To hear Chris Horn tell it, William Chrisman’s boys basketball team owed Friday afternoon’s 64-49 win over Harrisonville in the William Jewell Holiday Classic to Coach Chad Wright’s pregame talk.
Horn, who paced the Bears with 23 points in the Nelson Division consolation semifinal victory, said Wright was emphatic “about what he wanted us to do today” during Chrisman’s pregame meeting.
“And we handled it,” Horn said.
Specifically, Wright wanted the Bears (3-3) to play tough defense. Hard-nosed defensive play has been a focal point this season, according to Wright.
“(We) had better ball pressure and better denials (than we’ve had),” he said.
Wright saw good work from Chrisman in other areas.
“We seemed to play a lot better as a team today,” he said. “We didn’t have as many kids trying to do things individually. We got the ball inside a little bit better and took the shots at the right times.”
The Bears also got high-percentage shots thanks to their transition game. They made 22 of 46 field goal attempts (48 percent). Randall Horn helped power Chrisman’s attack with 16 points, followed by Alex Ball with 10.
“We felt like we might be a little faster team than them,” Wright said. “They’re a little bit bigger than us, so we knew we wanted to get down the floor.”
Harrisonville’s big men helped to power the Wildcats (2-5). Center Brice Renner, a 6-foot-5 junior, paced Harrisonville with 15 points. Forward Matthew Prindle, a 6-5 senior, contributed 11. Senior guard Jon Koch also had 11.
“Give Chrisman a lot of credit,” Wildcats coach Todd Mercer said. “I thought they came out and really competed and played hard. I thought we did in spurts, but we’ve got to be more consistent.”
The Bears’ scrappy play secured their meeting with Kearney in the Nelson Division fifth-place game at 10 a.m. Monday. The Bulldogs advanced by edging O’Hara 19-18 in double overtime. Kearney and O’Hara set a tournament record for fewest combined points in a game. Hickman Mills and Columbia Rock Bridge set the old record, 63, in 2003.
BLUE SPRINGS 62, KC CENTRAL 37: Blue Springs (3-4) outscored Central in the first and third quarters Friday morning in a Patterson Division consolation semifinal.
The Wildcats (3-4) led 16-5 after one quarter, then were outscored 13-11 the second quarter. They responded by outscoring the Blue Eagles 23-6 the third quarter.
Kirk Finley paced Blue Springs with 16 points, followed by Justin Hall with 10. Ramar Brown with 13 points and was the only Blue Eagle in double figures.
FORT OSAGE 80, ST. JOSEPH CENTRAL 74: Skylar Thompson’s 29 points powered Fort Osage (5-3) to victory in Friday morning’s other Patterson Division consolation semifinal. The sophomore guard went 9 for 18 from the field and 10 for 10 from the foul line.
Thompson was one of three Fort Osage players in double figures. Brian Starr contributed 15 points, followed by Bailey Williamson with 14.
“It was a good win to come back finishing our game less than 12 hours prior to that,” Fort Osage coach Josh Wilson said. “With about three minutes left I put five JV players in, so the game wasn’t as close as the score showed.
“Skylar, Brian, Will Penamon and Bailey Williamson played phenomenal. They were really clicking – everyone played well. If you saw us compared to last night, you wouldn’t think it was the same team. We were running the floor and communicating, boxing out.”
Derek Gray powered St. Joseph Central with 35 points, followed by Kyle Fox with 11.
Fort Osage and Blue Springs will square off at 2 p.m. Monday at William Jewell for fifth place.