With eight games on Saturday’s docket, there was no shortage of standout performances as some of Kansas City’s current and future prep stars got after it.
SATURDAY’S TOP PERFORMERS
Conner Teahan - Even after leading his Rockhurst team to a tough win over a very talented Bishop Miege squad in an electric environment for high school hoops, the 6-4 wing wasn’t satisfied. Upset that he’d missed too many open shots, Teahan thought the game shouldn’t have been so close. Still, with Bob Huggins and two Kansas State assistants looking on, the senior guard made a ton of big plays and nearly took the house down with a big two handed reverse jam after a steal. He finished with 20 points and seven rebounds but perhaps most important was the excellent job he did defending Miege’s star guard Travis Releford.
Travis Releford - Sometimes people will watch Releford play and wonder what the hype is about because the 6-4 junior goes about his business in a focused way. He doesn’t force shots, he doesn’t put on Globetrotter like dribbling displays and he doesn’t talk trash. Instead, he just plays and finds ways to be effective. He scored in the post, lost his man on quick cuts for easy buckets and played his usual sound defense. However, despite scoring 20 points and grabbing eight rebounds, Releford would probably be the first to point to a couple of late turnovers and some missed chippies and say he could have played even better.
George Goode - Saturday’s game with Saint Thomas Aquinas was a perfect example of how far Goode’s game has come. Playing against hard charging Aquinas junior Clinton Mann, the 6-8 senior never backed down and more importantly charged right back at him. He glided in from the baseline for towering alley-oop jams, picked opponents pockets at half court to get open court slams, buried deep threes, scored on jumpers in the lane and altered a lot of shots despite being limited to just 21 or so minutes due to foul trouble. He finished with 23 points and four assists in Ray South’s 74-50 romp.
Dominique Newton - The six foot junior came out smoking for Raytown South as he drained threes from all over the place. He’s a fearless player on the offensive end who has the strength to get to the basket and plenty of confidence in a much improved jumper. He’s just as dangerous on mid range pull-ups but it was his three ball that did most of the work as he hit seven of them from long range en route to 24 points and four assists.
Austin Bond - You don’t hear much about Kansas City (KS) Piper’s underrated guard duo of Bond and and 6-3 Nate Daniels but the 6-4 WG had a fine outing. He’s got a nice frame and even though his pretty looking jumper was off he still made plays and excited the crowd with a big dunk after a steal. He nearly pulled off a triple double and finished with 17 points, 12 boards, nine assists, four blocks and three steals.
Mike Dixon - Save for a few late defensive lapses in regulation, the 6-1 sophomore was terrific in leading his Lee’s Summit (MO) West squad to an overtime win over Blue Valley North. For the game, he finished with 30 points, 11 assists and six steals. He’s on the slender side but has a knack for getting defenders on his hip and coaxing them into silly fouls. As a result, he picks up tons of freebies from the charity stripe where he’s a lights out free throw shooter. Missouri State assistant Ben Miller was in the house laying a set of eyeballs on him.
Justin Hurtt - The O’Hara senior just might be the bounciest cat in the metro and he loves to flaunt his athleticism. A 6-4 wing who has committed to Tulsa (he may or may not take a one year detour to prep school), the lefty Marvin Williams look-a-like is working hard to shed his reputation as just an athlete. While he still soars for dunks, it’s his much improved ball handling and dangerous jump shot that have turned him into a quality pickup for Doug Wojick and his staff.
Denver Holmes - Because he’s the tallest player on a small Olathe South team, the 6-4 WG has to spend a lot of his time playing the four and the five. The younger brother of Yale players Nick and Caleb, he’s athletic, has a pretty stroke and plays with a giant chip on his shoulder. He might lack a bit in bulk, but he’s competitive and much stronger than he looks. He fought off foul trouble to score 21 points in just 21 minutes on a mixture of athletic drives and pretty jumpers. He’s probably the best player in the Sunflower League and is starting to attract recruiting attention from Missouri Valley schools.
