Olathe Northwest’s Shields stifles SM Northwest boys Friday
For one quarter, the Olathe Northwest Ravens — one of the top teams in the Sunflower League — were evenly matched by the Shawnee Mission Northwest boys basketball team Friday night at the Ravens’ gym.
Then the Olathe squad moved senior Shavon Shields out to the perimeter, and the game changed in a hurry.
Shields, who was held scoreless through the first quarter, went off for 25 points in the game’s final 24 minutes and subdued a Cougar squad that had offensive woes aplenty.
Olathe Northwest 59, Shawnee Mission Northwest 29.
The Cougars turned the ball over 24 times and found shot opportunities lacking against a taller Ravens’ squad.
“Those two kind of go hand-in-hand,” Northwest coach Mike Rose said. “I thought many times we were soft with the basketball and that led to us not being able to execute our offense. We’ve got to learn to be stronger. They’re a very quick, athletic team. When they started to move Shields out of the post and into the perimeter he really gave us trouble.”
Things didn’t start badly for Northwest. After falling behind 6-2 early, the Cougars responded with a 6-0 run in which senior post Bill Graves scored four points. Only a late Olathe Northwest layup allowed the Ravens to tie the game at 8-8 at the end of the first quarter.
The Ravens scored the first five points of the second quarter, but a reverse layup by Northwest senior post Jackson Foth brought the Cougars back to within three. However, the Cougars went scoreless over the next six minutes and were hindered by foul trouble for Graves and senior guard Chase Rader. Meanwhile, Shields shot out for 11 points. Olathe Northwest senior post Willie Cauley scored an easy post bucket off an assist from Shields as the half ended, giving the Ravens a 29-13 halftime edge.
The Ravens outscored the Cougars 13-6 in the third quarter, although a brief run of Cougar baskets brought the score back to within 18 with two minutes left in the third quarter. However, a driving Shields layup from the right side just before time expired put the Ravens back up by 23 at 42-19 going into the final quarter.
Despite four points and four rebounds from Northwest senior forward Logan Unrein in the fourth quarter, the game was out of reach for the Cougars, who fell to 4-10 on the season.
Graves led the way for the Cougars with team highs of eight points and five rebounds. Unrein added four points and four boards while sophomore guard Jake Horner added four points, three boards, and three assists. Junior forward Marcus McNeace also had four points and a pair of rebounds.