withey scored as many points against Missouri as Bill Self.
Self, being the Jayhawks coach, did not play in the Mizzou game. In a sense, neither did Withey.
“I didn’t score at all. I wasn’t a factor,” Withey said. “Coach was really angry about that. He felt I let them kind of punk me.
“The last couple of practices have been tough.”
But worth it, though.
What Self devised to invigorate Withey, his 7-foot, 235-pound junior center, appears to have worked. Withey recovered from his embarrassment in Missouri with a career-best 25-point effort Wednesday at Baylor and then an 18-point, 20-rebound, seven-block double-double-just-missed-triple showing in Saturday’s victory over Oklahoma State. Combined with star forward Thomas Robinson’s 24 points and 14 rebounds, the two KU big men nearly doubled OK State’s output.
"That was two pretty good big guys playing the first half," Self said.
“He’s a good motivator,” Withey said.
Sporting News DeCourcy
Chalmers is playing the best basketball of his career. Entering Sunday’s game against the Hawks, Chalmers is shooting 49.5 percent from the field, 45.2 percent from three-point range and 81 percent from the free-throw line.
“He’s a 50-40-80 guy right now — the best numbers he’s ever had as a professional,” James said.
A reserve point guard behind the likes of Carlos Arroyo and Mike Bibby last season, Chalmers has matured into an invaluable asset for the Heat in Year Two of the Big 3.
Now an entrenched starter, Chalmers organizes the Heat’s offense, and his improved accuracy from the perimeter has worked as a counterweight to the attacking styles of James and Wade. Chalmers’ 52 three-pointers this season lead the team.
“Our team has become very accustomed to Mario at the start, and he’s doing a better job of getting us organized, he spreads the floor and plays well off of those guys, he’s shooting the ball very well,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Chalmers was 17 of 30 from three-point range in the five games before Wednesday’s loss to the Orlando Magic. It was in that game, which Chalmers sat out because of a sprained left wrist, that Chalmers’ importance to the team was made obvious.
The disruption to the Heat’s lineup threw off the team’s rhythm.
In hindsight, Spoelstra said Friday that he probably should not have started rookie point guard Norris Cole, which further affected the offense’s flow in and out of rotations.
Chalmers was rushed back from injury Friday against the Wizards, and though he only played limited minutes, the Heat’s offense found its form, with Cole coming off the bench and James playing point guard through several key stretches. Chalmers is probable for Sunday’s game in Atlanta.
“He has another 48 hours of rest, so hopefully he’ll continue to get better and the swelling will go down,” Spoelstra said.
Chalmers credits his growth as a player this season to his health and the work he put in during the offseason.
He played injured throughout most of last season and wasn’t at full strength until the playoffs, where he shined as the Heat’s most consistent player off the bench.
“I did a lot of work in the summer, watched a lot of film to see where guys like the ball, where I made my mistakes last year and just tried to improve on them,” Chalmers said.
Who were the best players you played against?
(Jerry) West, (Bob) Pettit, (Elgin) Baylor, (Bill) Russell, (Wilt) Chamberlain. (Walt) Frazier was a good basketball player. I think what Russell did was unique. Then Wilt overshadowed him, but Russell’s teams won more championships. But what Wilt did especially in ’61 and ’62, I think he really saved basketball. He averaged 50 points a game (1961-62 season, same year as Robertson’s triple-double season), but his team didn’t win it. But people still came out to see Wilt Chamberlain play. Wilt had such a good demeanor about him, that meant a lot also. He was a nice guy, and he just went along with the program.
Q&A with Oscar Robertson
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Big 12 Schedule & Results
Here's an abbreviated rundown of Joe Lunardi's bracket outlook after Saturday's games:
TOP SEED PAIRINGS
EAST/Syracuse vs. WEST/Kansas (1 vs. 4)
SOUTH/Kentucky vs. MIDWEST/Missouri (2 vs. 3)
-- Kansas replaces Ohio State as No. 1 seed
-- Missouri moves to No. 3 overall (Midwest Region, St. Louis)
2. Seems like we have a tight Player of the Year race. How do you handicap it with just a handful of games remaining?
It could be one of the most interesting of recent years, as compelling as Michael Beasley vs. Tyler Hansbrough in 2008. Power forward Thomas Robinson has propelled Kansas toward candidacy for a No. 1 seed, which seemed far beyond the team’s capabilities at the start. He has been absurdly productive, averaging a double-double (17.8 points, 12.0 rebounds) and delivering four games of 25-plus points and eight games of 14-plus rebounds.
