OVERLAND PARK — Lee’s Summit West (Mo.), a school with over four times the enrollment of Parsons, fell victim to the Vikings by a score of 65-55 in the first round of the Saints Classic at St. Thomas Aquinas High School on Thursday.
Parsons never trailed the Titans in the second half after falling behind 11-4 early in the first quarter.
“Down the stretch, we were the more disciplined team,” Parsons head coach Anthony Houk said. “We made free throws. Our guards just took over and helped counter what they were trying to do, especially in the last three-to-four minutes.”
The Vikings’ offense came out stagnant as Lee’s Summit West was able to disrupt Parsons’ transition.
“A lot of our misses early,” Houk said, “was because their length bothered us. We’re used to teams that have maybe one 6-foot-5 guy. There were three or four of those guys out there tonight. So we made some adjustments to the length and physicality.”
But Parsons’ offense got hotter as the game went on, fueled by big nights from star guards Dariq Williams and DaQuan Johnson.
Williams finished with a game-high 20 points, while Johnson added 18. Both proved to be pests defensively, jumping passing lanes which led to runouts.
“They stepped up and really handled the ball down the stretch,” Houk said. “They both got to the rim well tonight. On defense, they were out in the passing lanes because they can get those steals and get to the rim.”
Houk also cited his team’s defensive effort collectively in preventing the Titans from having any extended runs of their own.
“The biggest point of emphasis for defense in this game was being midline and packing the paint,” Houk said. “We figured they’d beat us by getting to the rim off the bounce. That wasn’t the best shooting team we’ve faced, so we knew we could give up some outside shots. We had to protect the paint.”
With the win, Parsons remained undefeated as its record improved to 11-0 on the season. It also provided yet another statement win for the Vikings, who have wins over the defending 3A state champions (Girard), the defending SEK League champions (Pittsburg) and two Missouri schools with over three times the enrollment of Parsons (Webb City and Lee’s Summit West).
Only two of Parsons’ 11 wins have been decided by single digits.
“It’s awesome to have a zero in that loss column,” Houk said. “We can’t get bored doing the little, basic things that have gotten us to this undefeated record. We can’t get distracted by the light that’s on us. We need to be in tune with the details. If we start thinking about the fact that we’re 11-0, we’re in trouble.”
Parsons will face the loser of St. Thomas Aquinas-Summit Christian Academy on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the Saints Classic.
Saints Classic - First Round
Parsons 65, Lee’s Summit West (Mo.) 55
Parsons: 11 16 18 20 — 65
Lee’s Summit West: 13 11 16 15 — 55
Parsons: Ethan Houk 6, Dariq Williams 20, DaQuan Johnson 18, Zeke Lyons 5, Pierce Thomas 13, Julius Smith-Reece 3
Lee’s Summit West: Tayven Glasgow 17, Mike McKnight 7, Colby Baggett 12, Tysen Brennan 15, Elisha Haynes 1, Chas McGrew 3