Mill Valley boys start strong, lose in rout against Olathe Northwest
At the end of the first quarter, it looked like the Mill Valley Jaguars might be able to hang with the Sunflower League juggernaut Olathe Northwest.
They were able to hold onto to a 15-14 lead entering the second quarter. The team had been able to maneuver some of the Ravens premier players outside their comfort zones and hit perimeter shots of their own.
“We came out and executed the game plan in the first quarter,” Mill Valley coach Justin Bogart said. “They’ve got some good shooters so we didn’t think we could sit in zone all night. We tried to mix it up and get them out of rhythm, and we did a little bit.”
Then everything changed in the second quarter.
Olathe Northwest’s two stars, seniors Willie Cauley and Shavon Shields turned it up a notch and blasted MVHS with a 22-0 run to open the quarter.
After that run it was clear that the Ravens had taken control of the game and ended up winning easily, 71-36.
Bogart’s explanation for the second quarter: four of his team’s first five possessions were thrown out of bounds.
The Jaguars couldn’t even move the ball up the court, which caused them to lose their focus for the rest of the quarter
“You could see our guys get a little tentative,” Bogart said. “Their length bothered us obviously. We talked about that at halftime. You can’t sit back and let them dictate what they want to do. We’ve got to go attack it and we got away from that.”
One of the players Bogart referred to was Olathe Northwest’s 6-foot-11 center Cauley.
At the 2:46 mark of the third quarter, Cauley swatted a shot attempt by Staton Rebeck on a direct line into the Jaguars student section.
“He changes your shot angle,” Bogart said. “He changes your vision. The basket gets a lot smaller when he’s standing in front of it.”
Cauley finished the game 18 points, including three thunderous dunks in the third quarter.
Mill Valley junior forward Nathan Stacy had the assignment of guarding Cauley for most of the night. At 6-foot-3, there was a disparity, to say the least.
“That was hard because if he caught it in the post, it’s really hard to stop him,” Stacy said. “He had a good turnaround shot.”
Stacy also scored 13 points in the game.
Cauley is considered one of the leading prospects in the country. He’s the No. 39 player according to rivals.com and recently signed his letter of intent to play at Kentucky next season.
Olathe Northwest’s Shields will be playing basketball at Nebraska, where his father, former Kansas City Chiefs guard Will Shields, played college football.
Shields was almost as much of a concern as Cauley because of his ability to play all five positions on the court.
“He’s a nightmare matchup,” Bogart said. “We knew that coming in because he was going to handle the basketball. He does a really nice job of planning wherever they need him to.”
Shields finished with 15 points. Olathe Northwest junior Trey Bales was deadly from three-point range and finished with 15 points.
In the second half, the Jaguars continued to show heart, but were unable to over come the insurmountable deficit they created.
Still, the team was happy with its effort regardless of the final score.
“It’s always good to go against the best because you see what you’re made of,” Stacy said. “We gave effort the whole night, which I thought was a big plus for us.”
Mill Valley returned to Kaw Valley League play at Turner on Tuesday. Results were not available at press time.
Bogart said he hoped the recent stretch of difficult non-league matchups will have the Jaguars better prepared for the stretch run of the season.
“Our guys have been very focused to start the games,” Bogart said. “We aren’t going to back down from anybody. It all comes back to effort and I’m proud of them for that.”