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Prep basketball roundup: Third-quarter surge lets Patriots bury Belton

By The Examiner staff

Najee Williams’ big first half and a third-quarter barrage of 3-pointers helped the Truman boys basketball team maintain its hot streak.

Williams poured in 18 of his game-high 23 points to lead the host Patriots to a 68-45 rout of Belton in a Suburban Middle Six matchup Tuesday.

“We had a solid win tonight. Other than a poor few minutes in the second quarter, we played pretty darn well,” Truman coach Rod Briggs said after his team won for the fourth straight time and the eighth time in its last nine games.

The Patriots (13-3, 2-0 Middle Six) built a 40-29 halftime lead and buried five 3-pointers in the third quarter for an 18-6 advantage that sealed the win with a 58-35 lead.

Max Black added 14 points, Maddux Bristow had 11 and Runey Hernandez tallied nine to help Truman, which travels to rival William Chrisman Friday. 

FORT OSAGE 56, PLEASANT HILL 55: Fort Osage used a big first quarter and held on to edge Pleasant Hill in the first round of the Grain Valley Sonic Showdown Tuesday.

The Indians grabbed a 23-9 lead on the Roosters after the first quarter.

“Probably played the best first quarter of the year for us,” Indians coach Josh Wilson said. “We were able to get them to turn the ball over and get some good buckets for us going the other way.”

Pleasant Hill cut Fort’s lead to 43-38 with a 17-9 advantage in the third quarter. The Indians held on despite going 3 of 13 from the line (9 of 20 for the game) in the fourth quarter.

Trent Hogland scored 17 points, Arthur Wyatt added 13 and Greg Menne had eight to lead Fort Osage (4-6), which faces top-seeded Platte County (11-3) in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Thursday at Grain Valley.

Jay Powell fired in 21 points to lead Pleasant Hill (4-8).

LIBERTY 74, BLUE SPRINGS 66: A fourth-quarter collapse halted Blue Springs’ nine-game winning streak Tuesday.

The Wildcats couldn’t hold on to a 48-45 lead after the third quarter and dropped to 10-3 overall and 4-2 in the Suburban Big Eight after Liberty outscored them 29-18 in the final period.

“We lost track of some defensive responsibilities late in the fourth quarter,” Wildcats coach Adam Jones said. “They got up two possessions and then (Bennett) Stirtz put us away at the free throw line. Was a discouraging loss to a good Liberty team (13-3, 5-1). We’ll have to be a lot better on Friday night (against Blue Springs South).” 

Eli Wingert scored 18 points to lead Blue Springs’ balanced attack. Ike Ezeogu added 15 points, Braden Appelhans had 12 and Mike Harrison had 10 for the Wildcats, who led 29-28 at halftime.

Javion Byers tallied 23 points and Stirtz, who was 8 of 10 from the free-throw line, finished with 21.