For one quarter, the William Chrisman and Raytown boys basketball teams had fans attending the 45th annual Summit Grill Shootout at Lee’s Summit High School on the edge of their seats.
Raytown’s Cortez Howlett hit four 3-pointers and had 14 points while the Bears’ Isaiah Jackson countered with nine points as coach Cody Buford’s Blue Jays led 22-20 in a game that had all the makings of a classic.
Then, well, let’s let Bears coach Jake Kates talk about what happened the rest of the game as Chrisman lost 70-54 and he spent 40 minutes in a lengthy postgame session with his squad.
“The first quarter, everything looked good – looked great,” Kates said, managing a smile as he walked out of the locker room with activities director Greg McGhee. “Then, we had no swag, no confidence. Raytown basically did whatever it wanted to, and they outplayed us every way a team can be outplayed. That’s what we’ve been talking about since the game ended.
“And the guys put this one on themselves. You know, a coach gets way too much credit when a team wins and oftentimes gets too much blame when a team loses.
“You saw what happened out there. We tried a lot of things to stop them, and nothing worked. Cody’s kids played hard tonight and the final score shows that the best team won.”
When asked if he was eager to get his team back out on the court, Kates shook his head and said, “Yeah, at 6 a.m. Thursday. We’re back in the gym and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
While Kates and his staff are looking for answers, Raytown coach Cody Buford is excited about the remainder of the Summit Grill Shootout.
“That first quarter was something,” Buford said. “Cortez just took the game over, and you know, he scored 14 in the first quarter and finished with 17 because we got everyone else involved in the offense.
“We knew No. 1 (Jackson) was going to get his points, so we worked for an hour and a half at our last practice to make sure that No. 20 (Zachariah Rowe) and No. 22 (Alex Calhoun) didn’t get into the flow of the offense.
“I was a little concerned when (Calhoun) hit his first two threes, but he only had one free throw the rest of the game and scored some points (14), but most of them came at the free throw line.
“I thought we played a great game, and were able to hold onto the momentum we had in the first quarter.”
The Blue Jays led 36-30 at halftime, 53-42 after three periods and used a 15-10 fourth quarter to keep the Bears at bay.
Jackson, a senior guard, led all scorers with 26 points to pace Chrisman (10-4), which faces host Lee’s Summit in the third-place game at 7 p.m. Friday.
Trayvon Parker and Aaron Franklin finished with 14 points each for the Blue Jays (11-4), who meet Ruskin in the championship at 8:30 p.m. Friday.