For the last 30 seconds of Friday’s DiRenna Kansas vs. Missouri Boys All-Star game, it appeared that Lee’s Summit North seniors were reliving their deep playoff run from earlier in the year.
With Team Missouri holding a 117-114 lead, Mikel Henderson got the ball into the hands of DiRenna Award finalist Javaunte Hawkins as he was fouled with six seconds left.
Just like they did for much of the playoffs, the Broncos’ backcourt duo helped milk the clock late in a game and Hawkins hit a key free throw to put Missouri up by four. Just for fun, he shot his next free throw left-handed, only for Rockhurst’s Glen McClintock to get the rebound and make a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Missouri a 121-114 win at Shawnee Mission South High School.
The game featured some of the best senior basketball players in the Kansas City metro area. In addition to Hawkins and Henderson, William Chrisman’s Dawson Herl and Fort Osage’s Ty Baker got to play among the area’s best.
For Hawkins and Henderson, it was a chance for the longtime teammates to share a court one last time.
“It was fun. Mikel is my best friend. I love playing with him,” said Hawkins, who had three points and two assists and also made a shot at half-court that didn’t count just after the buzzer in the third period. “It was fun to be out there with him one last time. I wish him the best. We’re going to still be best friends even after we graduate.
“I got to talk to some dudes I haven’t seen in awhile. And got to see some new faces. It was a fun night and we got the win. That’s all that matters.”
Henderson had nine points, three steals and four rebounds. He had a highlight reel play when he stole a ball at half-court and buried a 27-footer in the fourth quarter. He then celebrated by crouching down and forming a circle with his index finger and thumb, signaling that he just buried a 3-pointer.
“I was just getting hyped and enjoying the environment,” Henderson said of his celebration. “I got to play with the best players in the city and it was fun.”
Like Hawkins, he enjoyed playing with him one last time.
“I love Javaunte. That’s my brother,” Henderson said. “It was fun, especially at the end. Missouri is better than Kansas. I just wanted to get that statement out there.”
It was also a fun moment for Team Missouri and Blue Springs South coach Josh Smith, who had to game plan to stop Henderson and Hawkins during the high school regular season and playoffs, to coach them for the first time.
“I told them that I enjoyed having them on my side instead of figuring out how to contain them,” said Smith, who had to coach against the Broncos three times this season. “It was a really neat experience to be with those guys in practice the last couple of nights. And watch them interact and compete.
“I also enjoyed coach other guys I’ve never seen before like Ty Baker. He did some really good things for us.”
Baker, who has signed to play football at Missouri State, closed out his high school athletic career by scoring five points and grabbing a rebound.
“It was a good moment. It was good to play with some of the best athletes around,” Baker said. “I played with some of these guys in AAU. It was good to come in here and take down Kansas.
He got a chance to play with Herl for the first time, someone who has been on a rival team in football and basketball.
“It was good to be on the same team for once,” Baker said.
“Me and Ty have grown up together and have seen each other a lot,” said Herl, who had two points and three rebounds. “It’s fun to get to practice and play with him a little bit.”
Rockhurst’s Glen McClintock was the Team Missouri MVP and Raytown’s Desmond Hutson won the dunk contest.
Oak Grove’s Lilli Weir, North’s Anija Frazier and St. Michael the Archangel Catholic’s Andie Lanpher were a part of Team Missouri on the girls side. Missouri fell to 76-73 in double overtime, which was played under sudden death rules (first basket wins). Kansas’ Sara Beth Gueldner of Olathe Northwest buried a 3-pointer to win it.
Weir had six points and three rebounds; Frazier had three rebounds, one block, one assist and three steals; and Lanpher had two rebounds. North Kansas City’s Chandler Prater was the Team Missouri MVP.