STORY BY JAKE DONOVAN | PHOTO BY DEB SCALLY
The Region 6-AAA tournament concluded on Thursday, with the Franklin Rebels taking top honors following a 78-51 win over hosting Brentwood.
Franklin pulled off several feats in the process which are tough to accomplish at this level of high school sports: claiming the top prize in the District 11-AAA regular season, district tournament and regional tournament as well as sweeping its season long series with Brentwood (4-0, including two wins at Brentwood High School).
Senior leader Reese Glover has been the centerpiece of this championship team, as evidenced by continuing to add to his trophy case. The Missouri Western signee was named Region 6-AAA Tournament MVP, honors he clinched following an unforgettable second half in Thursday’s final, scoring 27 of his game-high 29 in the final 15 minutes of play.
Glover—who averaged 22.3 points per game in the regionals—also claimed MVP honors in both the District 11-AAA regular season and tournament. Joining the legendary scoring threat on the regional podium were teammates Jordan Bruce and Reed Kemp.
Bruce—Franklin’s season-long secret weapon both from long range and in drawing charges on the defensive end—worked his way to the All-Tournament team beginning with a game-high 25 in Franklin’s quarterfinals win over McGavock. High-flying sophomore point guard Kemp continues to fill up a stat sheet across the board, including Thursday’s championship where he posted 10 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks.
With Bruce’s inclusion on this team, Franklin earns the proud distinction of all five starters earning individual recognition this season. Kemp also made the district tournament team along with senior Ahsharri Haynesworth, who was named to the all-district regular season along with fellow low post threat, 6’7” sophomore Matt Thurman.
As runner-up, Brentwood was allotted two spots on the all-regional team. Harry Lackey completes his season-long sweep of individual honors, having made the all-district regular season and tournament team, with the junior swing averaging 13.3 ppg in the regionals. Joining him is senior long-range threat Cole Massey, who averaged 12.3 ppg including 15 in a win over Hillsboro in Tuesday’s semifinals.
The Hillsboro Burros—who came in as District 12-AAA tournament champs—were considered a threat to upset Brentwood, but couldn’t quite turn the corner. They remained well-represented in the postseason, with juniors Telhor Buford and Darrow Parrish (20 points in Saturday’s quarterfinals win over Ravenwood) bestowed with postseason honors.
Summit remained a thorn in the side of top-seeded Franklin all season long, but—like Brentwood—couldn’t quite solve the puzzle in any of their four meetings. Still, the youthful Spartans have plenty to look forward to in the future, as represented by freshman twins Destin (22 points in two games) and Keaten Wade (15 ppg in tournament), both of whom were named to the all-region team.
Saturday’s quarterfinals departees were each represented by a single player from their respective squads.
The Ravenwood Raptors ended an up and down season with a 57-48 loss to Hillsboro. A constant presence throughout their season came in the form of senior point guard Rex Gainer, who ends his basketball career (he presently doesn’t plan to play at the college level) with a regional tournament honor in tow.
Cane Ridge’s high-flying offense was kept in check in Saturday’s loss to Brentwood, but senior sharpshooter Kyle Elliott made enough of an impression to make this year’s cut.
McGavock’s Monté Streate has struck fear in the hearts of every opposing team the Raiders have faced this year. Bad news for those in the region, as the 5’10” point guard still has one more season to go. The junior exited the regionals with a game-high 26 points in Saturday’s loss to Franklin.
District 12-AAA finalist Overton couldn’t quite find its way in a 50-39 quarterfinals loss to Summit, but Derek Murphy never quit trying to will the Bobcats to victory. The string bean junior guard went off for 20 points in the loss, and will be relied heavily upon by a Bobcats team who loses seven seniors to graduation after this season.
REGION 6-AAA ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM—BOYS
Franklin—Reese Glover (MVP), Jordan Bruce, Reed Kemp
Brentwood—Cole Massey, Harry Lackey
Summit – Keaten Wade 18,4, Destin Wade 12,18
Hillsboro – Tehlor Buford 5,10, Darrow Parrish 20,7
Cane Ridge – Kyle Elliott 10 vs. Brentwood
McGavock – Monté Streate 26 vs. Franklin
Overton – Derek Murphy 20 points vs. Summit
Ravenwood – Rex Gainer 9 vs Hillsboro