Fort Osage boys basketball coach Josh Wilson had to go deep into his bench, his junior varsity team and his sophomore squad to get enough players to field a team Friday.
With the football team playing Saturday for the Class 5 state championship, several of his regular players were unavailable for Friday’s season opener against Kearney.
Not to mention that his team was down three of the game’s starters late.
That still didn’t stop the Indians from prevailing. Fort Osage surged ahead in the second quarter and hung on for a 49-46 home win over the Bulldogs.
“It feels very good to get this win, especially with all the guys out,” Wilson said. “The guys we had did a tremendous job. All the subs contributed some key minutes.”
Jared Larson scored 14 points and Darren Horning added 13, including several key baskets down the stretch, to spark the Indians to the win.
Senior Josh Viana scored a late putback to give the Indians a three-point lead. Kearney pulled within a point again but Triston Turner scored and then got a defensive rebound to seal the win.
“It was a dogfight,” Wilson said. “We got some big baskets down the stretch.”
Tied at 11, the Indians (1-0) surged ahead in the second quarter with a 16-8 advantage for a 27-19 halftime lead. Kearney cut it to 40-36 entering the final period.
GRAIN VALLEY 58, KIRKSVILLE 38: Caden Matlon’s hot shooting helped Grain Valley claim third place in the Marshall Tournament.
Matlon shot 8 of 12 from the field on the way to 20 points to lead the Eagles past the Kirksville Tigers Friday at Marshall High School.
“We did a good job defensively the last three quarters,” Eagles coach Andy Herbert said after his team improved to 2-1. “We have a long way to go to get where we want to be, but we’re looking forward to the journey with this group of kids.”
Josh Kilpatrick added 17 points and Cole Keller tallied 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
BLUE VALLEY NORTHWEST 70, BLUE SPRINGS 42: The Wildcats couldn’t muster much offense in a loss to Blue Valley Northwest Friday in their season opener.
The Huskies jumped out to a 22-9 lead in the first period and extended the lead to 41-20 at halftime. Blue Springs couldn’t catch up as it trailed 62-30 going into the fourth.
Justin Smith led Blue Springs (0-1) with 14 points and Stephen Black II added nine.
VAN HORN 71, BARSTOW 57: Van Horn used a balanced attack to cruise past Barstow in the first round of the Van Horn Invitational Thursday.
The Falcons had six players with seven points or more.
Xavier Marrero scored 19 points to lead the Falcons, followed by Josh Anzaldo (15), Jaden Monday (10), Chase Quinn (9), Caleb Tanis (8) and Shaun Ross (7).
The Indians advanced to Friday’s semifinals.
VAN HORN 51, KAUFFMAN 50: Lexi Robinson scored 17 points, hitting the winning free throw with three seconds left, to lift the Van Horn girls to a consolation semifinal win over Kauffman Friday in the Van Horn Invitational.
The Falcons (1-1) will play for fifth place at 10 a.m. Saturday against Kansas City Central.
Van Horn rallied after trailing 37-34 at halftime. Daisy Washington added 12 points and Erica Parrish added 10 for the Falcons.
Van Horn fell 43-37 to Raytown South in the first round Thursday. Robinson scored 14 points and Washington added 12 to lead the Falcons, who couldn’t recover after falling behind 11-2 after one quarter.