Kentucky center Anthony Davis began the season uncertain of how best to contribute on offense, which led to him averaging only 12.1 points over the first two months. He has been more emphatic lately, averaging 16.4 in January and February, which is essentially why we’re having this conversation instead of assuming it’s Robinson’s award to lose. There’s no doubt Davis is the most vital defensive force in the game, and it only begins with his shot-blocking (4.8 per game). Most great interior defenders are functional only in the lane. Davis might be even more dangerous away from the goal, because his excellence is less expected.
The Oregonian interviews TSN Mike DeCourcy
I agree with @dickiev. Right now, Anthony Davis would get my vote for POY.
Dickie V is fired up but it certainly is a tough call between Thomas Robinson and Anthony Davis for National Player of the Year
With due respect to T-Rob, the player of the year is a freshman named Anthony Davis. Gotta start talking about him as a RARE talent.
After one half of squeaky clean basketball, Kansas State slipped on NCAA bubble bath Saturday.
The Wildcats built a 15-point lead after scoring on their first possession of the second half, then scored on just nine more trips as Texas rallied to club K-State 75-64 in the Erwin Center.
Judging the significance of the outcome can be tricky. The teams are tied with 6-6 marks in the Big 12 after entering the matchup in the 50s in the Rating Percentage Index.
Texas (16-9) probably needed the victory more, but K-State (17-7) certainly didn’t need to be jolted like this. Not after blowing a 14-point lead in the second half in its previous road game at Iowa State.
Afterward, no Wildcat stepped up and talked to the media. All left the arena and boarded the team bus. No one got off the bus when the media went outside to seek comment.
…Now for a bubbly reminder. Just two Big 12 teams have ever qualified for the NCAA Tournament with .500 conference marks. No team below .500 has received a bid. K-State’s next four games are against teams it trails in the Big 12, beginning at home Monday against Kansas.
“We are who we are,’’ Martin said. “We’re not going to reinvent ourselves in the next 24 hours.’’
From the Department of Irony, Kansas State is distributing an open letter from Frank Martin asking students to refrain from using profanity at Bramlage Coliseum.
Martin, you may know, has dropped a few pennies in the swear jar over the years. He comes off as contrite in the email, acknowledging his own blue streak while urging students to stop the vulgar chants.
“As I work at completely eliminating profanity from my actions, I ask you to help me by not using chants that contain profanity,” he wrote. “There is no place in education, or representing K-State, for any of us to use profanity.”
--The email was a nice gesture, and it came with no administrative arm-twisting, Martin said.
"It was my idea," he texted Friday. "I don't put my name on things I don't mean."
-- Hey, good for him. Most fans seem to find Martin's rough edges endearing, but it's possible to convey passion without profanity. If Martin can maintain the same intensity in the huddle while preserving a PG-13 atmosphere in the arena, K-State will be better for it.
-- Knowing college students, eliminating profanity from the stands might be the tougher task, especially with Kansas visiting on Monday. I can imagine the response from some students, but I probably can't print it.
In addition to undercoaching NBA talent, Baylor’s Scott Drew may be the world’s foremost expert on the basketball teams at Missouri and Kansas. Baylor’s last two games, half of its last eight, and all four of its losses have been against the two teams dominating the Big 12 and Kansas City’s sports scene.
This is twice now that Drew has played Kansas one game and Missouri the next, so it makes sense to ask him to compare. He pauses. Stares. Thinks.
“When Missouri is on, there’s nobody in the country as good as them offensively,” Drew says. “Nobody. Period.”
Nationally, much of the reaction after No. 4 Missouri’s 72-57 runaway from No. 6 Baylor on Saturday at Mizzou Arena will focus on the Bears’ problems. And it should. Baylor is an agonizingly frustrating team to watch, simultaneously loaded with NBA talent and devoid of the fortitude needed to respond to the biggest challenges.
But those are thoughts for another time. Another place.
These words will be about Mizzou, which means these words will be about a legitimate Final Four contender.
KC Star Mellinger
Levity was in ample supply in the postgame news conference. MU coach Frank Haith coaxed a retiring sports writer into asking the final question.
“Is this a two-horse race with you and Kansas now?” the reporter asked.
Haith, locked and loaded, replied: “No! Man, that’s a dumb question.”
