Lee’s Summit North senior Richard Chapman looked toward his home crowd, threw three fingers in the air and held them there for a few seconds.
A seemingly simple reaction told a much larger story Friday night.
Two weeks after allowing rival Lee’s Summit to drain 11 three-pointers, LS North returned the favor — putting on an early shooting display in a 58-33 home win in Suburban Gold Conference play.
It was only the first quarter, but Chapman’s three-pointer — igniting his brief celebration — set the tone for the momentum of the night. It came during an 11-0 Broncos run to start the game.
Lee’s Summit was held scoreless for the first 7 minutes, helping LS North cruise to victory two weeks after the Broncos needed an unlikely comeback to escape with a two-point victory at Lee’s Summit.
“We did our thing this game and didn’t let them do theirs,” said Chapman, who hit three treys and finished with a team-best 16 points. “We shot the ball, we played better defense, and we stuck it to them early.”
That’s a complete reversal of the matchup just two weeks ago.
In a Jan. 25 meeting, Lee’s Summit escalated its lead to 16 points in the third quarter before LS North stormed back to eke out a 52-50 victory.
On Friday night, the Broncos needed no such comeback. They led 29-7 at halftime and extended the margin to 30 by the end of the third quarter.
For coach Mike Hilbert’s group, it was an important bounce-back victory after the team suffered its first conference loss of the season to Blue Springs South on Tuesday night.
“That was awesome,” Hilbert said. “It’s a situation where you don’t know how they’re going to respond, and they did a great job tonight. I really think having six seniors helps that. They wanted to have a good performance.”
Hilbert was especially impressed with the defensive performance.
LS North, 15-5, allowed only two field goals in the entire first half, forcing the Tigers into tough shots. Lee’s Summit, 8-12, made only one of eight threes before halftime.
Hilbert credited senior Devin Woods — assigned the task of guarding Lee’s Summit leading scorer Drew Lock — with leading the defensive effort. Lock finished with 15 hard-earned points, which Woods topped with 16 of his own.
Lee’s Summit made five of 21 shots from behind the arc.
“There’s not much to say about that first quarter except we couldn’t put the ball in the hole,” Lock said. “That was probably the worst first half we’ve played all year. It was really deflating.”
Meanwhile, it left the opposite bench feeling re-energized. Lee’s Summit North remained one game behind Suburban Gold Conference leader Blue Springs South, which will make a trip to the Broncos’ home court to close out the regular season on Feb. 22.
“We still control our own destiny from here on out,” Chapman noted. “We still get Blue Springs South one more time at our place, and I think we can take them.”