OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Truman seniors Becca Jonas and Abby Hix have played basketball together for about two-thirds of their lives. If ever two players would be in sync at an all-star game, it would be them.
But Jonas, Hix and the rest of the Missouri All-Stars played cohesive enough to appear in midseason form Friday, rolling away from the Kansas All-Stars in the second half for a 110-79 win in the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Challenge at Shawnee Mission South High School.
“It was a lot of fun just being out there with everyone,” said Jonas, who scored 15 points, all but one of her field goals coming on putbacks. “A lot of us have played with each other.”
“People can maybe tell we’ve played with each other for 13 years,” Hix said, “and we’ve played against her (Blue Springs South guard Remy Davenport) for years.
“I’ve played against these girls since sixth grade,” added Fort Osage’s Raven Bunn.
While Jonas, the newly minted DiRenna Award winner as the top player in the metro area, certainly displayed her skills on the interior, the Missouri girls’ prowess was more from long range. Kearney’s Meagan Paul drained five 3-pointers on her way a game-high 17 points, while Blue Springs South’s Remy Davenport (9 points) and Hix (6) scored all of their points on 3-pointers in the second half.
Bunn and Lee’s Summit North’s Imani Johnson added 12 points apiece for the Missouri team.
Bunn’s putback and Jonas’ three-point play were part of a 10-0 run that gave Missouri the lead for good at 14-7. Kansas closed within 35-34 before Johnson’s three-point play off an inbound pass started an 8-2 push to finish the half.
Two Davenport treys and one from Hix helped Missouri out to a 54-41 lead in the second half. The lead reached a highwater mark of 94-59 on six straight points from Jonas, and Missouri reached 100 when Annie Dewberry of Lincoln Prep hit a turnaround jumper to make it 101-69 with 2:31 to play. Johnson banked in a 3-pointer at the final buzzer.
“Definitely a lot of fun,” Johnson said. “We came out hard, but it’s a different vibe than a high school game.”
When asked if, at halftime, they thought the century mark would be attainable, Jonas, Hix, Davenport and Bunn emphatically answered “no” in near-unison.
“I’ve never played in a game where we got to 100, so that was nice,” said Bunn, who also had a pair of blocks on defense. “Everyone was lighting it up.”
“Everyone came out with a hot hand,” Hix added.
Staley point guard Monique Townson matched Bunn and Johnson with 12 points and added four assists.
“It wasn’t about, like, everyone showing off,” Jonas said of her teammates’ mutual willingness to share the ball and communicate on defense. “We played as a team. Everyone was going to have their moment.
“So much fun,” Davenport said. “It was like we’ve played together all year, even though we only two practices.”
Olathe South’s Bailey Reinhart scored 16 points, Blue Valley North’s Bria Pierce 13 to lead Kansas.
Kansas won the boys game 114-90, with Lee’s Summit West’s Monte Harrison winning the dunk contest during halftime. Jonas served as one of six judges for the contest.
Kansas grabbed a lead early in the first half that it never relinquished and led 61-46 at halftime. It reached the century mark in highlight fashion when Blue Valley Northwest’s Ben Richardson tossed the ball off the backboard in transition for a trailing Jawan Emery (Blue Valley North) to slam home for a 101-70 lead.
Ezra Talbert (Olathe East) led Kansas with 20 points, while Schneider and Richardson added 14 apiece. Missouri’s Tyrone Taylor from Grandview led all players with 23 points including four 3-pointers and 7-of-7 free throws. Ramar Brown (KC Central) and Adam Roe (West Platte) added 10 apiece.
Follow Mike Genet on Twitter @genetEJC