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Examiner
  • Lee's Summit North fail to stop Young, hold lead

  • The week leading up to the Class 5 state semifinal game at Mizzou Arena, Lee’s Summit North coach Mike Hilbert made sure his team was aware of McCluer North’s B.J. Young.

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  • The week leading up to the Class 5 state semifinal game at Mizzou Arena, Lee’s Summit North coach Mike Hilbert made sure his team was aware of McCluer North’s B.J. Young.
    Even a week of practice couldn’t get the Broncos fully prepared.
    “Coach was calling out B.J.’s name at practice all week, but preparing for him and playing against him are totally different,” North guard Kenny Berry said Friday afternoon after Young went for 19 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Stars to a 62-59 come-from-behind victory over the Broncos.
    North will play Columbia Rock Bridge (24-5) at 11:30 a.m. Saturday for third place.
    “Young put them on his back and led them to victory,” said North’s 6-foot-10 post David Kravish, who played much of the second half with three fouls. He picked up his fourth foul at 5:50 of the fourth period.
    “If I was blowing the whistle,” said Hilbert, who proved he didn’t lose his sense of humor. “I’d have blown it a little bit differently. That fourth foul was a big tweet.”
    Stars coach Randy Reed agreed. “When the big man picked up his third foul, I was like, ‘Oh, thank heaven,’” Reed said looking skyward. “That helped us get back in the game. He has so much length. He affects everything inside. Then, they have that big 6-8 horse (sophomore Troy Miller), so they pose a real threat inside. The game changed when their young man (Kravish) went to the bench.”
    It also changed when he returned to action.
    “I couldn’t play as aggressively as I would have liked to,” said Kravish, who finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and no blocks. “I didn’t want to pick up my fifth foul.”
    Hilbert added, “We had three blocks in the game. David usually has three on a team’s first three possessions, so . . .”
    He didn’t finish the sentence. He didn’t need to.
    With Kravish fresh and energized, the 21-7 Broncos rolled to a 14-2 first-quarter lead. Kravish had eight points in the first quarter, and Young had a basket and free throw.
    “We did a nice job early on Young,” Hilbert said. “Through three quarters, he had 11 points. I was feeling pretty good. Then, well, he just took the game over.”
    Young was 10 of 19 from the floor, but was 7 of 7 in the fourth quarter.
    He scored 12 of the Stars’ final 14 points, including four free throws in the final 12 seconds to keep the Broncos at bay.
    With 12 seconds remaining, he hit two free throws to make the score 60-59 in favor of the Stars.
    The Broncos then called timeout, to set up an inside play to Kravish.
    Page 2 of 2 - But with five seconds left, the Broncos turned the ball over.
    “I would have liked to have had the ball in David’s hands one more time,” Hilbert said. “But it didn’t happen.”
    On the Stars’ inbounds play, Young was fouled. He hit both free throws to ice the win.
    “B.J. has done that for us all year,” said teammate Jordan Granger, who scored 10 points. “Basketball is a game of runs, and B.J. was in the middle of all our runs in the second half. He just took the game over.”
    North led 17-11 after one quarter, 32-26 at the half and 42-37 going into the fourth.
    “Before we went out for the fourth quarter, I told the guys we can’t lose this game,” said Young, who averages 28 points a game for the 28-4 Stars. “We have worked so hard all season, we had to find a way to win. Hats off to Lee’s Summit (North). They’re a good team. They gave it everything they had. But we found a way to come back and win.”
    Young was so dominant in the second half, Hilbert switched from his team’s 3-2 zone to a box-and-one, which proved to be ineffective.
    “When we went to the box-and-one, the back side kind of caved in, and they got some boards they weren’t getting early in the game,” Hilbert said. “He was so good. We just couldn’t stop him.”
    Berry, sitting next to his coach in the press room following the game, nodded in agreement.
    “We knew B.J. was a great high school player going into the game,” Berry said. “And he proved it to us. We ran into a great player, and (He) found a way to lead his team to a win. It’s disappointing, but it was still a great high school game.”
    That’s a fact Hilbert hopes is not lost on his team.
    “It was a great high school game,” Hilbert said. “We didn’t lose the game. McCluer won it. It hurts like heck, but I hope the kids are proud of what they accomplished. Maybe we’ll go have some pizza, have a pool party – have some fun – and get them in the right frame of mind for tomorrow morning’s game. It would be nice to win our last game, and we can do it tomorrow.
    “It wouldn’t be as nice as winning tomorrow night, but we can finish on a positive note.”
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