No. 1 Huskies defeat unranked Shawnee Mission West, 70-49, to win the Championship Showdown

The varsity boys basketball team defeated the Vikings, 70-49, fueled by a strong second half from senior guard Christian Braun as he scored a game high 23 points. With the win, the Huskies improved to 4-0 on the season.

Jonny Isaacson, Writer

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Going into the locker room at halftime, senior guard Christian Braun had only played three minutes in the preceding half and only had four points, due to foul trouble concerns. Still having a 33-20 lead at halftime, Braun came out of the locker room ready to extend the lead as he scored 14 of his 23 points in the third quarter.

“My coaches had me ready. They told me I was going to get back in and had a chance to spread the lead out,” Braun said when asked how he was able to come out so energized. “My team did a good job of keeping a good lead and I just had to capitalize when I had the chance.”

Head coach Ed Fritz said this was a good learning point for his team, as it was the first time they had faced adversity all year.

“We haven’t had to [face] adversity all year,” Fritz said. “We’ve won all our games by huge margins, that was good for us.”

According to Fritz, senior forward Mike Peake was a big part in being able to overcome the early absence of Braun, contributing his ability to crash the glass on both sides of the floor in helping to open up opportunities to get a comfortable lead. Peake finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and a couple of key blocks. Fritz said Peake was able to use his height to his advantage.

“We’ve got a lot of height [and Mike] has really good timing,” Fritz said. “He’s a really physical player. I thought he did a good job and he’s continuing to learn what’s going on with us and we just have to continue to get better and better”

For a majority of the first half, however, the Vikings kept the game close, getting within six points of tying the game at 23-17. The Huskies were able to separate themselves, ending the half on a 10-3 run. The run was led by junior guard Markell Hood, who had 10 points in the first half. According to Hood he was just trying to be as aggressive as possible while Braun was on the bench.

“I attacked the basket really well,” Hood said. “I drove to the basket and hit my wide open shots, kicked it to my teammates to put them in good positions to make their shots.”

Hood would go on to end with 12 points, helping the Huskies win the Championship Showdown tournament against SMW, 70-49.

Sophomore guard Jack Chapman was named to the all-tournament team with Braun picking up tournament MVP honors for his performances in the three games played.

While the championship feels good, Hood acknowledged that the main goal is winning state.

“We have one goal and that’s state,” Hood said. “We can three-peat.”