Career-high outings from Jackson Schulte and Carson Jacobs kept the Thomas More Prep-Marian boys basketball team within striking distance, but the Monarchs couldn’t get over the hump against Olathe West, falling 72-61 to the Owls in the first round of the Gerald Mitchell Hays City Shootout on Thursday at Hays High.
Schulte went for 23 points and Jacobs added 19 points for the Monarchs, who trailed 36-28 at halftime and 52-38 at the end of the third quarter.
“We are a pretty balanced team, but tonight the stuff that was working was getting Carson pinned inside and Jackson finding shots in the lane, attacking the basket,” TMP coach Bill Meagher said. “At some point when you’re down that much, you just have to keep going to stuff they can’t stop.”
However, the Monarchs (0-1) had no answer for Olathe West senior guard Cougar Downing, who put up a game-high 31 points.
“Our guys gave him everything they could, and he just continued,” Downing said. “I was impressed. When he was tired, he could have drifted and faded, but he just kept attacking. He’s a really good ball player.”
After giving up a 10-0 run to start the third quarter, the Monarchs got as close as nine in the fourth quarter but couldn’t come up with a run to put the pressure on the Owls.
Overall, Meagher said the Monarchs gave a good account themselves.
“We’re always disappointed when we lose, and it hurts, but we had a lot of questions coming into this game,” Meagher said. “We saw stuff in practice and we wanted to see what kids would look like when we actually got into a game. A lot of that stuff was answered really well.
“The three goals for us in this tournament were play incredibly hard, stay together, especially when it gets tough, and don’t retreat. I felt like our guys answered those three things tonight."
TMP will play Wichita-Life Prep at 4:45 p.m. on Friday at Hays High. The Fire lost 92-42 to Hays High in the first round of the Shootout.
On the other side of the bracket, Manhattan cruised to a 71-47 win over Great Bend and Lawrence Free State beat Millwood (Okla.) 51-35.