Junction City Places 6th in T.O.C.

Jayden Davis, Sports Reporter

This season has been a roller-coaster ride for the Blue Jays with their ups and downs throughout the campaign. Over this past weekend, Junction City participated in the 74th Annual Tournament of Champions hosted in Dodge City, Kansas. Eight teams participated, including Dodge City, Wichita North, Derby, Bishop Carroll, Holcomb, Newton, Shawnee Mission South, and Junction City.

In the first round, the Blue Jays were the underdogs matched up to Shawnee Mission South. After trailing the entire first half, the Blue Jays were able to tie up the game by the end of the third quarter, with both teams sitting at 34 points to enter the final quarter. JC kept it close as Shawnee pulled away late in the game to win 47-42 led by A.J. Webster and Ethan Iba, combining for 23 points together. Lonnie Autry led the team in scoring with 11 points, followed by a near double-double performance by Elijah Gardner with nine points and nine rebounds.

This gave the Blue Jays an early loss, sending them to the losing side of the bracket. Shawnee would go on to play, and lose against Holcomb. Junction City would go into their next game again as underdogs to Newton. Similar to the game against Shawnee Mission, Junction City trailed the entire first half, entering the third quarter down 19-20. The Blue Jays exploded to begin the second half, quickly taking a solid lead with a 9-0 run with six minutes left in the quarter. After Junction City caught fire there was no looking back, as they knocked the higher seeded Newton team out of the tournament with a 54-43 win.

The third round fight to finish 5th in the final standings featured Junction City and Bishop Carroll. Bishop Carroll has had a similarly mediocre season now sitting at 6-6. Bishop Carroll cruised through the game to pull out the victory winning the game 50-38.

Junction City finished the tournament taking 6th place out of the eight teams. Cody Magee was a recipient of a student-athlete award. Kody Westerhaus took first place in a free-throw contest, connecting with 47 out of his 50 free throws taken. Only two schools failed to have a player named on the All-Tournament team, Junction City and Bishop Carroll. Junction City looks to continue their season as they travel to Topeka January 7.