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Posted On: 01/24/18 4:22 AM
A huge and thrilling win for Lee’s Summit as the Tigers were able to stun the Lee’s Summit West Titans at home by a score of 49-48. A low scoring and somewhat sloppy game where neither one of the teams took advantage of the other’s turnovers and mistakes, ended up being the game of the night around the area. Lee’s Summit West led by 2 and had a chance to increase their lead on back to back possessions but a missed Christian Bishop alley-oop and a layup by Trevor Kardell that was blocked gave the Tigers opportunities. Seth Romi got open and hit a huge 3 with 15 seconds left that put the Tigers up 49-48. Bishop then came down and turned the ball over by committing a charge. The Tigers then came down and missed the front end of a 1-1 which gave the Titans one more shot. The Titans through a pass near the half court line and it was deflected to an open Rich Johnson from about 35 feet away, but he left the game winning three a little short. The Tigers were led by Sophomore Jaden Moore who finished with 15 points while the Titans were led by Senior Mario Goodrich who also tallied 15.
MVP – Seth Romi (Lee’s Summit)
Seth Romi has been putting together quite the senior season, and he’s been doing it by burning down the nets from deep. Romi is usually one of the smaller guys on the court, but he isn’t intimidated by anyone, and he’s been able to prove that time and time again. Romi isn’t only a shooter, he moves very well without the ball, plays good defense, and is always looking for open teammates to cut and get open. Romi was clutch in Tuesday night’s game hitting his last 3 shots and 2 late free throws. His 3 pointer with 15 seconds left gave the Tigers a huge win and now they sit alone on top of the Suburban Gold Conference.
Best Offensive Performance – Mario Goodrich (Lee’s Summit West)
Goodrich has been starting for this Lee’s Summit West team for a long time, and now that he is in his final year, he’s trying to take it game by game. Goodrich has proven to be one of the better athletes in the area and he’s had to miss quite a few games this year due to college campus visits so that he can make a decision on where he will be playing football next year. Goodrich put together a strong game on Tuesday night and led the Titans with 15 big points. His jump shot can look a little weird, but he elevates well and gets plenty of space with it. He was left open on a couple of 3’s Tuesday, and he made the Tigers pay for it. He can play above the rim when needed, plus he is one of the more aggressive players on the court at all times.
Best Defensive Performance – Phillip Brooks (Lee’s Summit West)
Another guy who might be pursuing a football career after high school is standout athlete Phillip Brooks. Brooks is one of the quickest and fastest guys I have ever seen, and he shows that speed on the court. It’s very difficult to shake him or create space when he is the one guarding you. He’s a good off ball defender, but a great on ball defender. With his pressure, he creates an enormous amount turnovers due to bad passes or him just swiping the ball from the offensive player.
Best Mid-Range Stroke – Jaden Moore (Lee’s Summit)
Moore who is starting to look like a super sophomore and one of the area’s best 2020 players at that. He doesn’t have the best shot from deep, but once he gets in around 12 – 16 feet, he’s money! Moore has had his struggles here and there, but once he’s sees the ball go in, that’s all he needs. He’s been a lot more aggressive and is looking to score when given the opportunities. Moore usually is and was pretty efficient from the field Tuesday night as he shot better than 50% from the field.
Best Underclassman – Trevor Kardell (Lee’s Summit West)
This could have gone to either Moore or Kardell, but because Moore already got an award, Kardell will get this one. Kardell was quite impressive on Tuesday, but it took a half for him to get going. He didn’t shoot or score anything in the first half, but came alive and went 4-4 in the second. Standing at 6’5″, Kardell has a lot of potential, but he really needs to become a little more aggressive. With Anei and Butler missing some time, Kardell is really being look on for big minutes and they will need him to step up. Once Kardell becomes a little more comfortable, the Titans will be a little more deeper and it will help them out later in the year.
Best Aspect of the Environment – Both Crowds
It’s always fun watching the 3 Lee’s Summit teams play one another. No matter what night it is, both schools bring plenty of kids to fill out their Student Sections. It was no different on Tuesday night as Lee’s Summit brought a huge crowd and honestly, they were louder and more fired up than the Home team Titan crowd. As we all know, the crowd and student sections can play a big part in games, and especially high school games. You can see the kids who are scared to go to the line in the final minutes because of the nerves, and all of the yelling from the opposing crowd doesn’t help. The Tiger team and the Tiger crowd go the best of the Titans on Tuesday night.
Best Under-The-Radar Player – Nate Jones (Lee’s Summit)
Nate Jones, another little speedster, is having a pretty decent senior season and Tuesday night was no different. He put together a great game all over the court and was able to chip in 9 points to help his team to victory. Jones has been known to have a bit of an attitude at times, and it has gotten him in trouble in the past, but he’s done a good job of controlling that as of lately. Jones does a good job of getting under the skin of his opponents and is a huge team player. He can really boost his team’s morale when they are feeling down, and at times he has the ability to swing the momentum in Lee’s Summit’s favor.
Best 1-2 Combo – Rich Johnson & Christian Bishop (Lee’s Summit West)
Rich Johnson, a transfer from Texas, has been a huge player and asset to this Lee’s Summit West squad. At times he looks like he could be the best player on the court, but there are also times where he isn’t quite on the same page as his team. He has really meshed well with the Titans, so they really aren’t out of sync too often. Bishop has been a big fan of Johnson and the two of them really play well together. Bishop, the standout forward, will be joining the Creighton Bluejays next season. He’s have a pretty solid senior year, but he wants one thing, and that is to be State Champions at the end of the season. Bishop knows that he can’t win a Championship on his own, and he has shown plenty of trust in his team and coaches. He’s been huge on both sides of the ball this season and a blocking machine as of lately. Without Anei on the court, Bishop has really had take a little more responsibility on defense as well on the offensive end. Bishop doesn’t force anything and at times, it can be worrisome that maybe he isn’t able to take over a game if needed. Both Johnson and Bishop finished in double figures. Johnson with 11 and Bishop with 12.
Best Rebounder – Will Eames (Lee’s Summit)
Eames had quite the job on Tuesday night. Not only is relied on to be a big scorer for the Tigers offense, but they really needed him to step up his game on defense since he was guarding Christian Bishop. He didn’t have his greatest night shooting the ball, but he didn’t need to because of the low scoring affair. He did plenty and helped his team in other ways. He was much needed on the boards, and he stepped up when needed. Eames does the little things, and is almost always boxing someone out when a shot goes up. He has been a double double machine this season. Eames finished with 11 points on Tuesday night.
Best Coaching Decision – Blake Little (Lee’s Summit)
Blake Little made a great coaching decision early on in the game when he had his big man Will Eames bring up the ball. It brought big man Christian Bishop out of the paint and put him in an uncomfortable position. Not only that, but it kept Bishop off of the boards and he wasn’t able to play as much help defense. Little has this Lee’s Summit team on top of the conference, and although there are a ton of games left, it’s a great start for a team that probably wasn’t considered a contender to win the conference.