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Posted On: 02/10/18 12:45 PM
Before Friday night, Lee’s Summit and Lee’s Summit North had already beat one another in each other’s gym. Lee’s Summit North kept that trend going by defeating Lee’s Summit in their home gym again by a score of 88-75. The Lee’s Summit North Broncos started early by getting up 8-0 and they would never relinquish that lead. They would pull away late in the second half as they led by more than 20 with a couple of minutes to go. Like the first couple of matchups, this game was pretty heated and we saw some foul trouble along with a technical foul. The Broncos had all 5 of their starters in double figures and were led by Javaunte Hawkins with 25 points. Sophomore Jaden Moore has now put together a couple of good games against the Broncos and he led the Tigers with 21 points.
MVP – Javaunte Hawkins (Broncos)
If you were at the game on Friday night, this really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The Tigers played tight defense and really tried to pressure Hawkins and make him uncomfortable throughout the game. At times it did work, but it also allowed Hawkins to get to the line where he shot 16 of 18 and scored all but 9 of his points. Hawkins led all scorers with 25, but he also added 4 dimes and 3 swipes. He’s been one of the top guards in the area all year and he shows no slowing down.
Best Offensive Performance – Jaden Moore (Tigers)
Jaden Moore has really stepped up and has been one of the better players for this Tigers team. Only being a sophomore, he is only getting started and should put together quite the high school career. I’ve said it before, but he’s pretty solid from about 15 ft and in. On Friday night, he didn’t have to shoot too many jump shots. He ran the baseline and ate up the Bronco zone anytime he got the ball. He was very aggressive and got to the rim. He seemed to have unlimited layups and he was finishing which is what led him to his team high 21 points. Once Moore develops a little better jumper, his confidence should grow and he could be one of the better players in the area.
Best Defensive Performance – Mikel Henderson (Broncos)
The Broncos had a minor scare Friday night with Mikel Henderson suffering an ankle injury early in the second half. He has been huge for this Bronco team as of lately and it wasn’t any different Friday night. Henderson still did some major damage in the first half being really aggressive on defense and hounding the Lee’s Summit guards. He’s a player that can shift the momentum and the Broncos really feed off of that. Henderson scored 13 points in the first half and had a huge And 1 early in the game that really got his team going. This kid has really stepped it up, and with him playing well, it’s hard to tell if the Broncos have even reached their full potential yet.
Best Big Man – Elijah Farr (Broncos)
Elijah Farr…This guy could probably get the most improved player from a year ago. It’s amazing how far he has come and he’s really been a huge factor in the Bronco’s success this season. Farr has shown that he can pretty much do it all; he can shoot from the outside, has great footwork in the post, can handle the ball pretty well (although it gets him in trouble at times), and he can find his open shooters when doubled in the paint. He added another huge dunk Friday night which had the Lee’s Summit North crowd going crazy. Far had another huge night with 17 points and 10 rebounds which gave him another big double double on the year.
Best Shooter – Deron McDaniel (Tigers)
Lee’s Summit has a few great shooters on their team, and McDaniel did his best to keep the Tigers in the game and to bring them back when they faced a big deficit. After watching McDaniel a few times this year, he isn’t a flashy player and knows the game of basketball pretty well. He doesn’t force anything, but knows when it’s time to start being more aggressive. Oddly enough, this game didn’t have a ton of made 3’s in it which is weird with these two teams, but McDaniel did bury a couple late tres which got him to 15 points on the night. He has a good step back game and is very unselfish. He’s been a huge addition to this Tiger team and they will need him to continue that success in order for the team to make a push down the stretch.
Best Rebounder – Will Eames (Tigers)
Will Eames is one of the better stories around the area. He’s probably considered the best player on this Lee’s Summit team and if he’s not having a good game, it’s going to be hard for this team to be successful. He’s a smart player who can really shoot the ball, and he does it with a lot of confidence. He has great footwork in the post and is silky smooth. Every game I watch him, he does the little things, and it was no different Friday night. He does something that most high school and even college players don’t do, he boxes out! This allows him to get a ton of rebounds, but it also gets some of the Bronco players who liked to jump over the back in foul trouble. Eames is the heart and soul of this team, and in order to win, they will need him to play well. He finished with 15 points on Friday night.
Player Who Changed the Game – Logan Jenkins (Broncos)
Jenkins didn’t have the greatest first half of his life, but he really stepped it up when the Broncos needed him the most. After Henderson went down with his ankle injury and Farr picked up an early 4th foul in the 3rd quarter, Jenkins went to work. The offense was starting to get pretty stagnant which could be a recipe for disaster, but Jenkins took it into his own hands and picked up two big And 1’s. This kept the lead in double digits and brought the momentum back to their side. Jenkins is normally a 3 point shooter, but he has the ability to get to the bucket, and when he does, he usually finds a way to finish. Jenkins finished with 13 points and 11 of them came in the second half.
Most Over Looked Player – Christian Carter (Broncos)
Christian Carter has really come into his own as of lately and the Broncos couldn’t have asked for better time or player to step up. Carter isn’t a shooter, and that is known by most, but he is very quick and has some of the quickest hands around. He’s out there for his defense and to provide a morale boost for this Bronco team. He can also handle the ball quite well which was much needed when Henderson left the game Friday night. He’s got a great crossover and he can get to the bucket pretty much whenever he wants. He isn’t a big scorer so when he does drive, he’s looking to dish, but he knows his role for now, which allows him to be the first off the bench. He has also been playing most of the game as of lately which means his role is going to start growing as time goes on and he will be relied on a lot more.
Best Underclassman – Landen Willis (Tigers)
This could have gone to Jaden Moore obviously, but Landen Willis played very well and deserved this award. Willis isn’t much of a scorer, but more a lock down defender. He did a very good job last night playing defense against the Bronco guards, but at times he was a little too aggressive which landed him in some foul trouble. Only being a sophomore, he will probably be starting next year and won’t only be looked at as a defender, but will be relied on to score and bring the ball up the court. He had some big steals and brought great enthusiasm for the Tigers. He finished the game with 6 points.
Best Under-The-Radar Player – Jack Gatti (Broncos)
Gatti isn’t looked at one of the better players on the court, but he doesn’t try to do too much either. He’s a smart player who will occasionally knock down a 3 or maybe some big free throws. He plays solid defense and is a big time hustler which plays very well into this Bronco team. Gatti knocked down a huge 3 pointer last night as the 3rd quarter buzzer went off that pushed the Bronco lead from 11 to 14. It was a huge momentum grab and it pretty much finished off the Tigers. Gatti hit two 3’s last night along with 4 free throws which gave him 10 points and put all 5 starters for the Broncos in double figures.