Set for Monday — Martin Luther King Jr. Day — the Time Warner Cable Basketball Showcase presented by Metro Sports will feature eight games involving 16 area high school teams. The event, which starts at 9 a.m., marks the first time high school hoops will be played at the Sprint Center. Tickets, $10 each, can be purchased at the arena box office.
1 North Kansas City girls aim to keep perfect conference mark intact
One of the best early season surprises, the Hornets opened the year by winning 10 of their first 11 games. A balanced team, North Kansas City then stumbled this month, losing back-to-back contests. How did it respond? With yet another conference victory. That moves the Hornets to a perfect 5-0 in Suburban White Conference play. They will try to maintain their unbeaten mark Monday against a tough Staley team that includes only one senior, Marissa Preston, a 5-foot-8 guard. The Hornets won the first matchup in convincing fashion.
2 A player who prefers for the big stage
A week after Christmas, Lincoln Prep senior Charles Harris used the American Family Insurance Holiday Basketball Classic to showcase his under-the-radar talents. He hasn’t slowed down since. The post player is averaging 16.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game this year and just might be the most impressive senior to play on the Sprint Center floor Monday. Lincoln Prep, 8-8, faces Central at 3 p.m.
3 Grandview’s search for consistency
Thought to be one of the better teams in the Kansas City area heading into the season, the Grandview Bulldogs have struggled to string together quality wins. The team has been hurt by injuries, sure, but it’s also provided some inconsistent performances. Junior point guard Tyrone Taylor is considered a Division I prospect. If the Bulldogs, 6-6, are to find their footing in the second half of the season, Taylor and fellow junior Nelson Nweke will be the ones leading the way. That won’t be easy against a surging Rockhurst team that was 13-3 heading into Saturday night’s matchup with Blue Springs South.
4 The battle for bragging rights in Raytown
Both Raytown and Raytown South have played under .500 basketball through 13 games, but the two have potential. Most of their talent just happens to come with some inexperience. Raytown South sophomore Tyrone Gibbs is already garnering Division I interest, and he’s averaging a double-double this year. Meanwhile, Raytown sophomore Jailen Gill, a 6-foot-6 center, is posting 10.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest. The two underclassmen will meet in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m.
5 A grueling schedule
It’s probably fair to assume Harmon will have some tired legs when it faces Hogan Prep in the first game of the day at 9 a.m. Why? This will be Harmon’s fourth game in six days. The Hawks, 5-3, are led by seniors Mike Carson and Jajuan Taylor. There’s no break ahead for the Harmon boys either, who play again Tuesday night.
| Sam McDowell, email@example.com
9 a.m.: Hogan Prep vs. Harmon (boys)
10:30 a.m.: North Kansas City vs. Staley (girls)
Noon: Lincoln Prep vs. St. Teresa’s Academy (girls)
1:30 p.m.: Northeast vs. East (boys)
3 p.m.: Lincoln Prep vs. Central (boys)
4:30 p.m.: Wyandotte vs. Washington (boys)
6 p.m.: Grandview vs. Rockhurst (boys)
7:30 p.m.: Raytown South vs. Raytown (boys)
Sam McDowell, <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>