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Prep basketball roundup: Duo sparks Patriots past NKC

By The Examiner staff

The Truman boys basketball team is starting to put it together.

The duo of Najee Williams and Max Black combined for 49 points to lead the host Patriots to a 64-56 non-conference victory over the North Kansas City Hornets Tuesday night.

Truman led just 29-26 at halftime but pulled away with an 18-12 advantage in the third quarter and built the lead to as much as 14 points with about a minute left.

“We played outstanding in the third quarter. I am proud of our guys in how they stepped up the last two games,” Truman coach Rod Briggs said. “We are improving again and that is all I can ask for as a coach.

Max Black was outstanding again ... and Najee Williams scored a quiet 25.  Crazy how he can put up numbers like that.”

Black sank five 3-pointers on the way to his 24 points. Griffen Hernandez and T.J. Marshall each chipped in five points for the Patriots (7-2).

“We had a great contribution off the bench from several players. Proud of our team,” Briggs said.

BLUE SPRINGS 60, RAYMORE-PECULIAR 33: Blue Springs used a strong defensive effort to fuel its offense in a rout of visiting Raymore-Peculiar Tuesday.

The Wildcats, led by Kyle Bruce’s defense and Braden Appelhans’ shooting, held the Panthers to just eight first-half points while racing to a 35-8 halftime lead.

Applehans scored 21 of his game-high 26 points in the first half to lead Blue Springs to the Suburban Big Eight victory.

“Great team win for us tonight against a good Ray-Pec team,” Wildcats coach Adam Jones said. “Our guys did a fantastic job containing Ray-Pec’s I’ryn Allen. We jumped out to a big lead fueled by great defense and the hot shooting of Braden and Kyle. Kyle set the tone for us taking Allen out of their offensive sets and our team followed his leadership in playing great team defense behind him.”

Bruce, Ike Ezeogu and Mike Harrison each finished with nine points for the Wildcats (6-2, 2-1 Big Eight).

BLUE SPRINGS SOUTH 58, LEE’S SUMMIT WEST 57: Blue Springs South overcame an early deficit and staved off a late rally by Lee’s Summit West to claim a Suburban Big Eight home win Tuesday.

The Jaguars (5-5, 2-0 Big Eight) outscored the Titans 18-10 in the third quarter to take a 39-36 lead into the final period, but held on for the win.

“We struggled to match their energy and their physicality in the first half, but the guys responded to the challenge we issued them at halftime and made just enough plays – at both ends of the floor – to pull out the victory,” Jaguars coach Josh Smith said.

Ty Mauck led a balanced South attack with 16 points. Dallas Whitney added 12 points, Quinton Robertson had nine – all in the second half – and Devin Tomlinson contributed eight.

“Sonny McCreary had six (points) off the bench – and he made huge plays at both ends of the court tonight,” Smith said. “We don't win the game without his contributions.”

Luke Jordan tallied 19 points on five 3-pointers to lead Lee’s Summit West (2-4, 0-2).

BELTON 62, GRAIN VALLEY 51: Grain Valley was outscored 19-9 in the second period and that proved to be the difference in a Suburban Middle Six loss to Belton Tuesday.

Tied 17-17 after one quarter, Belton grabbed a 36-26 halftime lead and held on to send the Eagles (1-6, 0-2 Middle Six) to their sixth straight loss.

Cole Keller tallied 23 points and nine rebounds to lead Grain Valley. Owen Herbert added 11 on three 3-pointers and Alex Snyder had nine points and nine boards.

LIBERTY 76, LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH 52: Liberty used a strong second quarter to pull away from Lee’s Summit North for a Suburban Big Eight win Tuesday.

North trailed 17-10 after the first quarter but the visiting Blue Jays used a 24-13 advantage in the second to grab a 41-23 halftime lead.

Jeremy Moore tallied 23 points to lead the Broncos (0-5, 0-3 Big Eight).


OAK GROVE 70, VAN HORN 44: Makenna Gray’s big double-double and a strong start propelled Oak Grove to a rout of host Van Horn Tuesday.

Gray poured in 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead the Panthers to the non-conference win.

Oak Grove stormed to a 24-5 lead after one quarter and cruised from there. Mya Blansit added 18 points and Destiny Valentine had 17 as Oak Grove improved to 6-4.

Amari Smith scored 12 points and Lexi Robinson and Rhiannon Blackburn each added 11 to lead Van Horn (0-5).