By Rick Peterson

After winning its first five games by an average of 54 points, third-ranked (Class 5A) Highland Park finally got its first semblance of a test in Friday night's Topeka Invitational Tournament semifinal, and that was just fine with Scots coach Mike Williams.

JaCoreyRobinsonSMN 2Highland Park junior Ja'Corey Robinson goes in for a dunk in Friday's 67-52 semifinal victory over Shawnee Mission North. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Highland Park, the defending Topeka Invitational champion, earned a shot at a second straight title with Friday's 67-52 win over Shawnee Mission North and Williams said the semi-close game gave the Scots a welcome chance to work on game situations.

"Situations, you can practice them until you're blue in the face, but it isn't nothing like running into it in a game and having to respond,'' Williams said. "And not just the situations, but the adversity, the pressure and how we deal with things.

"That stuff comes out in close games. It doesn't come out in blowouts and we don't get to see that a lot of times.''

Highland Park, now 6-0, trailed the Bison on multiple occasions in the first half -- the last time at 18-15 early in the second quarter -- but the Scots ended the half with an 8-0 run to take a 30-21 halftime lead and SM North got no closer than six points in the second half.

The Scots led 46-36 at the end of the third quarter and led by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter.

Overall, Williams gave his team passing grades for how it handled things Friday night.

"Obviously we came out with a win and I think we made some good adjustments along the way and played a good game over the course of the game,'' Williams said. "But there's still little things we can improve on and have to get right.

"We've got to respond the right way. We've got to believe, we've got to be a little more cohesive.''

MikeyWilliamsSMN 2Highland Park junior Mikey Williams Jr. scored 18 points with five 3-pointers in the Scots 67-52 win over Shawnee Mission North Friday night, [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

TamirAndersonSMN 2Highland Park senior Tamir Anderson scored 16 points with five 3-pointers in Friday's 67-52 semifinal win over Shawnee Mission North. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Highland Park juniors Mikey Williams Jr., the coach's son, and Ja'Corey Robinson and senior Tamir Anderson combined for 52 points to equal North's output as a team.

Williams Jr. and Robinson scored 18 points apiece to tie for game-high honors, with Williams canning five 3-pointers while Robinson notched a second straight double-double in the tournament by grabbing 11 rebounds.

Anderson also canned five 3-pointers and finished with 16 points while junior point guard Jamon Wilson added nine points.

Shawnee Mission North (3-7) got 17 points from sophomore Alex Casares, the lone North player in double figures.

Highland Park will face No. 8-ranked (6A) Wichita Northwest in Saturday's 2:45 p.m. championship game, with the Grizzies turning in a dominating 81-46 semifinal win over Lansing.


Shawnee Mission North 14 7 15 16  -- 52

Highland Park                 15 15 16 21 -- 67

Shawnee Mission North (3-7) -- White 2-3 1-5 6, Jagne 3-6 2-2 8, Dalley 0-0 2-4 2, A. Casares 6-12 5-6 17, Holman 3-7 0-0 6, Kermoade 3-4 0-0 8, Reyes 1-3 1-2 3, Gynum 0-0 0-0 0, J. Casares 1-2 0-2 2. Totals 19-37 11-21 52.

Highland Park (6-0)-- Taylor 0-3 0-0 0, Wilson 3-7 3-3 9, Williams 6-11 1-1 18, Robinson 7-10 4-4 18, Anderson 5-13 1-2 16, Thrasher 1-2 1-4 3, Cameron 1-2 1-4 3, Kingcannon 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-50 11-18 67.

3-point goals -- Shawnee Mission North 3 (Kermoade 2, White), Highland Park 10 (Anderson 5, Williams 5). Total fouls -- Shawnee Mission North 14, Highland Park 14. Fouled out -- none. 


Topeka West 54, Lawrence 46

Topeka High 66, Hayden 49

Highland Park 67, Shawnee Mission North 52

Wichita Northwest 81, Lansing 46


10 a.m. -- Lawrence vs. Hayden.

11:45 -- Topeka West vs. Topeka High.

1:30 -- Shawnee Mission North vs. Lansing.

2:45 -- Highland Park vs. Wichita Northwest.




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