Kearney boys hoops finishes 2nd in Kearney Classic Tournament

Kearney senior guard Brennan Watkins dribbles near half court during a boys basketball game at the William Jewell Holiday Classic on Dec. 30 at the Mabee Center in Liberty.

KEARNEY — Kearney boys basketball finished second in the Kearney Classic Tournament last week.

The Bulldogs beat St. Joe Lafayette 50-42 in the semifinal game before falling 61-58 to Blue Springs in a back-and-forth game for the championship.

Kearney led 26-23 at halftime against Blue Springs and led most of the way during the final until a poor shooting stretch in the third quarter opened the door for the Wildcats to scratch and crawl their way back.

Kearney led 26-23 at halftime against Blue Springs and led most of the way during the final, but a 20-point swing from late in the third to the midway through the fourth put the Wildcats ahead down the stretch.

The Bulldogs found themselves down 44-34 with six minutes left in the fourth quarter before they initiated a comeback of their own.

Brennan Watkins, who scored 25 points after scoring 27 in the semis, did most of his damage in the final frame with 13 points. He had one last 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime, but the shot fell short.

The loss to the Wildcats mirrored the team’s last matchup in the semifinals of the Patterson Division in the William Jewell Holiday Classic back on Dec. 29, where the Bulldogs came up short 62-59 in overtime.

Junior forward Ashton Holloway had a strong performance with 21 points and six rebounds. Junior guard Braxton Breedlove scored 6 points and senior guard Drew Gentry scored 4 points while hauling in five rebounds.

Holloway had another near double-double against Lafayette, scoring 14 points and pulling down eight boards. Freshman guard Davin Hanna had his best scoring performance so far on varsity, dropping 5 points thanks to 3-of-4 shooting on free throws and hitting his lone field goal attempt.

Kearney (9-4, 2-1 Suburban Blue) beat Smithville 67-47 Tuesday, Jan. 19 at Kearney High School.

Kearney will turn around to host Winnetonka (3-7, 0-2 SB) on Friday, Jan. 22. The Griffins are coached by former Bulldogs head coach Kirk Stegeman.

Sports Writer Mac Moore can be reached at 389-6643 or mac.moore@mycouriertribune.com.

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