By Rick Peterson

TopSports.news

Lawrence did a good job of limiting Highland Park's high-scoring offense to the Scots' lowest point total of the season in Saturday's Topeka Invitational Tournament championship game.

But the Scots did an even better job of adjusting to a different kind of game, with Highland Park never trailing after the first three minutes on the way to a 58-47 victory and the school's first Topeka Invitational championship in 10 years.

HiParktrophyTITHighland Park accepts the Topeka Invitational trophy after Saturday's 58-47 win over Lawrence at Topeka West. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

HiParkteamTITHighland Park poses for a team picture after winning its first Topeka Invitational Tournament title in 10 years. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

"It feels good scoring 60, 70, 80, 90 points, but on the bench about the two-minute or three-minute mark of the fourth quarter it was like, 'We've got to figure this situation out, too,' '' Highland Park coach Mike Williams said. "It's easy to win by 20, 30, 40 points, but can we grind out games?

"The beautiful thing is we've established our program on grinding out games. We're in new territory right now, winning at the rate we're winning at, but besides winning like that we're capable of grinding stuff out, playing in the halfcourt, 40-point games. People might not think we're ready for those but the internal DNA of this group is ready to take those situations on.''

HIghland Park senior standout Bo Aldridge agreed.

"It's just like a test in school or out of school for real,'' Aldridge said. "You've just got to study and respond and do your thing with it.''

No. 8-ranked (Class 6A) Lawrence led 2-0, 3-2 and 5-4 before top-ranked (5A) Highland Park got back-to-back buckets off the bench from sophomores Jacorey Robinson and Jamon Wilson to take an 8-5 lead and never looked back.

Highland Park, which improved to 9-0, ended the first quarter with a 13-7 advantage after a Jahmir Kingcannon 3-pointer and the Scots went in front by 11 points twice in the second quarter before taking a 27-19 lead into the halftime break.

Lawrence (8-3) got within six twice in the third quarter but Aldridge scored with three seconds remaining to give the Scots a 39-29 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.

The Lions got no closer than seven points over the final eight minutes while Highland Park led by 13 inside the final minute.

BoAldridgeLaw2Highland Park senior Bo Aldridge (left) scored 18 points and Lawrence's Zaxton King 27 in Saturday's Topeka Invitational Tournament championship game. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

JacoreyRobinsonTITHighland Park sophomore Jacorey Robinson scored 15 points off the bench in the Scots' 58-47 win over Lawrence. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Aldridge led Highland Park with 18 points while Robinson, who saw his first action in the tournament, added 15 points. Seniors Tre Richardson and Kingcannon chipped with eight and seven points, respectively.

One of six seniors on the Highland Park roster, Aldridge said it felt good to be the group that was able to get the Scots another Topeka Invitational title.

"It's a grind, it's a process and it's work,''  Aldridge said. "Coming in my freshman year and looking how we play now and how we are now, it's very different.''

Lawrence junior star Zaxton King scored a game-high 27 points but no other Lion scored more than six points.

HIGHLAND PARK 58, LAWRENCE 47

Lawrence        7 12 10 18 -- 47

Highland Park 13 14 12 19 -- 58

Lawrence (8-3) -- Case 1 0-0 2, Lewis 0 0-0 0, Ostronic 1 1-2 3, Simmons 3 0-0 6, Leuschen 1 0-0 2, King 7 10-11 26, Bassett 1 4-6 6, Watson 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 15-19 47.

Highland Park (9-0)-- Richardson 4 0-0 8, Aldridge 7 4-5 18, Kingcannon 2 1-2 7, Adams 0 3-4 3, Drew-Gregory 0 0-0 0, Williams 0 0-0 0, Taylor 0 0-0 0, Wilson 1 0-2 2, McMillon 0 0-0 0, Robinson 4 7-8 15, Anderson 2 0-0 5. Totals 20 15-21 58.

3-point goals -- Lawrence 2 (King 2), Highland Park 3 (Kingcannon 2, Anderson). Total fouls -- Lawrence 17, Highland Park 19. Fouled out -- Simmons.

