An athletic, fast-flying forward, Bishop Miege senior Montell Cozart prefers a track meet to a slow-paced tempo every single time.
More than anything, though, he prefers to win. And if that means playing a grind-it-out style, so be it.
Bishop Miege and Cozart slowed down Hogan Prep’s fast-paced style and wore down the Rams for a 65-38 victory Wednesday to close out the opening night of the Hy-Vee Shootout at Avila University.
“It’s a little tough to play like that,” Cozart said. “We knew they like to get up and down, but if we could keep them from running up and down the court and keep them on the outside, we’d be OK.”
Bishop Miege, 1-2, used a zone defense to accomplish that, holding the Rams out of the paint as the Stags built an 11-3 lead after the first quarter and a 15-point advantage at halftime.
Hogan Prep, 4-3, settled for jumpers from three-point range, but it made only four of 16 attempts.
Cozart, meanwhile, still earned a chance to showcase his athleticism. Racing down the middle of the lane, he threw down a third-quarter jam over a pair of Hogan Prep defenders, highlighting his 25-point night. He added 11 rebounds.
“I thought he was going to take a charge, but (the referees) didn’t call it,” Cozart said. “I thought I’d give the fans a little something to see.”
Hogan Prep mustered only one field goal in the first quarter and only two in the second quarter. Trailing by 23, Hogan Prep forward Amaad Wainright heated up in the third quarter, scoring nine of his team-high 16 points and finally solving the Stags’ zone defense.
Bishop Miege made sure Wainright’s streak didn’t pull the Rams back into the game. Guard McKinley Johnson was deadly from the outside, making four of five three-point attempts for 15 points. Making a concerted effort to work the ball into the post, Bishop Miege earned 24 trips to the free-throw line and made 19. Hogan Prep, on the other hand, shot just six free throws.
Blue Valley West 52, Center 51
Blue Valley West junior Ryan Ralston felt confident as he stepped to the free-throw line with seven seconds remaining and the Jaguars trailing by one.
Even if it may not have been warranted.
Less than a minute after missing a pair of free throws, Ralston made them both to help Blue Valley West hold off a second-half flurry from Center.
“I knew they were going in before I shot them,” Ralston said. “I missed two before that, but I knew we would hold on if I could make them both.”
Trailing by 16, Center used a 22-4 run in the second half to take its first lead of the game on Russell Hill’s layup.
An 0-for-10 night from the free-throw line, however, prevented Center, 5-2, from hanging on.
Blaise Gammon provided a game-high 23 points for Blue Valley West, which scored only five points in the final quarter. Jameel Henson paced Center with 13.
Shawnee Mission West boys 57, Kearney 45
Shawnee Mission West senior Jay Temaat has a bit of an odd twitch in his jump shot.
Odd, but effective.
Temaat scored 19 points on three three-pointers to lead Shawnee Mission West past Kearney, avenging a one-point loss in last year’s Hy-Vee Shootout.
With his shot pouring in from the outside, Temaat took advantage of Kearney’s tight defense in the fourth quarter and drove to the lane to score a pair of three-point plays.
“Once I started knocking them down, I saw they were flying at me,” Temaat said. “I was just trying to get to the basket and pick up some fouls.”
Dray Starzl led Kearney with 19 points on 9 of 16 shooting. The Bulldogs fell to 2-3.
Lee’s Summit girls 42, Shawnee Mission West 40
Lee’s Summit made six three-pointers in the second half to erase a three-point halftime deficit and even its record at 4-4.
Shawnee Mission West missed a pair of close-range shots in the final five seconds that would have sent the game to overtime.
The Vikings led for most of the first half, but Lee’s Summit sophomore Natalie Dummit came off the bench to nail a three that tied the game with 2:45 remaining in the third quarter. She added another two minutes later, and freshman Mo Mosier contributed two more long-distance shots to ignite a 16-8 run.
“We knew coming in this could be a big win to help us turn things around little bit,” said Dummit, who finished with nine points. “Most of us can hit the three, so we like to screen and get each other open.”
Eriyonna Irvin led Lee’s Summit with 13 points. Morgan Mauck had a game-high 16 for Shawnee Mission West.