Coach Pete Logan
Behind the hot-shooting of sophomore guard Jake McClure and the offensive and defensive post presence of junior Austin Weiner, the Gardner-Edgerton High School boys’ basketball team knocked off Shawnee Mission Northwest, 69-60, Jan. 18 at the Gardner-Edgerton High School Gymnasium.
McClure exploded for 28 points while Weiner poured in 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds in leading the Blazers to victory in the win. After the game, GEHS head coach Steve Wallace spoke about McClure’s stellar bounce-back effort after a tough outing against Shawnee Mission East the previous Tuesday.
“I know he was disappointed in the last game because he only shot one-for-10,” Wallace said. “We know that Jake’s a great shooter, so we just let him keep shooting the ball because we know that it’s going to go in, and he has confidence when it’s going in. That part of it we just kind of expect from Jake all the time.”
The Cougars of Northwest came into the game with proficient outside shooters and an offense geared toward spreading defenses out in order to create shots from distance.
The two teams went back and forth at each other, and — after Weiner completed a traditional 3-point play halfway through the period — the sides were deadlocked at 10-10. However, the Cougars then embarked on a 7-0 run that was capped by sophomore post Landon Wagler’s basket in the paint. A McClure 3-point basket from the top of the key pulled the Blazers to within one at 17-16, but Northwest junior guard Isaiah Volavonsa canned a left corner trey in the last seconds of the frame to give the Cougars a 20-16 edge going into the 2nd quarter.
McClure immediately brought the Blazers back to within one when he nailed another top-of-the-key three of an assist from junior guard Kellen Kueser as the 2nd quarter began. Two minutes later, Kueser again found McClure for another trey — this one from the left corner — that again brought GEHS to within one of the Cougars at 27-26. The Blazers would eventually go up by one when Weiner hit a post bucket off an assist from McClure to make the score 30-29. Wagler answered for the Cougars with a 3-pointer of his own, making it a 32-30 Cougars lead. Yet Weiner answered with his second traditional 3-point play of the game to reclaim the lead for GEHS, before a putback basket by Northwest senior guard Brennan McEniry gave the Cougars a 34-33 edge going into halftime.
The Trailblazers retook the lead, 36-35, early in the 3rd quarter when McClure drained another top-of-the-key trey off a dish from junior guard Ethan Reynolds. The two teams would trade the lead three more times before the Blazers went on a 10-0 run that included three treys — two from McClure — and that put GEHS up 48-41, before the Cougars scored the last bucket of the quarter.
Northwest opened the final frame on a 6-1 to pull even at 49-49. The teams would trade the lead 4 times in the period before the Trailblazers, down 56-55, went on a 7-0 run that culminated in a left side layup from senior guard Dayvin Johnson putting the Blazers up 62-56 with 3 ½ minutes to play in the contest. Northwest pulled to within two at 62-60 on a layup from senior guard Logan Skeens with a minute-and-a-half left to play, but GEHS countered with a reverse lay-in by Reynolds, a layup by Weiner, and a steal by senior guard Preston Rohr to seal the victory.
McClure added 2 rebounds and 2 assists to go with his 28 points, while Weiner racked up 18 points and 8 boards. Senior guard Teven McKelvey added 11 points, while Johnson added 4 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals. Reynolds recorded 4 points and 2 rebounds, Rohr collected 3 points and 4 caroms, and Kueser notched 1 point and 5 assists.
The win improved the Trailblazers’ record to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in the Sunflower League.