It was just one of those nights for Truman. Every time the Patriots made a run at Kansas City Northeast in Thursday’s Class 5 District 15 semifinal at North Kansas City, the Vikings answered.
It was just one of those nights for Truman.
Every time the Patriots made a run at Kansas City Northeast in Thursday’s Class 5 District 15 semifinal at North Kansas City, the Vikings answered.
In the same manner, Truman barely had an answer for Northeast guard Daylen Robinson, who punched in a game-high 21 points, as Truman’s season came to an end with a 67-58 loss.
“Every time we thought we were making a little run, Daylen came down with something amazing,” Truman head coach Billy Guinnee said. “If he’s not the best player in Kansas City, I don’t know who is.”
Robinson, who dropped 48 points on William Chrisman in Tuesday’s district opener, drew plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” from the bipartisan crowd with deft dribbling, uncanny passing and scoop-to-the-hoop layups.
His ball handling and quickness offered a challenge for Truman junior guard Darrien Harris, who scored a team-high 16 points for the Patriots.
“I think we did real, real good holding him to (21) points,” Harris said of Robinson, a 30-point per game scorer this season. “That’s real good. I’ve never seen him have 20 before. He always has more, so I think we did an awesome job with that.”
Harris, who made a few jaw-dropping plays himself that elicited elongated pauses from the crowd, said he enjoyed the head-to-head competition.
“It was fun,” he said. “My whole objective – I was just focusing on D-ing him up. I was trying to hold him to as less points as I can. I feel like I did a good job, but we didn’t come out with the win, so it’s always hard to lose.”
Harris said the Patriots have nothing to be ashamed of with their effort.
Down 31-26 at halftime, the Patriots cut the deficit to two points in the opening minutes of the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Martez Artis, who nailed three 3-pointers on the night on his way to 15 points.
Northeast answered with a 6-0 run to push the lead to eight with 5 minutes, 57 seconds left in the third.
After a Truman timeout and a missed shot, Robinson went coast-to-coast for a driving layup to make it 39-29. Fouled on the play, Robinson converted the free throw to give the Vikings an insurmountable 11-point lead.
Truman answered with a 12-7 run over the next four minutes to cut the deficit to 48-41 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Patriots got as close as six points several times in the fourth quarter, but with 3:30 left, the Vikings went to a four-corners spread offense to run time off the clock.
After knocking a minute off, the dazzling Robinson attacked the rim as Truman defenders converged on him. Much to the delight of the Vikings’ fan base, Robinson dished the ball off to teammate Parris Simpson, who laid the ball in for a 59-51 Northeast lead that was too much for the Patriots to overcome.
“We’re all real disappointed,” Harris said of the season-ending loss. “We feel like we did all that we could; things just didn’t go our way. I know we played hard. Our objective was hold Daylen as long as we could. I think we did a real good job, but we just weren’t hitting on offense.”
Truman guard Zach Large, who scored 13 points, said he felt like the Patriots had the makeup to upend Northeast and advance to tonight’s district final against Kansas City Central. Instead, the Patriots have to reflect on a season that started strong, hit a lull and finished with a 19-7 mark.
“We’re not sad, but we’re disappointed in ourselves,” said Large, a sophomore. “We know we could have done better and went farther (in the state playoffs).”
Guinnee said he was proud of the Patriots’ effort against Northeast, but gave credit to Robinson for controlling the tempo.
“I don’t think anyone backed down from him,” Guinnee said. “I thought we fought really hard tonight. We had a little tougher time scoring in the second half. When you’ve got a weapon like that, you can just isolate him because he’s extremely hard to guard.
“We tried to counter that by running double (teams) at him, but when a guy dribbles around two guys, I can’t throw three guys at him. The guy took the game over at a crucial point.”