Posted On: 12/12/16 9:00 AM
10 Best: Shawnee Mission North, Kan. (63), Liberty North (56)
Shawnee Mission North: The defending Kansas 6A state champions are a new look team after the graduation of Michael and Marcus Weathers (now playing at Miami, Ohio). Danny Bradley is a terrific lead guard and Avante Williams is a talented 6’3 wing type that can handle the ball and create his own shot.
Liberty North: Squad is known for being a tough out on its home court and they proved it in a thrilling overtime semifinal contest. They have a lot of tough, hard-nosed players and are capable of throwing several different looks on the court. They have some size inside, although not quite the size they have had in recent years with 6’9 Michael Hughes, now a freshman at Akron. Their backcourt of Robbie Hanson and Dominic Fragola can put points on the board in a hurry.
MVP: Robbie Hanson (Liberty North). Nice 6’1 2018 guard that had 21 points in this one, including several key buckets at crucial moments. He can handle the ball, shoot from 3 and is tough getting to the bucket.
Best offensive performance: Robbie Hanson (Liberty North). A 6’1 2017 guard, Hanson gets buckets. He has a smooth game, can run his man off screens and shoot the jumper, or use the dribble to create offense.
Best defensive performance: Tyson Cathy (Liberty North). A 6’5 2018, Cathy came up with a pair of huge blocks in the final moments of the game. The first came after Bradley dished the ball to Will Schneider for an apparent easy layup that would have given SMN a three-point lead. Liberty North followed with a go-ahead bucket to take a 52-51 lead, and on the next SMN possession, Avante Williams dished to an open teammate for what appeared to be an easy layup, but Cathy was there to swat it away as well.
Best shooter: Dominic Fragola (Liberty North). He’ll shoot it from half court if you let. Fragola has no fear and looks to shoot it with confidence. With 5:01 remaining in the game, Fragola hit a 3 out of the corner on an out of bounds play to tie the game at 45-45.
Best rebounder: Nick Coleman (Liberty North). He got the one that mattered at the end of the game, hauling in a missed 3 by Dominic Fragola and drawing the fifth foul on Bradley. He went to the line with 12.9 seconds remaining and tied the game, then gave North a 54-53 lead.
Best passer: Danny Bradley (SMN). Kid can really dish it, he made several eye-opening passes. He really ran the show for SMN, setting up teammates with easy buckets. When he was out of the game, SMNs offense sputtered.
Best underclassman: Jarrett Hensley (SWN). Hensley is a 6’5 2019 left handed forward that is long and athletic.
Name to remember: Danny Bradley (SWN). North saw the ball dominated a year ago by Marcus and Michael Weathers, but this year’s team belongs to Bradley and 6’2 2017 Avante Williams. Bradley can really go, and sets up himself and teammates well.
Play of the game: Nick Coleman’s offensive rebound with 12 seconds remaining. He not only went to the line and tied the game, but picked up the fifth foul on Bradley in the process.
Liberty North got back-to-back 3s by Dominic Fragola and Robbie Hanson that turned a 38-35 deficit into a 41-38 lead with a little more than four minutes remaining. Danny Bradley picked up his fourth foul on the next Liberty North, but immediately followed the call by coming up with a steal, a bucket, a defensive rebound and a pull-up jumper giving SMN a 51-48 lead.