Blazer basketball have big second half to put away Bison

The Gardner Edgerton High School boys basketball team delivered a dominating defensive performance in the 2nd half Friday night, as the Trailblazers drubbed visiting Shawnee Mission North, 5528, at Gardner Edgerton High School Gymnasium.

After allowing the visiting Bison to score the first 4 points of the 3rd quarter, the Blazers didn’t allow another point the rest of the quarter and only 5 more for the rest of the game. Gardner Edgerton outscored North 32-9 in the 2nd half.

After the game, GEHS head coach Zach White spoke of his team’s defensive efforts.

“For us,” began White, “we try to build our team around defense. That’s definitely the thing we care the most about. That’s the thing we’ve got to buy into as a team, and – if you want to play – you’re going to have to play some defense. I was very proud of the team defensively, especially in the 3rd quarter.”

In the first half, the game looked as if it could go either way, with neither team allowing the other to get more than a few points ahead at a time. Shawnee Mission North took an early 3-0 lead, only to be answered by a 5-0 Trailblazer run, with the last 3 points coming off of a left corner trey from Blazer senior point guard Malaki Taylor. The Bison retook the lead with a 5-0 run and held it for much of the quarter, but Taylor put Gardner Edgerton ahead late in the frame when he downed another three – this one from the right side off an assist from fellow senior point guard Nathan Pascarelli to make the score 11-10 Blazers. However, SMN ended the 1st quarter scoring with a pair of made free throws and held a 12-11 lead going into the 2nd quarter.

Taylor opened the scoring in the 2nd quarter with his third three-pointer of the game, now from the left side off a dish from junior shooting guard Cooper Williams, and Gardner Edgerton was back on top, 14-12. The next 4 points belonged to North, as they reclaimed a 16-14 lead. A GEHS layup from sophomore small forward Bravin Powell evened the score at 16-16, North then took what would be their last lead of the game when senior Remy Broome delivered a three from the right side to make the tally 19-16, North, but the Blazers notched the last 7 points of the half, with Taylor capping off the run with a steal at half court and a layup off of it to make the halftime score 23-19, Blazers.

North opened up the 3rd quarter with the first four points of the half, but that is all they would score for the period. Pascarelli put an end to their run with a right baseline jumper that made the score 2523, Blazers. Pascarelli’s jumper spurred a 12-0 Gardner Edgerton run to end the quarter – a run that was punctuated when GEHS senior post Mitch Mauk scored a bucket in the paint off an assist from Powell, and the Trailblazers went into the 4th quarter, leading 35-23.

The offensive run continued for the Blazers in the final period, as Gardner Edgerton opened with an 11-0 run, with Taylor providing the exclamation point with a driving reverse layup that put GEHS up 4623 with just over 3 minutes remaining in the contest. From there, the Trailblazers cruised to a 55-28 victory.

Offensively, the Blazers were led by Taylor, who scored 24 points to lead all scorers but also recorded 2 steals on defense. Pascarelli finished the game with 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists, junior post Isaiah Williams racked up 7 points, 4 boards, and 3 assists, while Powell notched 4 points, 4 boards, and 2 assists. Mauk added 4 points and 2 boards, while Cooper Williams had 3 points and a teamhigh 6 rebounds.

With the win, Gardner Edgerton improved to 6-7 on the season.