William Chrisman wasn’t planning to dwell on Friday night’s 86-64 road loss to Raytown.
The Bears planned to “put this game behind” them and begin focusing on the Class 5 District 14 tournament, Chrisman boys basketball coach Chad Wright said.
“(When) a good shooter makes a shot, we forget about it,” he said. “And (with tonight), we move on ... districts. Start preparing for them tomorrow.”
The Bears (13-11, 7-5 Suburban Middle Seven) will open districts against Winnetonka at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Kearney High School. The winner will play Fort Osage in the semis at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
By contrast, Raytown coach Cody Buford might take more time to put Friday’s game behind him than Wright and Chrisman did. By defeating the Bears in the regular-season finale for both teams to conclude a girls-boys varsity doubleheader, the Blue Jays won the Suburban Middle Seven boys title outright. According to Buford, it was the first league title for Raytown (19-6, 11-1) since 2007-08.
Winning the title has been a season-long goal, Buford said. And even in a basketball world where every high school team plays in the postseason, he believes a conference championship matters.
“I heard a guy on the radio say yesterday (that) conference doesn’t mean anything,” Buford said. “He was talking about college basketball, but it blew my mind away. I think conference is a goal that people look past nowadays, but I think it’s huge. To come out here this year and win a conference title after going 6-17 last year just shows how much that they wanted to change.”
Still, Buford hopes the Blue Jays won’t be content with being league champions.
“We’re good enough to compete with Lee’s Summit, to compete with everybody in our district – and they’ve got to be ready to turn it up tomorrow in practice,” he said.
The Blue Jays host Lee’s Summit Tuesday in Class 5 District 13 play. The winner will play in the tournament final Friday night.
The Blue Jays bolted away during the second quarter Friday to secure their latest title. Leading 24-21, they ripped off a 17-4 run and went on to lead 45-27 at halftime. They kept it a double-digit ballgame during the second half.
“We got sped up and kind of got to playing their game and gave up a lot of offensive rebounds,” Wright said. “And when you get behind a team like that, it’s hard to make up that much ground.”
Jailen Gill’s 21 points helped the Blue Jays secure their title. Chris Horn paced Chrisman with 17 points.
Chrisman also lost the girls varsity game, 58-56. Dajanae Wilson’s two free throws with 16.2 seconds left helped Raytown secure the victory.
“We lost our marbles,” Chrisman girls coach Lindsay Thompson. “We practice time, situation, score ... all the time in practice – and we didn’t execute very well the last four minutes of the game.”
Adreon Bell led the Bears with 13 points. Ashley Harvey paced the Blue Jays with 21 points, followed by Kyessence Collins with 18 and Philomena Lammers with 13.
The Bears (11-13, 6-6) have little time to think about another close loss. They open the Class 5 District 14 tournament against Fort Osage at noon today at Kearney.