The Class 6 sectionals game at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena started out good for the Lee’s Summit West boys basketball team in their sectionals as they jumped ahead to an 8-2 lead. And then it went sour. Rockhurst pulled ahead just a few minutes later and would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.
Led by senior guard Xavier Rhodes, the Rockhurst Hawklets led by as much as sixteen points at one time. Despite senior Christian Bishop scoring 21 points to lead the team, he did not get much help as the next leading scorer for West was senior guard Mario Goodrich with 13 points.
West had a spirited comeback late in the 4th quarter as they attempted to pull ahead despite being down by about 10 points the entire half. Combined with stingy defense, selfless effort and clutch plays, the Titans were able to pull within 3 with 22.8 seconds left in the game. Unfortunately, that was as close as they were going to get. Rhodes was able to find a streaking Dalen Ridgnal with seconds remaining to put Rockhurst up 63-58 and all but end the game, and dash the Titan’s hopes of another deep state run.
The game was the last one for multiple players. Bishop, Goodrich, guard Phillip Brooks, center Yor Anei, forward Malachi Butler, and guard Anthony Sirna played their last basketball game in a Titan uniform on March 7 on the hardwood at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. Next year, the team will return just one starter from this year’s starting lineup in guard Rich Johnson.