Posted On: 01/20/18 3:40 PM

Five Takeaways: Topeka-Highland Park

TOPEKA, Kan. — The fifth-place game of the Topeka Invitational saw Topeka High get 18 points from sophomore guard Ky Thomas and hold off a late rally by Highland Park in the fifth-place game on the Scots’ homecourt.

Here, Prep Hoops take a look at five things that stood out in the contest.

Shorthanded Scots compete without PG

Playing without 2018 point guard Dasani Giardina, Highland Park’s leading scorer this season at 18.3 points per game, the Scots turned to Kenny Stewart for offensive production, while 2018 Will White largely took over the ball handling duties. . Highland Park dropped both its games in the Topeka Invitational (Only seven teams filled out the field, meaning a consolation round bye was given) and are now 5-7 overall this season, but still lead the Centennial League standings at 3-0.

White puts together a well-rounded performance

Larry White returned to his old school this weekend at the 6’5 2018 wing player put together a well-rounded performance as he showcased some elite athleticism and the ability to get to the free throw line. After going scoreless in the first half, White knocked down a 3 and went 4 for 6 at the free throw line in the third quarter to help Topeka pull away. White showed the ability to play above the rim at both ends of the floor as he blocked shots, grabbed rebounds above the rim and put some key points on the board in the second half.

Topeka forward gets open against zone

Key’Andre Smith, a 6’2 2019 forward, found a way to open behind the Highland Park zone time and time again in the second half of Saturday’s game and scored eight quick points in the third quarter and later added a free throw in the fourth quarter. Topeka 2020 PG Ky Thomas found Smith with several no look passes.

Stewart gets buckets

With leading scorer Dasani Giardina out of the line-up on Saturday, 2018 guard Kenny Stewart took over, scoring 30 points, including ten late in the fourth quarter as the Scots attempted to rally in the game’s final minutes. At 6’2, Stewart has a scorer’s mentality, can get to the basket off the bounce and shows the ability to finish tough chances in traffic. He helped the Scots pull within six points with 30 seconds remaining, but it was too little too late as Topeka High held on for the win.

Patton provides HP highlights

There weren’t many highlights for Highland Park until late in Saturday’s contest, and while 2018 guard Kenny Stewart provided much of the offensive production, the Scots’ most memorable highlights came on a pair of slams by 6’2 2018 forward Tyree Florence-Patton. Known for his hard work and gritty play at the defensive end of the court and on the boards, Patton finished with nine points.