The first stop was Blue Springs (MO) South for the annual Blue Springs tourney where Independence (MO) Truman played Grandview (MO) High and host school (alternates between Blue Spring South and Blue Springs) took on Fort Osage (MO) High. From there it was over to the Interscholastic League Fieldhouse located at Kansas City (MO) Southeast to watch KC (MO) Lincoln Prep vs. KC (MO) Van Horn and KC (MO) Central vs. KC (MO) Westport.
Clearly, the showing of the evening came from Central’s precocious freshman, 6-3 WG Travis Releford. Because of his play last season as an 8th grader and his play during the fall and early winter, the class of 2008 standout has created quite a stir in metro area hoops circles. The young guy certainly lived up to the hype during an incredible 43 point and 12 rebound outing.
Not only did Releford shoot the ball incredibly well – 14-17 FG overall, 2-4 3Pt’ers, 13-15 FT – he scored the deciding bucket on an offensive rebound and stick-back as time ran out to give Central a 68-66 victory.
After a slow start in the first quarter where he only scored six points, Releford came out and poured in 21 during an electric second quarter. He scored off of pull-up jumpers, a deep three, off of steals and punctuated the scoring outburst with a powerful hanging one-hand jam in a defender’s face during a fastbreak to give him 27 first half points.
During the third quarter Westport adjusted by placing a physical defender, Ronald Staten, on Releford and he went the entire quarter without scoring. Part of it was a complete lack of picks run by his team, and part of it was the defense but it mattered little in the fourth quarter as Releford erupted again for 16 points and sank free throw after free throw before getting the final tip in to lead his team to victory.
In other action Lincoln Prep decimated a way overmatched Van Horn squad 68-13, Blue Springs South took out Fort Osage 64-42 and Truman raced past Grandview 84-67.
Leading the way for Lincoln Prep was their star junior guard Domo Johnson. After playing the role of set-up man at Bishop Miege on the Kansas side for the last two years, the 5-10 junior has been unleashed as a scorer at Lincoln Prep. He had 24 points and dropped off at least eight assists during LP’s blowout victory and looks to have improved his quickness and ability to take defenders off of the dribble.
He’s always been a solid decision maker and good shooter, but at his size he’s got to show college coaches that he has that extra-burst, and he’s on his way to doing that and could be a nice mid major prospect….
Johnson gets help from another 2006 player who could be a mid major prospect in 6-6 WF/BF Greg Smith. Smith can hit the mid range jumper, has good athleticism and gets into passing lanes. The key for Smith is to get a little more aggressive around the basket….As a team, Lincoln Prep is not only one of the premier small class teams in the metro, but one of the top teams overall and they are a team that will be expected to make a run in the class 3A playoffs.
As expected Truman junior PG Edriss Floyd made a mockery of the Grandview defense and let them know about it on occasion. The 6-2 Floyd is very quick off the dribble, has an unstoppable go-to move in a finger-roll/flip floater and can be devastating on the defensive end. He was good for 26 points (12-20 FG’s) and had four assists but should be able to distribute the ball more.
For Grandview, highly touted Marquise Williams a 5-7 class of 2007 PG scored a bit of a misleading 27 points. The lefty is very quick with above average ball-handling and court vision but looks for his shot a little too often. In the first half Floyd completely shut him down holding him to one point. Williams scored many of his points late while his team was down 20 points and needs a lot of space to get his jumper off because he is so small. However, he is a dangerous shooter in space and certainly a young guard with some talent that local observers should be keeping an eye on.
Grandview’s main-man, 6-4 WG/WF Lorenzo Rice struggled through an off shooting night and foul troubles but still managed to get 17 points. He should wind up at a division one program next year…Blue Springs South has a 2007 guard to keep an eye on in Rashaad Lucas a 6-2 PG/WG. He plays more on the wing now but has a very good feel for the game and is a clever and alert passer. He anticipates on defense and scores with a nice pull-up J and off of floaters. The biggest key for him is to get into better shape, but he’s much improved since his freshman campaign.
Releford may have scored a ton of points for Central, but fellow freshman 5-10 PG Ernest Jones Jr. is a nice looking player as well and will be one to watch, especially when he matures physically.
College coaches in the gym: No D1 coaches were seen Monday night.
- Total teams seen- 36
- Total games seen- 23
- Total miles traveled- 2162.4