January 13, 2024

By Fred Liggett

For one week every January no one has to hope to fill the fieldhouse thanks to the weeklong Summit Grill Shootout. The 49th Annual Summit Grill Shootout is set to tip off inside the Lee’s Summit High School Fieldhouse on Monday, Jan. 15. The week showcases eight boys basketball teams competing over three nights to win a tournament championship on Friday, Jan, 19.

Filling up the bracket this year are three Lee’s Summit teams, two from Raytown, one from Kansas City, MO another from Kansas City, KS and a single entry from Columbia, MO. Game times are set for each day at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and at 8:30 p.m. Tip times after the 4 p.m. games are approximate due to the length of an earlier game.

All the fun begins on Monday at 4 p.m. when Lee’s Summit North, under head coach Ray Hughes, opens up against Ruskin. Hughes was coach at Ruskin prior to taking over the LS North program in 2022. At 5:30 p.m. it’s the Columbia Rock Bridge Bruins facing Washington. Evening session finds the host Tigers playing Raytown South at 7 p.m. and then it’s the nightcap between Raytown and St. Michael’s at or around 8:30 p.m.

Lee’s Summit North head coach Ray Hughes on the Broncos tournament experience “benefit us in the long run.” Hughes likes many teams that make up the tourney field stating “Rock Bridge, always a great team, is well prepared.” Hughes adds “Ruskin will be tough, up tempo good guard play.” Another team the Broncos could see before the week ends is Raytown, Hughes feels the Blue Jays have “same size guys that can do different things.”

As of press time the host Lee’s Summit Tigers enter the tourney at 4-6. Lee’s Summit North Broncos are at 7-5 and St. Michael’s is 7-2. The Raytown Blue Jays have been a staple for this annual tourney and enter this year with a 6-4 mark. The Raytown South Cardinals are 7-5. The Ruskin Eagles can never be overlooked and sit at 5 -5. Rounding out the eight team field is Washington from Kansas City, KS and the Columbia Rock Bridge Bruins.

Once at their seat inside the fieldhouse area basketball fans can witness some of the best talent found in the Kansas City metro area. Some players who once took the court in this event include former NBA guard Jon Sundvold who starred at Blue Springs and NFL QB Drew Lock who played at Lee’s Summit. Keep up on the Summit Grill Shootout games all week long on Lee’s Summit Tribune Facebook page.