Free State’s win streak is snapped with 57-43 loss to St. James Academy

Free State head coach Sam Stroh talks with his players during a timeout in the first half, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 at Free State High School.

The win streak for the Free State boys basketball team has come to an end.

Free State’s defense wasn’t as dominant as it’s been in the past during a 57-43 road loss to St. James Academy. The performance ended a seven-game win streak for the Firebirds, who last lost on Dec. 5.

The Thunder scored in double digits in each of the four quarters, which included 16 points in the opening period and 16 more in the final period. It came one night after Free State held Shawnee Mission East’s high-octane offense to just 47 points.

The Firebirds (8-2, No. 5 in Class 6A) managed to only score 6 points in the third quarter, and trailed by double digits entering the fourth quarter. Saturday’s showing marked the team’s third game in as many days, as Free State completed this week’s round-robin event.

Junior guard Isaac Gonzales continues to play well as of late. He led the Firebirds with 10 points in the loss. Sophomore Jailen Thompson and junior Cooper Jackson each finished with 9 points for FSHS.

Free State will play host to Shawnee Heights at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

FSHS head coach Sam Stroh, who has been at the helm since 2015, took over the program after serving as the head coach for two seasons at Shawnee Heights. The Thunderbirds went 36-9 under Stroh, which included a trip to the Class 5A quarterfinals.

Free State 15 10 6 12 — 43

St. James 16 11 14 16 — 57

Free State (43)

Mozae Downing 6, Dash Cleveland 7, Jailen Thompson 9, Isaac Gonzales 10, Andrew Piper 2, Cooper Jackson 9


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