As the squad’s tallest player and its top scorer and rebounder, and with the widespread notoriety that comes from being a Division I recruit in two sports, junior Drew Lock inevitably stands out to anyone who watches the Lee’s Summit boys basketball team.
Fort Osage coach Josh Wilson knows his team can’t have as narrow a focus when it faces the Tigers in today’s Class 5 sectional playoff at the Independence Events Center at approximately 8:15 p.m.
The Indians (19-6), winners of 14 of their last 15 games, are back at the IEC for a third straight year, this time to face a Lee’s Summit team (19-7) that upset Blue Springs South in the District 13 finals.
“He gets a lot of credit, and it’s well-deserved,” Wilson said of the 6-foot-4 Lock, who also was an all-state quarterback for the state quarterfinalist Tigers football team, “but the pieces around him are about as good.
“They’ve got the little point guard, (sophomore Blake) Spellman, and Bruce Bias ... it’s basically five guards, and they’re looking to break you down off the dribble and then shoot it.”
It’s a lineup close to what Fort Osage often starts, with four guards and senior forward Logan Haugmo. Wilson admits the Tigers, who were one of just three teams to beat annual power Lee’s Summit West this year, present some matchup issues for the Indians, but that’s not an uncommon issue.
“We’ve had matchup troubles all year, and the kids have played up and overcome them,” he said. “It probably takes our full-court pressure, and wanting to do that all game, away, because Spellman can dribble through about anything from what I’ve seen.
“Another thing is that Lee’s Summit is not afraid to shoot it early, and they’ll make it.”
Wilson said his team has to contain dribble penetration, rebound and not get impatient in the half-court offense, but also added that either team could have a steep advantage if the other gets in foul trouble.
“Our philosophy’s going to stay the same – defend and rebound,” Wilson said. “We’ve got experience playing in Events Center – I don’t know if that will help, but I hope it helps. Will (Penamon) and Skylar (Thompson) started last year, and guys like Logan Haugmo, Brandon Hoeppner and Josh Alt also played.”
Senior guard Brian Starr, Fort Osage’s second-leading scorer (13.8 points per game) and its leader in rebounds (5.6), assists and steals, said the Indians can’t give yield too many points to Lock or too many offensive rebounds, and he also echoed some of his coach’s thoughts.
“If we play good defense and rebound, we should win,” Starr said. “The main thing is do what we’ve been doing to get us here.”
Thompson, a sophomore, leads the Indians with 16.8 ppg and adds 4.4 rebounds, and Penamon contributes 8.8 ppg.
The winner of tonight’s sectional game will play at 2:45 p.m. Saturday in the state quarterfinals against the winner of today’s 4:45 sectional between Lee’s Summit West (24-3) and Park Hill (14-13).