TOPEKA WEST 63, WICHITA SOUTHEAST 55

Coming off a heartbreaking 45-43 semiinal loss to Lawrence, Topeka West dug itself a 31-16 hole against Wichita Southeast midway though the second quarter of the third-place game.

But the Chargers answered with a 19-2 run to regain the lead on a hoop from sophomore JaVian Chambers at the 5:41 mark of the third quarter and went on to claim the 63-55 win, improving to 8-3 on the season.

Southeast (5-7) did lead one more time, at 45-44 with six minutes left to play, but West responded with an 8-0 run to take control, leading by 10 points late in the contest.

"The thing I'm really happy with is the resiliency they had to change,'' West coach Rick Bloomquist said. "We had to change and I told them, 'You've going to have to change to the way the game's supposed to be played and you're going to have to do it today. If you can't do it today you're never going to do it.'

"Bless their hearts for the sake of my heart, they made a great change and we had a lot of people conntribute off the bench.'' 

Senior Xavier Alexander led the Chargers with 22 points and four 3-pointers while senior Malachi Berg added 21 points.

Sophomore Kaidyn Drury led Southeast withh 16 points, including three 3-pointers, while senior Mason Le added 13 points.

TOPEKA WEST 63, WICHITA SOUTHEAST 55

Topeka West          12 17 15 19 -- 63

Wichita Southeast 17 16 10 12 -- 55

Topeka West (8-3) -- Berg 9 3-7 21, Austin 1 4-4 6, Jones 1 1-3 3, Alexander 8 2-3 22, Noonoo 0 0-0 0, Dillahunt 0 0-0 0, Thompson 0 0-0 0, Paul 1 0-1 3, Duncan 0 0-0 0, Chambers 4 0-0 8. Totals 24 10-18 63. 

Wichita Southeast (5-7) -- Arnold 1 0-0 2, I. Berry 0 0-0 0, Le 5 2-2 13, Brown 3 0-0 6, Love 4 1-4 9, J. Berry 2 1-2 5, Carter 2 0-0 4, Gardner 0 0-2 0, Shaw 0 0-0 0, Drury 6 1-1 16. Totals 23 5-11 55.

3-point goals -- Topeka West 5 (Alexander 4, Paul), Wichita Southeast 4 (Drury 3, Le). Total fouls -- Topeka West 13, Wichita Southeast 17. Fouled out -- Love.

HAYDEN 64, TOPEKA HIGH 47

After dropping a one-point overtime decision to Wichita Southeast in the first round, Hayden bounced back with two straight wins, including Saturday's 64-47 win over Centennial League rival Topeka High, to finish fifth in the tournament.

Topeka High (2-10) was still within four points (29-25) at halftime, but Hayden (6-5) outscored the Trojans 35-22 in the second half to pull away for the win, the Wildcats' second of the season over High.

Senior Joe Otting led a balanced Hayden attack with 14 points while senior Daxton Ham, freshman Ayden McGbboney and junior Cooper Colboch added nine points apiece and Jacob Padilla eight.

Sophomore Da'Mykel Hales scored a game-high 20 points for Topeka High while junor Bryson Thrasher added 12 points and senior Mason Gomez 11.

HAYDEN 64, TOPEKA HIGH 47

Hayden          14 15 16 19 -- 64

Topeka High    9 16 10 12 -- 47

Hayden (6-5) -- Padilla 3 0-2 8, Muller 1 0-0 2, McGibboney 4 1-3 9, Ham 4 0-2 9, Otting 6 2-4 14, Colboch 3 0-0 9, Foster 0 0-0 0, Mitchell 0 2-2 2, Deister 1 0-0 3, Charvat 0 0-0 0, Ridley 1 3-6 6, Grace 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 8-19 64.

Topeka High (2-10) -- Thrasher 4 2-2 12, Hales 7 3-4 20, Norman 0 2-2 2, Gomez 2 7-9 11, Mosqueda 1 0-0 2, Villegas 0 0-0 0, Votaw 0 0-0 0, Storrer 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 14-17 47.

3-point goals -- Hayden 8 (Colboch 3, Padilla 2, Ham, Deister, Ridley), Topeka High 5 (Hales 3, Thrasher 2). Total fouls -- Hayden 17, Topeka High 17. Fouled out -- Norman.