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Examiner
  • Lee’s Summit North boys bring home third

  • When the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard at Mizzou Arena and the Lee’s Summit North boys basketball team knew it was going to receive the first state trophy in school history, the real celebration began.

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  • When the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard at Mizzou Arena and the Lee’s Summit North boys basketball team knew it was going to receive the first state trophy in school history, the real celebration began.
    David Kravish, the 6-foot-10 center who was a defensive monster in the fourth quarter of a 55-43 Class 5 third-place victory over Columbia Rockbridge Saturday morning, led the Broncos into the stands where they celebrated with their fans.
    After a brief discussion between coach Mike Hilbert and a Missouri State High School Activities Association official, the Broncos settled in with the student body in what has become a postseason ritual.
    “I want to thank MSHSAA for letting us do that,” Hilbert said. “They wanted us to go right to the locker room, but our fans deserved that moment. They’re a part of our family.”
    Hilbert then brought his entire team into the postgame interview session when he made a poignant opening comment.
    “I want to praise God,” Hilbert said. “A lot of good happens when God gets the credit. This season has been a special journey, and the fourth quarter of this game summed up our entire season in a nutshell.”
    The Bruins held a 41-36 lead going into the fourth quarter. That’s when Kravish took over on both ends of the court.
    Columbia Rockbridge did not score another basket until reserve Robert Cheadle hit a meaningless layup wth two seconds left in the game.
    “I heard some of the players on the bench say they didn’t score in the fourth quarter, but I’m so caught up in the game I didn’t notice,” Hilbert said. “I just know the dynamics of the game turned around when No. 45 (Kravish) got going.”
    Kravish, who got in early foul trouble in the state semifinal loss to McCluer North, had four blocks in the fourth quarter and scored nine of his 11 points. He also finished with nine rebounds.
    “We didn’t want to come to state and lose two in a row,” said Kravish, who showed some emotion as his team turned the close game into a rout. “This is the first time North has been to state, and we wanted to bring back a first-place trophy.
    “After we lost to McCluer North, we were really disappointed. We weren’t thinking about today’s game. But now, we care a lot. This is a big win. Third place feels pretty good right now.”
    Rockbridge, holding a three-point lead, went into a four-corner stall game midway through the third quarter so Hilbert instructed his zone-defense team to go to a man defense.
    It worked perfectly.
    “How about that?” Hilbert said. “We turn the season around (after a 3-3 start) by going to a 3-2 zone and wind up with a third-place trophy because of man defense. If we’d have played man defense early in the season like we did today, I wouldn’t have had to make the change.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The 22-8 Broncos took the lead for good when P.J. Lewis hit a layup to make the score 43-41 at 4:23. Kravish followed with an offensive rebound and a tipped basket, and Anthony Eller hit two free throws.
    “We fought so hard to get that lead that we weren’t going to give it up,” said Lewis, who hit four of five 3-point attempts in the first half. “I’ve seen our team play some good defense this year, but never like we played in the fourth quarter.”
    When asked about his team not allowing a fourth-quarter basket until two seconds remained, he looked stunned.
    “We shut them out until that last basket?” he said. “I didn’t know that. I guess we played even better than I thought.”
    As their teammates headed back to the locker room, it was apparent that Kravish and his longtime teammate Kenny Berry, didn’t want to leave the arena.
    Long after the postgame interview session, they were still talking about the biggest win of the season.
    “It’s funny,” said Kravish, who towered over his 5-foot-8 teammate, “I have a picture on my bedroom wall of a state championship team Kenny and I played on in the fourth grade.”
    Berry grinned at the comment.
    “Yeah, it was in Springfield, Mo., at a summer league USSSA tournament,” Berry said. “That was a long time ago.”
    Then, the mood changed from joyous to somber.
    “This is the last time I’ll play with Kenny and the other guys on the team. This is the last time I wear this uniform,” Kravish said. “Gosh, I’m glad we won that game.”
    Lewis finished with a game-high 18 points. Karon Hayes led the 24-6 Bruins with 13 points.
     
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