Brian Armstrong didn’t hit a single 3-pointer and was just 2 of 3 from the free-throw line.
But the Blue Springs boys basketball player capitalized on nearly every shot he had to pour in a career-high 34 points to lead the Wildcats to a 91-79 home victory over the St. Joseph Central Indians in their season opener.
“He had a really good night. I think he might have missed two shots all night, and a lot of layups,” Wildcats coach Adam Jones said of Armstrong, who erupted for 20 points in the third quarter alone after getting 10 in the first half, two in the first quarter. “He started slow, but we told him to be aggressive a little bit and it paid off.”
The Wildcats led just 31-27 at halftime before Armstrong sparked a 34-point third quarter with his outburst.
“We finally started clicking,” Jones said. “They finally figured out what we were telling them was working – get it inside and get layups.”
Cody Isabel added 20 points and Darius Vaughn added 12 as the Wildcats (1-0) held off a 29-point effort by Central’s Derek Gray.
LINCOLN PREP 55, LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH 54: Isaac Smith’s two free throws with five seconds left gave Lincoln Prep the lead, and Lee’s Summit North turned the ball over in falling to 1-1 at the Jack Bush Tip-Off Classic.
Anthony Lupardus scored 21 points and was 9 of 11 at the foul line to lead North, including two free throws to give the Broncos their final lead. Caleb Berry hit three 3-pointers on his way to 18 points, Jalen Ford added nine points and Tyler Lovelace chipped in six off the bench.
“Lincoln Prep has some good high school basketball players, and (their coach) has them playing good defense,” North coach Mike Hilbert said. “We had the lead with 10 seconds left and couldn’t get a defensive stop. We had an opportunity but threw the ball away.”
“Obviously you want to win, but I have a good perspective of the talent on our team. We really played from play to play. Hopefully we’ll learn and be able to execute better in the end.”
VAN HORN 59, SHERWOOD 49: The Falcons sped off to 30-17 halftime lead and didn’t let Sherwood get any closer than six in the second half to post a consolation final win at the Summit Christian Academy Tournament.
Anthony Winningham tallied 17 points, Marquis Collins 14 and Isaiah Gotsis nine to lead the Falcons, who improved to 2-1.
“Our defense in the first half got us out in front,” Van Horn coach Daniel Bieser said. “We pressured the ball, played our gaps well and got some steals and some easy baskets.
“They were able to slow it down in the second half and we played too much to their tempo. Winningham did a good job of controlling things and hitting big shots when needed.”