Highland Park Wins Blue Valley Shootout

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The Highland Park Scots won the Blue Valley Shootout with a 60-56 win over Lawrence.

Highland Park (3-0), the top-ranked team in Class 5A, overcame a 14-0 deficit to start the game before earning their second straight title in Stillwell.

“It shows that we won’t get down on ourselves,” senior small forward Shaffee Carr said. “We stayed together throughout that whole zero to fourteen and it showed that we’re a family on the court. To come back like that shows we have a lot of heart. For Daniel Kingcannon to come up to the line with two key free throws really helped.”

Carr scored 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting to lead the way for Highland Park in the championship game after the Scots beat KC-Sumner 69-52 and Lee’s Summit (MO) 55-39 before facing the Lions.  Fellow senior Jahmal McMurray, the reigning city player of the year, added 16 point and Kingcannon, a junior, scored 10.

After trailing by 15 in the second quarter, the Scots went on a pivotal 22-6 run to take a 32-31 lead into the break.

Midway through the fourth quarter Highland Park trailed Lawrence (3-1) 51-44 a three-point play by Carr tied the game at 54. Kingcannon’s 3-pointer gave Highland Park a 58-54 lead with 1:31 left and he sealed the game in the closing seconds with a pair of free throws.

Kingcannon, the lone junior starter, is third on the team in scoring at 8.3 a game.

Carr leads the team in scoring at 20.3 a game and is shooting 67.5 percent from the floor.  A 14-point scorer a year ago, Carr scored 18 in the first game and 19 in the second.

McMurray is averaging 19.3 a game on 41 percent shooting including 10 3-pointers, which is tied for the lead in Topeka.  McMurray scored 24 points in the season opener.

Kameron Clark, a first-year starter, averaged 3.7 points in the tournament, but showed solid leadership at the point. In the opener, Clark displayed an all-around game with five points, eight assists, five rebounds, and three steals.

Senior 6-foot-7 power forward Eddie Hunt averaged 5.0 points to round out the starting lineup for the Scots.

Sophomore guard Jahlil Osby showed his long-range shooting ability as he nailed a pair of 3-pointers in the tournament and junior forward Damien Box was steady in his efforts off the bench.

Highland Park returns to action on Friday against rival Topeka High (2-1).

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Owner of TopekaHoops who has over 10 years of experience as a sports journalist covering high school, college, and professional basketball and other sports. E-mail me at: topekahoops@gmail.com

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