Perhaps, but barring Missouri or Kansas stumbling in the interim, the Feb. 25 rematch in Lawrence of the Border War victory MU took eight days ago at Mizzou Arena likely will decide which horse wins the Big 12 regular-season chase.
KC Star written of course by retiring Mike DeArmond
Iowa State basketball coach Fred Hoiberg gave Chris Allen the ultimate Hilton Coliseum stage Saturday afternoon — during a 69-46 stroll past Texas A&M, and also with just less than three minutes to play before everyone officially could look ahead to Monday night’s game at sixth-ranked Baylor. Instead of making Allen part of a mass substitution during the Cyclones’ second-biggest blowout this season, Hoiberg replaced Allen solo, allowing the Michigan State transfer to bask by himself in a standing ovation from a 14,376-fan sellout. “This is the time if your team is not peaking, then there’s really no point to keep playing,” said Allen, who is the definition of peaking.
…And now Baylor — Iowa State’s next destination. The Cyclones and Bears trail Big 12 Conference leaders Missouri and Kansas by two games — with six remaining.
Javarez Willis called it a family bond, and it was surging through the Texas Tech locker room at United Spirit Arena.
There was yelling and high-fiving, players and coaches hugging everyone in sight. There were tears shed.
This is what winning felt like for the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech 65, Oklahoma 47.
The Red Raiders put an end to an 11-game losing streak on Saturday, while in the process earning their first Big 12 Conference win with a dominating performance over the Sooners. As the final buzzer sounded, six weeks of frustration turned into jubilation.
“It was just a whole bunch of screaming, jumping, hollering,” said Willis, the sophomore guard who scored a career-high 21 points on a sore left ankle to lead the charge. “We were just excited about the win. We are a family, but it was the most I’ve ever touched my teammates as far as hugging them. It was crazy.”
Gillispie has never been confused for a guy who hides his emotions. His first season in Lubbock has included plenty of hair-pulling moments as he attempts to resurrect his third program in the state of Texas.
So it wasn’t surprising to see Gillispie holding back tears, his voice catching as he expressed the pride in his young team for battling through the lows.
“When you think about being young people and not have things going your way for a while,” Gillispie said, “and you hang in there and keep on fighting like they have, it says a lot about the character of those players. So I’m very proud of them.”
Thanks to an emphasis on up-tempo and motion offenses, not to mention the 3-point shot, college hoops big men have transformed, leaving the shell of their former behemoth selves behind.
In other words, the 4 is the new 5.
"There's not as many big guys in college basketball," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "Let's just face it. Most big guys now are four-men that can play facing and do some things. I just don't think there's a ton of anchors out there that are legitimate five-men."
The shift has been a gradual one, starting around the late 1980s and early 1990s, when teams like UNLV, Duke and Michigan won national titles without dominating centers.
Basketball, like any other sport, is one of mimicry, so when teams started winning with smaller, faster big men, the rest of the hoops world followed.
Now the hulking center has gone the way of the VCR; there's still a few around, but they seem out of place when you see one.
The last true back-to-the-basket center in college basketball — at least a successful one — was Ohio State's Greg Oden from 2006-07 and you'd have to search pretty hard to find many in the years before his brief stint in Columbus.
The new batch of big men are leaner, more agile, more like power forwards than centers.
“Just told my agent im ready to play, going to go the d league route to get some good run, havent been seen in over 2yrs gotta prove myself,” Kareem Rush tweeted Friday.
As for his time as a crooner, Rush once performed at Missouri’s ROARs event, an Oscar-style awards show for the athletic department. Check out the video of his first single, “Hold You Down,” which was released last year.
Perry Ellis and his Heights Falcons made a statement on Friday night by beating the Northwest Grizzlies 83-61 on Northwest’s home court. The win tied the state record for most consecutive wins with 59 in a row and counting for Heights. Ellis dropped 37 points in the game and teammate Gavin Thurman did his part with 19 points. Craig Nicholson poured in 27 points in the loss.
Conner Frankamp led North to its fifth win in a row over South 67-54 with 38 points. The Redskins sit in third place all alone in the City League two games behind Northwest and one game ahead of Southeast and East.
KWCH video here
For the 59th straight time, the Heights boys gathered in a locker room for coach Joe Auer’s victory speech.
