Shawnee Mission East held off Wichita North 83-77 in Thursday's third game of the McPherson Invitational, but it almost seemed like an afterthought.
When patrons leave the Roundhouse tonight, all they'll be talking about is North's freshman wunderkind Jackie Johnson III.
Johnson III put on one of the most amazing performances in Invitational history, but it wasn't enough as the Lancers held off the Redskins in one of the most wildly entertaining games in the 54 years of the Invitational.
Johnson III smashed the freshman single-game scoring record with 36 points, 16 of those in the fourth quarter as he tried to single-handedly bring his team back. But East's balance overcame the remarkable effort of the 5-9 blur.
Brett Comer of Blue Valley Northwest and Bret Wise of Emporia had the former freshman record with 24 points.
Johnson made 13 of 27 shots from the field.
The Lancers move on to Friday’s 8:15 p.m. game against the winner of McPherson and Blue Valley West. North plays the loser of that game at 4:45.
East pulled away to a 38-31 halftime lead by virtue of a 25-point second quarter. North stayed in the game on the strength of its beyond-the-arc shots, though Johnson III made only one trey. However, Chase McCollum came off the bench to bury a troika of 3-balls.
But Johnson III caught fire in the third quarter and his range was Trae Young-like. The blur began to shake and bake, and his steal and score finally tied the game at 49-all. But East then responded with a 9-0 run and Noah Karlbaum trey at the buzzer pushed it out to 58-49.
Then Johnson summed his inner Steph Curry. He wowed the Roundhouse with a memorable fourth quarter, bombing away from 30-plus feet, not to mention knifing to the basket.
But the Lancers' inside game was too much and they move on to the semis.
As good as Johnson III was, Zane Meeks was a powerhouse for the Lancers, making 9 of 15 shots and 9 of 11 free throws for 27 points. Kelyn Bolton, who was nails down the stretch, scored 19, Kurlbaum added 18 and Jack Schoemann chipped in with 11.
Peyton Hatter chipped in with 20 for North.
The different was the foul line where East, because of its inside game, was 23 of 27 to 8 of 9 for North, which took 24 3-pointers. Also, the Lancers had a wide-gulf-like 39-17 rebounding advantage.
Shawnee Mission East (83) — Bolton 7-11, 4-4, 19; Curran 1-3, 2-2, 4; Schoemann 5-11, 0-0, 11; Meeks 9-15, 9-11, 27; Kurlbaum 4-8, 8-9, 18; Carroll 0-2, 0-0, 0; Workman 0-1, 0-0, 0; Dollar 1-2, 0-0, 2; Carroll 0-1, 0-0, 0; Maddox 1-4, 0-0, 2. Totals — 28-58-23-26, 83. 3-pointers — Kurlbaum 2, Bolton 1, Schoemann 1.
Wichita North (77) — Johnson III 13-27, 4-4, 36; Moose 1-2,2-2, 4; Hatter 8-12, 2-3, 20; Butner 3-7, 0-0, 6; Wilson 1-1, 0-0, 2; McCollum 3-6, 0-0, 9. Totals — 29-55, 8-9, 77. 3-pointers — Johnson III 6, McCollum 3, Hatter 2.