Posted On: 12/29/17 9:23 AM

The Lee’s Summit West Titans ended up winning this game handily, but struggled at times to put the game away. While it looked like the game could be over early, Summit Christian continued to fight back and keep it close. The Titans had gotten up by 20 points in the first half before Summit Christian made a late game push. The Titans are loaded with speed and size, but with great ball movement and teamwork, Summit Christian worked the score to a 6 point game with 4 minutes to go. The Titans responded with three breakaway dunks that shifted the momentum and pretty much ended the game. The Titans won 60-44.

Lee’s Summit West Size

The titans are loaded with size! They have the Oklahoma State Commit Yor Anei standing at a solid 6’11”, the Creighton Commit Christian Bishop who is only 6’7″, and Malachi Butler who at 6’5″. Butler usually is one of the first off the bench, but with Mario Goodrich taking some visits for Football, Butler has been asked to take a little bigger task. He stepped up on Thursday bullying opponents in the post and finishing with 16 points and 6 boards. Bishop can pretty much do it all. He can run the floor, shoot from the outside, and play decent defense, especially with his size and length. He had two breakaway dunks and an alley-oop late that sealed the game for the Titans. Bishop finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Anei is a huge addition for the Titans this year, and he has pretty much been unstoppable since this season has started. His size down in the post has opponents rattled and making decision they wouldn’t normally make. He gets so many blocks and makes it look easy. He finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 blocks on Thursday night.

Summit Christian has teamwork and decent depth

It was great to see Summit Christian compete on Thursday night. I think a lot of people expected to see the Titans run all over the smaller team. Summit Christian is loaded with shooters all over the floor. They also all know what their role is on the team and share the ball very well. It wasn’t hard to see that the offense does run through their standout senior Preston Kliewer who didn’t shoot particularly well, but still finished with 10 points. He also added 5 assists because his teammates were able to knock down open looks. Because Kilewer was pretty much being face guarded by the Titan Defense, Summit Christian had to depend on others to step up and play with confidence. The scoring was spread out pretty evenly for the team and had one other player in double figures. Jared Gerdes ended the night shooting 5-7 and led the team with 11 points. Summit Christian had 8 players get plenty of time and all 8 scored at least 3 points, it just wasn’t enough to get the win.

Lee’s Summit West has lockdown defense

The reason the Titans were able to get out to such a big lead early was because of the their defense. At times they stepped it up and pressed full court. Most of the night, Phillip Brooks had the task of guarding Summit Christian’s best player, and he locked him down. He not only was able to pick up 5 steals, but he forced a lot of bad passes which then led to fast break buckets. He was harassing players all night and it took a toll on the opposing team all night. Like I said above, Anei was a beast in the paint making it near impossible for the opposing team to score underneath. If the Titans are able to play defense like this all year, they will tough to beat.

Summit Christian will compete

Summit Christian isn’t a big team and it wasn’t hard to see that on Thursday, but they are all very knowledgable and know how to play the game of basketball. They all put in their best effort and communicate well on the court. A few of the kids have played together for quite a while and have built a lot of trust in one another which will go a long way. They have the ability to compete with some of the better teams around the area and definitely in their class. They have lost some close and tough games to start the season, but look for them to make a push as the season goes on. They will have a successful year, and will be a tough team to beat down the road.

The Titans will be a tough beat 

Lee’s Summit West has a lot of weapons, and they showed why they are looked at as one of the best teams in the state. Even though they were missing one of their better players, it didn’t seem to phase them much as they were able to handle their business with little to no problem at all. It will be interesting to see if they can win their bracket if Goodrich isn’t able to make any of their games though. The Titans did have a few players off the bench play pretty well, but they aren’t the deepest team and could struggle if any player misses any time. Either way, with the size, speed, strength, knowledge, and leadership, they won’t lose many games and will probably end up at least competing for a state title down the road. They will get the best out of most teams every night as they will have a big target on their back most of the year.