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Sunday, Mar. 07, 2010

East boys never lead in sub-state loss

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Blue Valley Northwest led wire-to-wire Saturday in a superb performance that earned the Huskies a second berth at the Kansas 6A state tournament in the last three seasons.

Behind a gritty performance by junior Morgan Smith, BV Northwest avenged a Jan. 27 loss at Olathe East with a 51-48 victory during the Bracket B final at Blue Valley.

The loss ended a promising season for the Hawks, who started out 16-2 before losing three of their final four games and coming up a game shy of a return trip to state.

“I'm still asking myself what happened,” East senior Bryce Schippers said. “We were on such a roll and playing so well. We were doing everything right, but these last two weeks we just stunk it up. I'll be asking myself what happened for a while, I think.”

The Hawks were particularly putrid at the start against the Huskies, who built their largest lead of the game by the end of the first quarter at 13-2.

“The last four games we didn't come out like we did the first 18 games this season,” senior Andrew Talbert said. “I don't know what we lost, but we haven't been shooting as well. I can't explain it.”

Smith had seven points in that opening quarter for BVNW, which allowed East's only points on a tip-in by senior Cody Gafford, who finished with eight points and a game-best nine rebounds.

Talbert, who finished with eight points and four rebounds, added a tip-in early in the second quarter as part of a personal 6-0 run that powered the Hawks back into contention, but the Huskies led 18-13 at halftime.

“I was happy with the way the kids responded at halftime, because I got on them pretty good, questioning their manhood and all that stuff,” East coach Jim Super said. “They responded real well and battled really hard, but battling hard is not enough. You've got to execute and finish shots and do the little things.”

The Hawks, 17-5, never got closer than four points in the third quarter and the Huskies, 15-7, would stretch the lead to 34-27 before the start of the thanks to five critical points late in the stanza by junior Brett Fisher.

East rallied in the fourth as well, pulling within 43-41 on a three-point play by junior Tyler Kalinoski, who scored a team-high 14 points.

But Smith, who finished with a game-high 23 points, scored another seven points in the final 2:03 as BV Northwest held on for the victory.

“We got into foul trouble and had three guys foul out, but Morgan Smith really put us on his back, especially in the first half and kind of carried us down the stretch,” Huskies coach Ed Fritz said.

“They gave us some opportunities to get back in the ballgame with missed free throws, but our own free-throw shooting tonight was abysmal,” Super said. “It was our worst performance of the season in that respect. You're just not going to win many games shooting 15-for-27. It's just an unconscionable free-throw percentage for us.”

Understandably, the post-game locker room was a somber place for the Hawks.

“I cried; I was sad,” said Schippers, who had eight points. “All of the seniors felt that. We've got eight seniors, so it was a sad locker room for sure.”

The loss marked the final appearances at East for Jordan Banks, Ryan Hocker, Bryan Jackson, Talbert and his twin brother Isaac, Gafford and reserve post Andre Massey in addition to Schippers.

“I'm disappointed, but not in the character of my players,” Super said. “The upheld the tradition of the players we have had at Olathe East in terms of integrity, and I look forward to watching them mature as human beings and seeing where they're going to end up.”


Kansas 6A sub-state championship

At Blue Valley

BV NORTHWEST 51, OLATHE EAST 48

Blue Valley Northwest (15-7): Tyler Brashears 1-6 2-4 4, Morgan Smith 7-11 6-9 23, Brett Fisher 4-10 0-0 10, George Bugarinovic 3-5 2-2 8, Brett Bond 0-1 3-4 3, Shane Hooks 1-3 1-3 3, Mark Hatchett 0-2 0-3 0, Kevin Lang 0-0 0-0 0, Brad Luebbert 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-38 14-25 51.

Olathe East (17-5): Tyler Kalinoski 5-10 2-5 14, Bryce Schippers 2-5 3-4 8, Andrew Talbert 3-4 2-7 8, Cole Cook 0-3 2-2 2, Cody Gafford 2-8 4-5 8, Jordan Banks 1-6 0-0 2, Bryan Jackson 0-0 0-0 0, Andre Massey 2-2 2-4 6. Totals 15-38 15-27 48.

BVNW 13 5 16 17 — 51

OE 2 11 14 21 — 48

Three-point goals: BVNW 5-12 (Smith 3-4, Fisher 2-6, Brashears 0-1, Hooks 0-1), OE 3-11 (Kalinoski 2-6, Schippers 1-3, Cook 0-2). Rebounds: BVNW 30 (Brashears, Bugarinovic, Hatchett 6), OE 27 (Gafford 9). Assists: BVNW 11 (Brashears 3), OE 6 (Cook, Gafford, Schippers 2). Turnovers: BVNW 13, OE 12.

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