The No. 1-ranked Falcons had just ran Northwest, the City League’s top challenger, into the ground in a 83-61 victory on Friday in front of a sold-out crowd at Northwest. It was the latest impressive win in a streak that is full of them.
As the victories have piled up, Auer has tried to build a mental fortress in the minds of his players.
The only game that matters should be the next one. But here, inside the visiting locker room at Northwest, Auer finally acknowledged “The Streak” with his team.
After all, Heights had just etched itself in the history books by tying the record for consecutive wins in Kansas history with Moundridge at 59 games.
“We had to tell them what the historical significance was of tonight,” Auer said. “This isn’t about this team. This is about three teams, and a lot of kids, a lot of effort and unselfishness and commitment to the team.”
Photos, box score, more
After a four-point slug fest the first time Height and Northwest played, the hope was for an equally thrilling battle in the City League. That didn't happen.
Perry Ellis pounded the Grizzlies for 37 points and Heights pounded Northwest 83-61, Friday night and separated themselves from their closest competitors in the City League race.
…"It was a team effort tonight," said Ellis. "Everybody came to play and everyone came with a defensive mindset and that pushed us all night to get our offense going, so I put it all on the team."
Lordy, lordy, he scored 40: Mary Persons’ Brannen Greene dropped 40 points on Rutland-Macon Friday night.
Mary Persons 15-16-11-26--68
Mary Persons: Rico Lyons 7, Jacoby Mitchell 4, D’vante Pennomon 5, Reno Lyons 5, Brannen Greene 40, Charles Sealy 3, Parris Moore 4.
Rutland: Jalen Kirkland 10, Mickel Craig 2, Tylik Evans 8, Jaylon Tyson 16, Dallas Smith 12, Tevin Sams 2, Shakenneth Williams 8, Darren Tucker 6.
3-pointers: Mary Persons 4 (Rico Lyons, Reno Lyons, Greene 2); Rutland 7 (Kirkland, Evans 2, Tyson 2, Smith 2).
Game notes: Greene went 18-for-19 from the free-throw line.
Records: Mary Persons 16-9, 11-7 GHSA Region 2-AAA.
Next: GHSA Region 2-AAA tournament, Wednesday at Howard.
In a Metro League matchup pitting the number two and three seeds on each other, Caleb Herzberg and the visiting Southridge Skyhawks outshot the Westview Wildcats to a 52-44 victory in their last meeting of the regular season.
Herzberg scored 28 points to lead the Skyhawks back from a five point deficit going into the half. He scored 15 of those 28 in the second half.
The score was knotted at 37 to start the final quarter, and the Skyhawks outscored the Wildcats 15 to seven to pull them to a tie with Westview for second in the Metro League.
Westview center, Landen Lucas, scored 22 for the Wildcats, with point guard Dyrall Goods adding 13 for 35 of the Wildcats’ 44 points.
Westview will go on to play Metro League power Jesuit on the road on Wednesday the 15th,
Benedictine's cause was aided appreciably when Kansas-bound Andrew White, the Mavericks' go-to guy, drew two fouls in the first quarter and a third a minute after he returned in the second and contributed only two points and three rebounds before the break.
The 6-foot-6 senior small forward, who started his career at Thomas Dale, finished with 19 points and five boards, but much of his production came when the outcome had been long since determined.
Despite the circumstances and straight-up man defense by Burgess, then Ryan Burnett, White roamed the Coach Rut Court with rarely a change in his placid countenance.
"There's no need to cry to the refs or throw an attitude at my teammates," said White, whose fourth personal foul came 1:30 into the second half. "My attitude is very content. I'm blessed either way. I take the good with the bad.
"It's good to have a halfway competitive game. That's my mentality toward my frustrations."
White's patience and maturity paid off.
In the fourth quarter, he energized his teammates into a 9-0 run that enabled them to trim a 60-40 deficit to 11 points with 4 minutes left before the Cadets, No. 3 in the VISAA Division I poll, pulled away for good.
"My focus," he said, "is to develop the best I can until it's time to leave (for Kansas). I'm working hard every day to be as good as advertised."
Containing White's innate quickness and fluidity was no easy feat.
"You have to play him up front and play him tight," said Burnett, a 6-4 senior. "He's a very good pull-up shooter. He has a good midrange shot.
"You have to make it difficult for him to get a shot off. If he takes a bunch of tough shots, we can live with that."
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My 2011 Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, KU Alumni games, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos now on Youtube