Vashon added to its record number of Missouri basketball state championships on Saturday night with a 58-55 victory over Springfield Kickapoo in the Class 5 boys’ championship. The Wolverines now have 11 state titles, 10 under head coach Floyd Irons.
After trailing 22-18 after the first quarter, Vashon outpaced the Chiefs 17-9 in the second quarter to lead 35-31 at the break. Guard James Washington, who’s usually responsible for setting his teammates up, caught fire in the first half, scoring 15 points. Washington averages just under six assists per contest. He led the Wolverines with xx.
In the third quarter Vashon extended its lead to eight points before Tyler Richardson hit a three-pointer just before the period expired to cut the Wolverine advantage to 46-41.
The Chiefs were able to creep close to the Wolverines’ lead in the fourth quarter. They cut it to 46-43, when Kyle Kirk hit a jumper to score the first points of the quarter. However, Vashon was able to distance them again. Two dunks from Brian Roach and one from Bobby Hill countered baskets by Kickapoo, pushing the lead back to seven points each time.
The Chiefs got to within 54-50, when Tyler Richardson was fouled on a basket and converted the free throw. Kyle Kirk converted two free throws with 1:42 remaining to get KHS to a 55-52 deficit.
Kickapoo then went into foul mode, as Vashon tried to milk the clock. The Chiefs had just three fouls in the half and had to commit four violations to send the Wolverines to the line. Bobby Hill hit both free throws, with 1:07 remaining to get the VHS lead back to five points.
But Kickapoo wasn’t done Kirk responded with a three pointer on the next trip down and it was now 57-55, Vashon.
Leon Powell was immediately fouled and missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Chiefs had two chances to tie it or take the lead, but Richardson missed a three-pointer from the corner and Kirk failed to convert on the put-back.
Brian Roach was fouled and he gave Kickapoo life by missing the front end of his one-and–one. But again, the Chiefs couldn’t take advantage, as Bobby Hill came up with a loose ball for Vashon and was fouled. He hit the first one, but missed the back end. Back came Kickapoo with one last gasp. Richardson flung a three-pointer that hit back iron but didn’t go in.
Three other Wolverines finished in double-digits: Hill had 14, Roach scored 12 and Powell added 10.
Richardson led Kickapoo with 18 points and Kirk added 15, as the Chiefs ended their season with a 27-5 record.
Vashon finished 27-2.
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