UNIVERSITY CITY HIGH SCHOOL – The best way to characterize Friday night’s critical Suburban South Conference boys basketball game at the Ed Crenshaw Gymnasium between visiting Rockwood Summit and homestanding , might be to call it a tale of three ballgames.
First, there was the opening quarter, when Summit dominated the action and nearly ran U. City off the floor.
Then there was the second quarter, when U. City was so good on offense and defense that Summit could barely get a shot off, let alone score.
And then there was the fourth quarter, when despite the previous huge swings in momentum, both clubs played sensational basketball and took turns putting themselves in position to win.
Unfortunately for the home team, it was the Summit Falcons that executed better and made more plays in the final minutes, to eventually snap U. City’s four-game winning streak with a 70-65 loss.
“We’ve have new additions on the team that we’ve got to work out,” U. City head coach David Gammon said. “It’s like starting out a new season, when you’ve got players that need (chances), but other players get jealous and feel like they’ve got to get theirs. It’s hard. I don’t know what else to say.”
And that lack of cohesion seem to really come out in the final stages of the game, when Summit went ahead by as many as eight points with less than three minutes to play, after a 10-2 run broke open what had been a tie game midway through the fourth quarter.
Summit’s dynamite junior point guard Jory Woodson, who finished with a game-high 28 points, seven assists, and four steals, including a pair of backbreaking layups that gave the Falcons a 59-55 lead with 3:07 left in the game.
Woodson was also great in that first quarter, when he scored 10 of Summit’s first 20 points to help the Falcons grab the early lead.
“What can I say, he’s a player,” Gammon said. “He just made great play after great play. That kid’s a player for sure.”
In the second quarter, it was U. City’s turn.
And led by their own superstar, senior Travon Williams, the Lions took back control of the game with some of best offense of the season and an even better bit of defense.
Williams, who finished with a team-high 20 points, scored seven of those points during a 21-4 U. City run, that helped actually pushed the Lions ahead in the second quarter.
Teammate Alex Henry had six points of his 15 points during that spurt as well, as U. City managed to take a 37-30 lead into halftime.
But neither Williams, Henry, nor any other Lion could make the final play necessary to overcome Summit’s late advantage.
Henry did score five straight points to pull U. City to within 66-62 with 55 seconds left. Then Williams stole an errant Summit pass and found teammate Jeffrey McGhee for a layup that made the score 66-64 with 41 seconds left.
But that was as close as U. City would get, as Williams appeared to get fouled, but missed on a three-point attempt that would’ve given the Lions the lead with 22 seconds left.
Summit’s Woodson snagged the rebound and connected on four straight free throws in the final seconds to put the game away for the Falcons.
“We just went away from sharing the ball,” Gammon said. “I’m tired of talking about it. When we share the ball, we play great. When we don’t, we just don’t. I don’t know what else to say.”
The coach was clearly frustrated following a game the Lions probably should’ve won.
U. City (12-6) will be back in action though on Monday, when it will host Clayton at the Ed Crenshaw Gymnasium at 7 p.m.
Summit (16-5) is off until Tuesday, when it will host its biggest game of the season, back at Summit High School in Fenton, against longtime Suburban South Conference bully Webster Groves, which has won 77 straight league games, including a 71-50 win over U. City earlier this season.
U. CITY LIONS REMAINING BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
2/6 vs. Clayton 7 pm
2/7 at Seckman 7 pm
2/10 at Parkway Central 7 pm
2/14 at Kirkwood 7 pm
2/15 vs. Ladue 5:30 pm
2/17 vs. Parkway North 5:30 pm
2/20-2/25 MSHSAA Districts @ MICDS TBA