Dominique Morrison - Raytown just might be the best team on the Missouri side of the metro -- although Rockurst and Raytown South will have something to say about that -- and the emergence of the smooth 6-5 WF as an all around player has a lot to do with it. He’s not a high flying athlete, but he’s elusive, crafty and has a good looking stroke. The junior can get to the rim off the bounce and has a knack for finishing with contact and ended up with 15 points and six boards after a slow start.
MORE NOTES FROM THE SHOOTOUT
As the other half of Piper’s underrated guard duo, 6-3 WG/WF Nate Daniels actually plays a lot at the point for his team. He’s athletic and quick with the ball, defends well and is terrific on the glass. He does, though, have to finish better and be a little safer with the ball. 16 points and 19 rebounds is impressive enough, but he could have easily scored another 10 points if he hadn’t missed so many layups. … As one of the top young jump shooters in the metro, Independence (MO) William Chrisman sophomore Justin Clark was hoping for a breakout outing at the Shootout. The long limbed 6-4 WG certainly got his looks in Chrisman’s chuck and run offense, but he unfortunately struggled through a woeful shooting day making just three of 16 three point attempts and going 4-19 overall. … Playing opposite of Michael Dixon, Blue Valley North junior PG Andrew Kirby was impressive in his own right. He’s a solid lefty who takes pretty good care of the ball and scores with a deadly floater. He finished with 18 points and five assists, but was harassed into six turnovers. … A true bright spot in a slugfest between Kansas City (MO) Central and Kansas City (KS) Schlagle was Central junior Monty Taylor. A 6-0 combo guard, Taylor was perfect from the field in a 19 point outing. … Next year Ray Pec senior Derrick Washington is going to be counted on to make an impact as a running back in the Missouri backfield, but for now the 5-11 senior guard is having fun playing hoops. Not surprisingly he’s very powerful with the ball and fast in the open court. He finished with 15 points and four assists, but was also hurried into a whopping 10 turnovers. … What step Raytown senior Reggie Chamberlain takes after this season will be interesting. The six footer is a combo guard with a quick first step and deep, deep range on his jumper. He’s a division one prospect, but right now he lacks the strength or point guard feel that recruiters will want too see. He’s going to get some pretty good looks, but he may be wise to consider a two year stint in junior college to get stronger and improve his feel. … One of the most highly recruited young big men in the area, Blue Valley West junior Robert Lewandowski will probably want to forget Saturday’s outing. The bulked up 6-9 C/BF was pretty much non existent in 22 minutes where he grabbed just three rebounds and failed to score on only two shot attempts. … Even though his shots weren’t falling and were being altered by George Goode, Auqinas junior Clinton Mann proved that he’s relentless. A pretty quick and athletic 6-6 BF, Mann is a legitimate mid major division prospect at the four spot. … Perhaps the play of the day belonged to Rockhurst sophomore guard Keith Langtry. With Bishop Miege senior Chris Combs streaking to the bucket for an open court layup, the six foot guard leapt high into the air and completely beat up Combs layup attempt helping to change momentum in the first half. … Finally, young buck Trevor Releford continues to impress. A lack of strength will hurt the 5-7 freshman PG when it comes to finishing around the hoop, but he’s got impressive handles and a great feel for the game. He already throws a lot of passes that his teammates just don’t expect and by the end of the season they should be looking for them meaning lots of easy buckets. Maybe most impressive is that the 14 year old never looked intimidated or scared in a pressure filled ball game and he even had the guts to step up and try to win the game with a 16 foot jumper from just left of the free throw line with about 10 seconds to go. The shot didn’t go in, but anybody in attendance understood that he’s going to be a problem for opposing PG’s for the next four seasons. …
Colleges in attendance- Kansas State, Missouri State, UMKC.
- Total teams seen- 91
- Total games watched- 55
- Total miles traveled- 4,267
Up Next- City Of Palms, Ft. Myers, FL, Dec. 19-20.