One Game at a Time

The boys’ varsity basketball team competed the North Kansas City Invitational Tournament and won 2nd place

Grace Logan

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Dribbling, sophomore Van Collins looks for a pass Jan. 13 in the Main Gym. With a score of 57-55 the Cougars beat the Lancers for the third year in a row. “We knew that it was going to be a hard game, so we came out with a lot of energy and were locked in on getting the win,” Collins said.

From Jan. 19 through Jan. 21, varsity boys’ basketball team participated in the North Kansas City Invitational against seven other schools. This is the first year the Cougars have attended this tournament. They finished in second place.  

“We wanted to see some different competition that would bring out the best in us,” athletic director Angelo Giacalone said. “It really was a very competitive tournament.”

The Cougars won their first game against Lee’s Summit North’s Broncos 7-49, swiftly advancing to the next round. 

“The Lee’s Summit North game, we played really, really well as a team both defensively (and offensively),” Giacalone said. “Everybody got to see some playing time. It was just a great team effort.”

The Cougars then played against the host of the tournament and the ninth-ranked team in the metro, the North Kansas City Hornets. After back and forth between the teams, the Cougars walked away with a victory of 56-55. 

“These are the kind of games you want to get into because (they better prepare) you for the postseason,” Giacalone said.

The Cougars lost the final game was against the Park Hill South Panthers 59-46.
“(It’s) approached one game at a time,” Giacalone said. “(Coach Birch) wants to give the best effort on all sides of the floor, defensively and offensively; to continue to improve game by game. State championships aren’t won in December, they’re won in March. If we continue to improve, we could be in the hunt to make a deep run in the state playoffs.”