Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Seniors Clash as High Bests West ; Smith III Stout Defensively against Newby to Push Trojans Past In- Town Rivals

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Seniors Clash as High Bests West ; Smith III Stout Defensively against Newby to Push Trojans Past In- Town Rivals

Article excerpt

By the time seniors reach the end of their high school basketball careers, they've seen the same city opponents a minimum of eight times. They learn each other's strengths and weaknesses and develop friendly, and sometimes not so friendly, rivalries.

Topeka West and Topeka High occasionally cross over into the latter category, but the teams' senior standouts, Jordan Newby and TC Smith III, share a mutual respect. Each spent time getting the best of the other on Friday, but Smith's Trojans came out on top, leading by as many as 19 before leaving West with a 65-57 win.

Smith scored seven of High's 14 first-quarter points and was the biggest reason the Trojans jumped out to a 21-9 lead. He finished with a team-high 15 points.

"He's been very consistent offensively for us," said High coach Pat Denney. "But I guarantee you he wasn't thinking about offense today. He was thinking about defense."

The mindset was evident, as Smith helped hold Newby to a 1-for- 11 start from the field before the Chargers' leading scorer warmed up in the fourth quarter.

"TC got down in his stance and worked," Denney said. "I think if anybody knows Jordan Newby in the city, it's TC. He probably knows him better than anybody else."

Newby's first field goal midway through the second quarter brought West back within eight, and the Chargers eventually cut it to five before halftime. However, High opened the second half on a 10-1 run, and the lead only grew from there.

Koriyon Carr scored eight of his game-high 23 in the third quarter, but West still trailed 51-34 going into the fourth. A 9-3 run by the Trojans put them ahead 62-43 with just a couple minutes to play before the Chargers went on a sudden rally.

West finished on a 15-3 run, highlighted by a Carr alley-oop to Newby, who scored 10 of his 18 in the fourth quarter to help trim High's lead to eight.

"We'll learn from it," Denney said of the late comeback. "It did sort of diminish how hard we played and what we've talked about, which is being able to sustain and expand leads. We did that all game long though, so up to that point, we played pretty good basketball. …

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