Rough second quarter costly for SMNW boys against West
A barren offense in the second quarter cost the Shawnee Mission Northwest boys basketball team Friday night as the Cougars could not make up the ground they lost in that period, falling to Shawnee Mission West, 47-37, at Cougar gymnasium.
“After we got up early (8-1), I think (West) coach (Mike) Brinsko got them playing a little more physical on the defensive end and they started pushing us around a little bit,” SMNW coach Mike Rose said. “After we got off to that eight-point run, we didn’t get very many good looks. We were getting pushed around. They were pushing us where they wanted us to go. We talked about that at halftime. We said, ‘Look, we’ve got to start pushing back.”
Indeed, the Cougars did get off to a hot early start as five first-quarter points from senior guard Blake Evans helped propel Northwest to an 8-1 lead. However, the Vikings ended the quarter on a 7-0 run of their own to tie the game at 8-8.
The second quarter was where the Cougars began to struggle mightily against West’s mixture of man-to-man and zone defenses. Evans scored another basket 90 seconds into the period, but, from there to halftime, the Cougars were held scoreless. Meanwhile, the Vikings scraped together eight points against an almost as equally stingy Northwest defense and pulled themselves to a 16-10 halftime lead.
Cougar senior post Jackson Foth opened the second half with a strong take to the basket from the right side to cut the score to 16-12, but from that point on the third quarter belonged to the Vikings. West junior guard Kyle Summers converted a traditional three-point play just over halfway into the quarter that put the exclamation point on a 15-5 run and gave the visitors a 31-17 lead. After a pull-up jumper by Viking senior forward Nick Thayer, West led 33-20 heading into the fourth quarter.
Thayer pushed the margin up to 17 when his put-back of an offensive rebound made the score 40-23 with four minutes to play. The Cougars began to scrape back into the game and got within nine at 46-37 when junior guard Luke Fields drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 45 seconds left. However, it was too little too late as the Vikings added a final free throw to make the final 47-37.
“To anybody who’s scouted us, it’s no big secret that we’ve been having trouble making shots from the perimeter,” Rose said. “But eventually, those shots are going to fall. We just have to work at it with a combination of practice and executing our offense for better shots in games. I told the guys, ‘When we start making these shots — and we will — we’re going to be an awfully scary team to face.”
Foth led all Cougar scorers with 13 points to go with his three rebounds. Evans added nine points, while Fields notched seven points, four assists, three boards and two steals.
The Cougars are now 2-4 on the season.