Boys basketball defeats LSN in Best of the Midwest Showcase, 79-68

The boys varsity basketball team won their second game in consecutive nights as they beat the Broncos of Lee’s Summit North, 79-68, in the first part of the Best of the Midwest Showcase, hosted at MidAmerica Nazarene University. Senior guard Darien Jackson led the Huskies in points with 18.

Gabe Swartz, Sports Editor

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In the first night of the Best of the Midwest Showcase, the boys basketball team got their second win in consecutive nights, handling Lee’s Summit North in a 79-68 victory. Despite playing a back-to-back after a victory against Blue Valley, junior forward Joe Pleasant scored 17 points and said he was not feeling any ill-effects from the night prior.

“I felt great, I wasn’t tired at all, I felt good,” Pleasant said.

Justin Lehtinen

A three-point basket by sophomore guard Christian Braun with 6:52 left in the second quarter extended the Huskies lead to 24-14, but defensive lapses and poor rebounding allowed the Broncos to tie the game 34-34, at halftime. That poor stretch of play, as well as others had head coach Ed Fritz unhappy with the Huskies effort level for large parts of the game.

“I really was kind of disappointed with our enthusiasm, our effort,” Fritz said. “I don’t think we made a lot of hustle plays. Our rebounding wasn’t what we like it to be. That being said it was an even game at halftime and we were able to kind of close out the game in pretty convincing fashion.”

Junior forward Parker Braun added 15 points for BVNW but said he thought the team needed to clean up their poor stretches of play.

“We kind of had our spurts where we controlled the game,” Parker said. “But we kind of slacked off sometimes and they’d come back. We need to kinda tighten that up and control it and kinda kill them as fast as we can.”

Despite only scoring nine points in the first three quarters, senior guard Darien Jackson went on a personal seven point run capped by a driving and-one layup to give the Huskies a 67-62 lead with 4:58 remaining in the fourth quarter. Jackson finished with a team-high 18 points, but said offensively the team wanted to get the ball into the post to their bigs throughout the night.

“When I saw that my shot wasn’t really going [early] I decided to get the ball in the post,” Jackson said.

Fritz said he liked the production from the bigs, with Pleasant, Parker and sophomore forward Jacob Clark combining for 41 points, but he wanted them to get the ball even more.

“I don’t think we got it to them enough,” Fritz said. “We were able to come out at the start of the second half and we scored three straight times on a post play, and we’ve got to continue to try to be able to do that.”

Blue Valley Northwest hosts Blue Valley North in their next game, Jan. 13.