Big first quarter propels Shawnee Mission West past SM East

SM West guard Cameron Southern goes over the top of SM East's Kelyn Bolton. SM West was flying all over the place defensively in the first half.
SM West guard Cameron Southern goes over the top of SM East’s Kelyn Bolton. SM West was flying all over the place defensively in the first half.

Shawnee Mission West used a big first quarter that Shawnee Mission East couldn’t dig out of in the Vikings’ 68-58 victory.

SM West outscored the Lancers 25-9 in the first quarter as Zach Witters scored all 12 points in a 12-0 run in the last 3:06 in the quarter. He led all scorers with 20 points. Jason Potter added 16 while Mike Hood poured in 15.

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SM West 68, SM East 58

Leading Scorers
SM West
Witters- 20
Potter- 16
Hood- 15

SM East
Thompson- 12
Bolton- 11
Rieg- 9
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“I just told myself to be more aggressive because I haven’t been lately,” Potter said.

Coach Ryan Darst told Potter that SM East would key on Witters and Hood, which should have opened the game up a bit for Potter. He not only challenged Potter before the game to be more aggressive, but it’s been something he’s been challenging him all season.

Darst thought Potter had as good of a game offensively and defensively he’s had all season. He’s used to Witters or Hood having those types of games.

“He was real tough defensively,” Darst said of Potter. “When we play a little more up-tempo and we have guys moving their feet and not reaching and really getting their hands up and out and not in, it’s tough to do that, and that’s what (Potter) did a good job of.”

Potter thinks it might have clicked on Tuesday night because of the name across the front of the chest.

“We’ve been playing so soft lately, so we were fired up at practice,” Potter said.

Darst thought his team played with a lot of toughness, maybe the toughest all year. He knew, with his team up 13 at halftime, the Lancers would make a run to get back into the game. He said knocking down shots in the first half helped with their confidence, which transitioned to toughness on defense.

The Vikings showed a 1-2-1-1 zone press in the first half, which led to 11 turnovers. Lancer coach Shawn Hair was upset after his team’s performance despite outscoring SM West 49-43 over the final four quarters.

“We came out and got hit right in the mouth. We gave up 25 points in a quarter,” Hair said. “You can’t give up 25 points to a good team like Shawnee Mission West. We’re down 25-9 after a quarter.

“We’re not a good enough team to just show up. We’re not a dominant team. We have flashes of being really, really good, but the game is a 32-minute game. It’s not a 24-minute game. For 24 minutes, we were better — second, third and fourth quarter. But you give up 25 in the first, that’s a terrible start.”