February 6, 2021

By Fred Liggett

The 2020-21 St. Michael Guardians boys basketball team was the quickest to 10 wins in school history and they haven’t slowed down since reaching that mark. The winning has helped the team’s coach Mark Scanlon reach some important milestones in his career, the latest was his 700th career victory.

The 700th win came on Jan. 26 when the Guardians beat Oak Grove in tournament action played at Grain Valley High School. Since that night the Guardians, now 13-3 on the year, have added two more to that total. The last one happened on their home court at St. Michael’s.

Coach Mark Scanlon was honored at SMA the night of Tuesday, Feb. 2 when the Guardians played host to Metro Academy. Thanks to four different players finishing in double figures the Guardians won on this night too with a 65-60 victory. Prior to the Varsity game Coach Scanlon was presented with a 700th win game ball from Father Randy Sly and school principal Jodi Briggs.

Coach Scanlon says, “Nice to have the school do that.” Scanlon attributes all the success to “Having a lot of good players.” Scanlon adds “Lots of coaches played a part.”

Scanlon has heard from former players especially after news of the 700th win was posted on Facebook. Since then the Coach has been getting “Emails and stuff” from many offering their congratulations.

Fellow coaches throughout the Kansas City area were quick to congratulate Coach Scanlon on his recent achievement. One of them was Lee’s Summit Boys basketball coach Blake Little. Little says, “I never had the opportunity to play for or coach with Scanlon but I have gotten to know him over the years. He has always been a friend to fellow coaches and often has offered words of encouragement over the years.” Little adds, “When I was at LS West we coached against some of his great Raytown teams, but for me his 1995 and 96 teams probably has as much an impact on my own coaching philosophy as anything as they were special teams.”

Coach Scanlon now in his third year guiding the Guardians program is in his 41st year overall in coaching. With Coach Scanlon leading the way expect to see his win total continue to climb as St. Michael’s gets ready to enter post-season play in March.