Fort Osage boys basketball coach Josh Wilson just wants his guys to stick to their guns.

Fort Osage boys basketball coach Josh Wilson just wants his guys to stick to their guns.

They didn’t do that for an extended stretch of Friday’s semifinal against Lee’s Summit West in the Cardinal Division of the American Family Insurance Holiday Classic at William Jewell College. That resulted in a disastrous second quarter that led to a 70-62 defeat to the Class 5 No. 3-ranked Titans.

After drawing even at 15-all in the opening quarter, the Indians (6-3) were outscored 18-4 while shooting 2-for-8 from the field in the second period. Fort’s drought lasted into the early minutes of the third as West built its lead to 37-19.

“We went away from what we normally do,” Wilson said. “We stopped running our secondary break. We stopped working the ball inside. We made some mistakes. You can’t make that many kind of mistakes against a team like that.”

The Titans (7-1) frustrated Fort with a man press throughout the first half that didn’t yield many turnovers – the Indians committed only 12 in the game – but forced the Indians into an array of quick shots.

“I feel like we let the pressure get to us,” said Fort sophomore guard Will Penamon, who scored 15 points. “We just didn’t play up to our potential in the second quarter. We need to get at each other more in practice and put more pressure on each other. That second quarter was horrible.”

The Indians did fire back with a couple spurts in the second half. First, they went on an 8-0 run in the middle of the third quarter to pull within 37-27 before West built the margin back up to 48-31.

Fort’s biggest rally came in the fourth as freshman Skylar Thompson scored eight of his team-high 17 points off the bench. Senior D’Vante Mosby also scored seven of his nine points in the period as the Indians chipped West’s lead down to 63-58 with 1:05 remaining.

That’s as close as it got, though, as Austin Burau hit a big basket and the Titans went 8-for-10 from the free-throw line in the final 1:36.

“It’s definitely a good feeling knowing we can hang with the team that’s potentially the best in the state,” said Thompson, who finished 7-of-7 from the field. “It’s definitely a good feeling, but it’s kind of frustrating because we know we can beat them.”

As encouraging as the final nine minutes were for the Indians – in which they outscored the Titans 31-22 – that brutal second quarter was the focus of their postgame discussions.

“We look at our games and we always have one quarter where we’re not playing like ourselves,” Thompson said. “We know that’s our problem right now and we’re going to try to take care of it. ... We just need to play together as a team and play good defense and everything else will come together.”

Mosby paced the Indians with nine rebounds and he also swiped three steals. Zach Adams chipped in with nine points.
Trevor Gregory led West with 17 points while Monte Harrison added 12 points and Jarred Dixon notched 12 off the bench.
The Indians will take on Pleasant Hill in the third-place game at 10 a.m. today while West advances to meet Blue Springs South in the championship at 6 p.m.

“We have to have a short memory,” Wilson said. “We’ll take the things we need to work on, the guys know what they are, and we’ll just put them into play (today). And we get to play for some hardware.”