Trojans top rival, end 20-year playoff drought

The Park Hill boys basketball team advanced to the state playoffs for the first time in 20 years last Saturday. But it wasn’t easy. Park Hill had to overcome an eight-point fourth quarter deficit to rival Park Hill South, who already owned two victories this season over the Trojans. They did just that and the result was a 42-41 Class 5 District 15 championship game win at Staley High School. The victory pushed Park Hill past the .500 mark at 14-13 and into a sectional playoff game versus Lee’s Summit West at 5:45 p.m. today (March 12) at Independence Events Center. If the Trojans can score the upset –—Lee’s Summit West owns two double-digit victories over the Trojans this season — they will advance to a quarterfinal playoff at 2:45 p.m. March 15 at Independence Events Center against the Lee’s Summit/Fort Osage winner. Park Hill coach David Garrison said his team’s victory Saturday should be relished. “This is the first district title that Park Hill has won in 20 years,” Garrison said. “I told our kids after the game that there were a lot of great players who had played at Park Hill and were not fortunate enough to win a district championship, so this win was for them as well.” Last Saturday’s game was a defensive struggle, with south holding a 30-22 lead heading into the fourth quarter. “We played our best defensive game of the year,” Garrison said. “We were at a huge disadvantage in the paint, but we collapsed and rotated well.  We struggled against their zone for the first three quarters and our defense kept us in the game.” Park Hill’s offense got going in the fourth period. Louis Reinmiller and Rick Trammell each hit two three-pointers and Landry Shamet added six points, including a dunk. “Those plays got us kick started and we were able to get the win,” Garrison said. Shamet finished with 16 points, while Reinmiller added 11 points and Trammell, nine. Evan Hines led Park Hill South, which finished 21-6 on the year, with 12 points. Payton Meek added 10 points and Hudson Welty, nine.