RIVERSIDE, Mo. – Conner Lee recorded an improbable tip-in at the first quarter buzzer Friday, Feb. 5.
The quick two points for the Park Hill South junior forward provided another boost for the Panthers in front of a raucous crowd and increased their double-digit lead against Truman. From there, the game mostly fell away from the hosts in a 66-60 Suburban Conference Red Division loss at Park Hill South High School.
Park Hill South lost its third in a span of four conference games, unable to contain the Patriots duo of Reid Titus (25 points) and Derek Sykes (23 points). The Panthers were scheduled to play at Liberty on Tuesday, Feb. 9, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.
Early on against Truman, Park Hill South did little wrong.
Ryan Welty, a 6-foot-7 senior forward, hit three 3-pointers, scored 13 points and recorded three blocks in the first quarter. Truman coach Billy Guinnee took his second timeout with 1 minute, 43 seconds left in the frame after Welty’s third 3 with the Patriots down 21-7.
Park Hill South led 21-9 when the ball went out of bounds with 0.1 of a second on the clock.
On an inbounds play from under his own basket, Lee managed a tip-in from the middle of the lane to increase Park Hill South’s lead to 14. The Panthers wouldn’t even remain ahead for the rest of the half despite the sizable lead and apparent momentum.
Welty didn’t score in the second quarter, and Park Hill South scored just four points total in the first 7½ minutes. Truman took the lead back at 28-27 with back-to-back buckets ina span of 5 seconds, scoring once and then converting a steal into a quick putback basket off of a miss.
Jacob Kline answered with a pair of free throws, the last of the junior guard’s four points, and freshman guard Desi Williams converted a turnover into a layup late to send Park Hill South into the break up 31-28.
Truman opened the third quarter with six unanswered and then extended that into an 13-2 run that put Park Hill South down for good. Welty finished with 22 points, seven more in the fourth quarter, while Williams added 19 – 13 in the second half.
Williams hit a pair of baskets and added an assist to Darius Dedmon (eight points off the bench) to cut Truman’s lead to five points late in the third quarter. Titus then hit a hanger in the lane with 1.7 seconds left in the frame to squelch that momentum and put the Patriots up 52-45.
Park Hill South went back down double digits in the fourth, but three Truman players fouled out to open one last door for a potential comeback. Back-to-back 3s for Welty and Williams cut the deficit to 59-55 with 3:33 to go, but Park Hill South couldn’t get closer.
Park Hill 63, Ruskin 60
Dru Smith’s late 3-pointer helped the Trojans come back after a slew of 3-pointers erased their once comfortable lead Friday, Feb. 5 at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo.
Ruskin hit 10 3-pointers and stormed back from down nine after the first quarter to take a 60-58 lead. Smith’s 3 gave Park Hill the lead back, and moments later, he dished off an assist to Brandon Townsell for the game’s final bucket.
Ruskin took a timeout with 52 seconds to play but couldn’t hit a tying 3-pointer.
Townsell led Park Hill with 19 points, while Tanner Morrison added 15. Tanner Zeil hit three 3-pointers for the Trojans and ended up with 13, while Smith had 10.
Park Hill had won three straight, entering a Tuesday, Feb. 9 matchup at Truman. The result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.
Park Hill 67, St. Joseph Central 55
Kentrez Bell scored a career-high 20 points Tuesday, Feb. 2, helping the Trojans avenge a previous nonconference loss.
Zeil (16 points) and Morrison (nine points) hit three 3-pointers apiece, combining to shoot 6-for-9 from behind the arc. Peyton LaFerla added seven points.
Park Hill lost the previous matchup with the Indians by double digits in the third-place game of the Liberty North Invitational. The Trojans jumped to a 31-21 halftime lead in this meeting and did enough to hold on despite eight 3-pointers for Central.
Park Hill hosts Central in the Red Division rematch on Friday, Feb. 19.
Park Hill South 73, Ruskin 62
Welty scored a team-high 31 points, including three 3-pointers, and the Panthers survived a late barrage Tuesday, Feb. 2 at Ruskin High School.
Ruskin hit 10 3-pointers total and scored 27 in the final quarter to close the gap. Park Hill South went 20-for-22 on free throws and also received 13 points from Lamel Robinson and 12 from Kline. The Panthers led 33-23 at halftime and 51-37 after three quarters.