With its unblemished conference record, Harrisonville’s boys basketball team knows it has the proverbial target on its back. And they seem to be handling the added attention just fine.
Such was the case Feb. 19, when Harrisonville rolled to a 71-47 victory over Excelsior Springs at its home gym. The victory left the Wildcats with an 8-0 Missouri River Valley Conference West record heading into its Feb. 21 showdown with Grain Valley.
“We are at the top of the conference so we will get everyone’s best shot,” Harrisonville senior Matt Prindle said.
Excelsior Springs, winless in MRVC play, gave its best shot, but the Tigers couldn’t tame the Wildcats.
Harrisonville exploded out of the blocks, rolling to a 34 – 13 halftime lead and leaving the Tigers shell-shocked at the half. In fact, the Wildcat scoring explosion continued throughout all four quarters, scoring 16 points in the first and 18 more in each of the three remaining quarters.
Excelsior Springs finally regained its poise by the fourth quarter. By then it was too late.
“Our guys have done a really good job of respecting every opponent,” Harrisonville coach Todd Mercer said. “I thought we had a couple of possessions that were sloppy, but we did a good job of pulling away in the second half.”
Domitrius Fangrow led the Wildcats with 21 points, followed by Brice Renner with 13.
If Tuesday night’s game felt like a scrimmage, the Wildcats needed it to prepare for second-place Grain Valley in a showdown for the top spot in the conference.
“Eight-and-oh feels pretty good” Mercer said. “We like the position we are in, but we are not finished yet. This group wants to win a conference championship and that’s our first goal. If we can accomplish that, we will set our sights on districts.”
Even if the Wildcats win the conference crown, they will still have to face several conference teams in district play, in which they already have the No. 1 seed.
Prindle put the task at hand in perspective, “To beat a team three times in a row … that’s tough.”