Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

West Loses Heartbreaker to Heights ; Brooks Scores Game-High 21 Points in Boys Tilt; T-Bird Girls Rout Chargers after 13-0 Lead to Start Game

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

West Loses Heartbreaker to Heights ; Brooks Scores Game-High 21 Points in Boys Tilt; T-Bird Girls Rout Chargers after 13-0 Lead to Start Game

Article excerpt

In a season filled with close losses, the Topeka West boys had their most narrow setback yet, falling just short of an upset of Shawnee Heights.

The T-Birds led by one at the start of the fourth quarter and made 11 of 15 free throws in the final period to withstand the Chargers' pressure and escape with a 70-69 win Friday at West.

Heights led by six after Jordan Newby, West's leading scorer, picked up his fourth foul with 2:50 to play. The senior stayed on the floor and helped make it a nail-biter down the stretch.

Darrien Landis and Newby both converted and-ones to get the Chargers (2-14) within a point with 1:02 left, but the T-Birds never (12-4) gave up their late lead.

Trey Brown made a pair of free throws with 10.8 seconds remaining to give Heights a 70-67 lead. By the time Koriyon Carr was able to get West back within a point with a layup, only 1.7 seconds were left.

"We figured out a way," Shawnee Heights coach Steve Wallace said. "We did a really good job of hitting free throws down the stretch to keep it at a 3-point lead, so that was huge."

Heights had to use its final timeout on the inbounds, but Jesse Moss was able to get open and heave the ball downcourt to run out the final second.

Michael Brooks lifted the T-Birds early offensively, and Poncho Freeman carried the load late. Brooks made four 3-pointers in the game's opening three minutes and finished with a game-high 21 points.

Freeman scored 18, including 10 in the fourth quarter, and grabbed several key rebounds.

"Poncho's been big for us every single game," Wallace said. "He goes out and gets boards that aren't even in his area. He didn't score much from the outside tonight, but he did a lot in the paint, which was huge down the stretch."

Newby led the Chargers with 18 points, while Carr, Brandon Raney and Skyler Proctor all joined him in double figures.

SHAWNEE HEIGHTS GIRLS 46, TOPEKA WEST 27 -- The T-Birds were in control from the beginning, leading 13-0 after the first quarter, and didn't allow a point until the final 2:25 of the first half. …

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