KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Coach Chris Neff’s Staley boys basketball team is no. 1 in Missouri’s Class 6.

“It’s a village of people that care about kids, that care about our community and care about athletics and what it can do for people and what it can lead to in their futures,” Neff said. “It’s just a committed effort to make teams really good up here.”

“We got the pieces, the numbers, and then the love on and off the court is crazy,” senior Kayden Fish said. “The team chemistry, you know — I have a twin brother, but I would consider them right there with him.”

But the Falcons’ biggest competition is two schools in their same school district: North Kansas City and Oak Park.

“To win 24 games and to be on an 18-game winning streak, it’s been since before Christmas we didn’t feel the winning feeling,” Oak Park head coach Brennan Scanlon said.

Oak Park’s only loss is to Staley. It’s all part of a big season for the North Kansas City School District with the Falcons and Northmen both in the top 3.

The North KC Hornets are among the top teams in the Kansas City area, and Winnetonka is having its first winning season in a decade.

“To be able to make it out of the city, out of all those teams, it tells something about Kansas City basketball,” Fish said.

Most of these Northland players and coaches are friends, but there’s a bit more pressure to get passed a rival and achieve their goal of a state title.

“They all play together at the rec centers around and they play together in the summer time, so it’s definitely a friendly rivalry,” Scanlon said.

“We go as hard as we can,” said Winston Allen, an Oak Park senior. “We all know each other. It’s like a real competition. We play for bragging rights. We play for everything, so we’re going to see each other once in a while. It’s like, ‘Hey we beat you,’ or ‘We beat you.’ We’re all trying to win.”

Neff said it’s clear their biggest rivals are the best teams in Kansas City.

“It makes for some really good environments to play in,” he said.