Photos courtesy of Jill Lyons

July 17, 2021

By Fred Liggett

“The guys played well” is how Coach Mike Lawson summed up the Missouri Hawks experience in a national basketball tournament. The Hawks went 5-1 in a 17u Tournament held in Atlanta, Georgia. After starting out 1-0 the team lost to an Iowa-based team before finishing with four straight wins.

The experience for the Hawks included a win over a Kansas City-based team that featured several familiar faces for Hawks team members. The KC team had members from Liberty, Liberty North and Staley High Schools. Representing the Hawks is several familiar names for those used to following Lee’s Summit High Schools. Alex Benassi, Brycen LaRue, Luke McDonald and Alex Kramer are all Lee’s Summit Tigers. Corbin Yow a senior to be at Lee’s Summit West was another member of the Hawks team. Everyone played except Benassi who was held out due to injury.

Before advancing to the national tournament in Atlanta the weekend of July 8-11 the Hawks played in area tourneys to qualify for the trip. The Hawks played in places like Omaha and Lincoln in Nebraska in addition to local games held in the Kansas City area. Coach Mike Lawson co-coaches the team with former Lee’s Summit Tigers basketball head coach Glen McDonald.

There was more than just games to be played for the Hawks once they landed in Atlanta. Over the weekend the team visited the College Football Hall of Fame and the Civil Rights museum. The Atlanta tournament was put on by RecruitLook hoops who qualified 16 teams to this event. The Hawks was one of over 40 teams playing here in the Midwest hoping to advance and make the July trip to Atlanta. Fans watching the tournament games in Atlanta whether from Lee’s Summit or not can all agree with Coach Lawson’s assessment the Missouri Hawks played well.