By Nick Sloan, KCKPreps.com
Two years ago, the Washington Wildcats had to overcome an 18-point fourth quarter deficit and survive two grueling overtime periods to knock off the Hogan Prep Rams in the 2010 Citizen’s National Bank final.
In 2012, the Wildcats really only needed three good quarters to cement a tournament title.
Washington defeated Leavenworth 62-48 in a game that really wasn’t that close to win the program’s second Leavenworth tournament crown in the past three years.
Senior forward James Jappa was Washington’s MVP of the game and tournament. His 19-point, 17-rebound performance in the final against Leavenworth came off the heels of his 14-point, 14-rebound game against Hogan Prep in round two.
“Jappa’s a beast,” said Eric King, head coach of the Wildcats. “He worked his butt off this summer. He’s always been a good player, but he had to get his weight under control and get into better shape to run.”
The Wildcats used a 28-14 rebounding advantage in the first half to quickly establish dominance inside the paint. Jappa’s 14 points led the way for Washington, as the Wildcats clawed to a 41-29 lead. Nine first quarter points by Kameron Allen helped Washington jump out to a 25-16 lead after the first quarter.
After the Pioneers cut the lead down to 27-21 early in the second quarter, the Wildcats used a 9-0 run to race off to a 15-point lead midway through the second quarter. Jappa scored five of those points.
Leavenworth, the host-school of the tournament, would not get any closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
“We had an advantage with our size,” Jappa said. “We worked together as a team and we had a chance to bring some pride back to the school.”
If Jappa was Washington’s MVP of the tournament, a candidate for co-MVP may be senior forward Kindred Williams. Williams averaged 12 rebounds in the three Leavenworth games, teaming up with Jappa to provide Washington a strong one-two punch inside.
“We attacked the weak-side and crashed the boards the entire week,” Williams said.
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