The Wichita North Redskins showed something not many people thought they could accomplish Friday night: the ability to win without their best player.
The Redskins pulled themselves together and showed they could not only survive, but continue to be successful after a 67-63 overtime victory over the Scott City Beavers in a semifinal of the 70thTournament of Champions at United Wireless Arena.
“Our team has a lot of heart and we never get up.” said junior guard Zach Beard. “We push from start to end. We knew they were real fast and tough. They don't know how to lose and they didn't give up either.”
The game between two unbeaten teams went about as expected with each squad getting the other's best punch until midway through the second quarter.
That's when Kansas Jayhawk recruit Conner Frankamp, who averages 35 points a game and scored 38 in a first round win over Buhler, was undercut attempting a slam and landed on his head. Frankamp had a laceration on the left side of his head and stayed on the court as trainers tended to him for 20 minutes before being wheeled on a chair to the locker room.
The Redskins (11-0) stayed in control of their emotions and grew up a lot as they never let up despite the number of times the Beavers (8-1) continued to come back.
Beard finished with 17 points for the Redskins, while Tarius Williams added 12 and Sean Bernard had eight points to go with his nine rebounds in the win. Beard had already established himself before the Frankamp injury and he kept his team in the game emotionally with all of the chaos surrounding it.
“We just had to overcome with losing one of our best players,” Beard said. “We just used that anger and took it to them. Our coaches said it was a hard break. We knew he was down for the count, but we wanted to get this win for him and the rest of the team.
“This gives us a lot more confidence going into the second half of the season; not just for the City League, but for the state tournament.”
Scott City had three players score in double figures. Joey Meyer scored 19 and grabbed nine rebounds, Drew Kite scored 18 and had 11 rebounds, and Austin Habiger scored 10 points.
The Redskins led 20-16 after the opening period, with North scoring eight points off of turnovers. Beard scored eight and Frankamp six during the stanza. Scott City was able to stay close by hitting six of its 11 shots in the quarter.
North started to pull away in the second quarter until Frankamp's injury. The Redskins led 32-25 on two free throws after Frankamp left the game; but the Beavers scored nine of the last 11 points to trail 36-34 at halftime.
Page 2 of 2 - Beard had 13 points for the Redskins and Frankamp added nine before leaving the game. Meyer scored 14 points and grabbed five boards while Austin Habiger added nine points as the Beavers were 13-of-24 from the field.
The two teams traded the lead three times and tied twice in the third quarter as neither team was going to give an inch. Kite hit a short basket just before the buzzer to put the Beavers up 49-48. Kite had nine points in the stanza.
The final quarter continued to see a number of lead changes and ties with neither team able to break away. Both teams had a chance to record the win in the final 10 seconds, but neither took advantage and were tied 60-60 at the end of regulation.
SCOTT CITY (63) – Brett O'Neil 1-8 7-9 9, Brent Meyer 1-2 0-0 2, Tyler Hess 1-3 0-0 2, Austin Habiger 3-10 1-2 10, Anthony Wilson 1-3 0-0 3, Joey Meyer 9-12 1-2 19, Drew Kite 6-11 6-9 18. Totals 22-49 15-22 63.
WICHITA NORTH (67) – Zach Beard 6-15 2-3 17, Tristyn Villa 1-2 6-7 9, Tarius Williams 4-8 4-4 12, John Bogle 1-1 0-0 2, Beau Shockley 2-3 1-2 5, Conner Frankamp 4-9 1-1 9, Graeham Jarvis 0-0 0-0 0, Sean Bernard 4-10 0-2 8, Daniel Mathiasen 2-4 1-2 5. Totals 24-52 15-21 67.
Scott City 16 18 15 11 3 – 63
North 20 16 12 12 7 – 67
Three-point baskets – Scott City 4 (Habiger 3, Wilson 1), North 4 (Beard 3, Villa 1). Records – Scott City 8-1, North 11-0.