After defeating Olathe Northwest in the first round of the Bill Hanson Tournament on Thursday, Battle basketball ultimately fell to Blue Valley Northwest, 72-61, in a hard-fought loss Friday. Despite the defeat, the Spartans qualified for the third-place matchup against Pittsburg (Ks.) on Saturday.
Battle trailed for most of the game, but still found a way to claw back thanks to the offensive production from Maricus Grant and Cachao Gianquinto. The Spartans trailed at the end of the first and second quarter, but a Gianquinto floater towards the end of the third quarter gave them their first lead of the game at 46-44. However, Blue Valley NW quickly responded with two layups to take back the lead at 48-46.
Battle was able to respond once again when Grant hit a game tying 3-pointer with 5:23 left in the fourth quarter to make it 55 each. Yet, it proved to be not enough for the Spartans as Blue Valley NW ended the game on a 17-6 run that secured the Huskies a 72-61 win.
According to MaxPreps, Blue Valley NW is ranked No. 8 in Kansas and Battle is ranked No. 153 in Missouri. Even though the Spartans fell short, their effort against a higher ranked opponent should not go unnoticed.
The Spartans will wrap up the Bill Hanson Tournament at 11:30 a.m. Saturday against Pittsburg (Ks.). Following Saturday’s game, Battle will resume home action at 5 p.m. Jan. 31 against Lebanon.