For whom the Bell tolls

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the last time in his high school career, Ronnie Bell played the game of basketball representing Park Hill.

 CODY THORN/Citizen photo Park Hill senior Ronnie Bell goes up for a slam during the halftime dunk contest of the Sideline Sports Stateline Showdown on Saturday, March 31 at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo. 

CODY THORN/Citizen photo
Park Hill senior Ronnie Bell goes up for a slam during the halftime dunk contest of the Sideline Sports Stateline Showdown on Saturday, March 31 at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo. 

The future Michigan wide receiver had as many assists as points in helping Missouri pick up a 103-67 victory against Kansas in the Sideline Sports KC Stateline Showdown held Saturday at Rockhurst University.

Bell was one of 13 all-state picks from Missouri to compete in the game that pitted players from across the state against the best from Kansas in a boys-girls doubleheader.  Bell had six points and six assists and also advanced to the finals of the slam dunk competition, where he took third.

“It was a lot of fun,” said the one-time Missouri State basketball recruit. “All of the Kansas guys and we got the St. Louis kids out there … shoot, we just showed how much the 2018 class, not just in Kansas City, but the state has. The amount of talent we had it was crazy. It was fun the last few days. I already knew they could hoop and they proved it.”

Ronnie Bell 1.jpg

Bell’s teammates included Park Hill South’s Saadique Perkins, as well as a ton of Division I bound players in Jericole Hellems of Chaminade College Prep (North Carolina State), Torrance Watson of Whitfield (Missouri), Hogan Prep’s Damien Daniels (Abilene Christian), Grandview’s Mason Taylor (Air Force) and Jordan Lathon (Northwestern), CBC’s Kale Katchigns (Harvard), Hazelwood Central’s Shaun Williams (Kansas State), Oak Park’s Ochai Agbaji (Kansas), Lee’s Summit West’s Christian Bishop (Creighton) and Yor Anei (Oklahoma State).

The Kansas squad featured nine Division I recruits.

“I know it is a big thing, this game is big and there is a lot of talent on one court,” Bell said. “For me and Saadique to be called up is an honor (for the Park Hill School District).”

Bell had four of the first six points of the game, part of an 8-0 run for the Missouri team coached by former UCLA player JaRon Rush, a Kansas City basketball legend.

Kansas stormed back and led 20-18 after the end of the first quarter and extended the lead to 23-19 early in the second on a 3-pointer. Missouri answered with a 21-0 run to featured three straight 3-pointers to give the team the lead. The Missouri squad then had a 15-6 run and led 60-34 at the break. Late in the first half, Bell provided a pair of assists on dunks, one by Agbaji and another by Anei.

 

Missouri led 74-52 after three quarters and broke the 100-point mark on back-to-back buckets by Perkins. First he hit a 3-pointer and then his dunk on an assist from St. Joseph Lafayette’s Diego Bernard, made it 101-62. That sequence might be one seen again as Perkins will work out with Northwest Missouri State, where Bernard has signed, on April 17.

Perkins and Bell combined for three assists in a row late in the fourth quarter.

“I’ve never scored 100 points in a game before, so it is a big deal,” said Bell, who will not able to compete in his next all-star game selection due to attending the Michigan football spring game on April 14.

Said Perkins, “That was expected. Not to sound cocky, but our goal was to get 100 points and win by 30 and we won by 36.”

Bell took part in the boys slam dunk contest at halftime and advanced to the finals against Watson and Agbaji. The latter tied after the initial dunk and the Kansas recruit beat the Missouri recruit for the title.

Missouri Challenge

A pair of area basketball players represented Kansas City in the Missouri Challenge March 17-18 in Springfield, Mo.

Platte County’s Rockey Chambers and Park Hill’s Taiya Shelby were selected and played for Park Hill South coach Josh Dorr. The 10-player roster also featured players from Blue Springs, Notre Dame de Sion, North Kansas City, St. Pius X, Lee’s Summit West, Ray-Pec and Truman.

Kansas City won the opening game against Southeast All-Stars on Saturday and then won the second game against the Central All-Stars. In the title game, Kansas City lost to St. Louis, which featured four Division I recruits.

The All-Tournament team featured Chambers and Antoinette Mussorici of St. Pius X from the Kansas City team. The MVP award went to DePaul signee Amaya Stovall from the St. Louis team.

Hoop Focus Culture Run

Hoop Focus will present the Culture Run contest on Wednesday, April 4, in Independence, Mo., in a rescheduled all-star contest.

The game will pit 24 of the top players in the Kansas City metro area in a game that will be held at the Marcus Denmon Elite Practice Facility. The game was originally scheduled for Friday, March 30 at Oak Park High School but was called off hours before tipoff due to a threat of violence on social media.

A new location was found within a day, which will allow for three Park Hill South players and one from Park Hill to compete in the contest that will start at 7 p.m. The rosters will feature a mix of players from Kansas and Missouri on the same team.

The ‘Home’ team will including guard Desi Williams and Saadique Perkins from Park Hill South. The team features two Division I signess in Oak Park’s Ochai Agbaji (Kansas) and Grandivew’s Mason Taylor (Air Force).

Park Hill South’s Lamel Robinson will play on the ‘Away’ team with Park Hill’s Cecil Lee. Abilene Christian signee Damien Daniels of Hogan Prep is the lone Division I basketball player on the roster.

 CODY THORN/Citizen photo Park Hill South senior Saadique Perkins, left, drives around a defender in the Sideline Sports Stateline Showdown on Saturday, March 31 at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo. CODY THORN/Citizen photo

CODY THORN/Citizen photo
Park Hill South senior Saadique Perkins, left, drives around a defender in the Sideline Sports Stateline Showdown on Saturday, March 31 at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo.
CODY THORN/Citizen photo