For the first time, the hosts didn’t win the title.
Park Hill South claimed the newly opened school’s home tournament for the first time with a 43-42 win on Friday, Dec. 12. Park Hill South survived a barrage of 3-pointers, including Eagles senior Cale Hanson’s miss from the outside at the buzzer.
“I had a good view of it,” Park Hill South coach Dan Parra said. “It looked good. When he released it, I thought, ‘Oh, God. We’re going to lose on that one,’ but it barely nicked the rim. It worked out in our favor and didn’t work out in theirs. Next time it could be the opposite.”
Park Hill South took the lead with under 10 seconds to play on a putback from senior Mitch Henderson, the guard collecting an offensive rebound near the right elbow and hitting a jumper. Fellow senior guard James Byrd missed a similar shot as the clock ticked away to set up Henderson’s shot.
“James had a great look,” said Henderson who finished with five points. “He pulled up I thought he was going to knock it down. It took a good bounce and bounced right to me I shot it and it went in.”
Byrd finished with a game-high 19 points, including four of Park Hill South’s six points in the fourth quarter. His first bucket in the final stanza pushed the Panthers’ advantage to 39-31 early in the fourth.
A 9-2 run from Liberty North pulled the game to a one-point margin on 3s from Dominic Fragola, Matt Richards and Hanson sandwiched around a Byrd make on a free-throw-line jumper.
Returning to action for the first time since suffering a preseason concussion in practice, Hanson finished with a team-high 12 points — one 3-pointer in each quarter. In all Liberty North hit eight 3s — Hanson’s four, two from Richards and one each from Joe Barry and Fragola.
Park Hill South led for most of the game but a strong move inside from forward Michael Hughes gave Liberty North a 42-41 lead with 19 seconds to play. Henderson gave the Panthers the lead and allowed the team to storm the court in celebration after Hanson’s last-second shot drew iron.
“We wanted to push the ball down the court,” Byrd said. “I had been making the last few shots I took the last few minutes of the game. I’m just thankful Mitch got that rebound and put it back up.”
West Platte boys 59, KC Lutheran 37
The Bluejays cruised to a nonconference win Monday, Dec. 15 at West Platte High School in Weston, Mo. Senior guard Cody Guthrie and junior forward Tanner Lintner each tallied a game-high 15 points to lead a balanced inside-out attack.
West Platte senior Conner Salmons added 12 points.
“We knew we were going to have to pound it in to the bigs,” Guthrie said. “They started adjusting to it, and we came back and we knew we had to get some skip passes to them. Then they started double-teaming our bigs so it allowed the guards to come open. It allowed us to play and get some scoring done.”
West Platte (5-1) led 28-13 at halftime before extending the lead throughout the second half. Guthre scored seven of his 15, and Linter and Salmons added eight each in the final two quarters.
Blue Springs South Tournament
Park Hill grabbed the third place-trophy in the Blue Springs South Tournament with a 64-59 win against Raytown in the third-place game Saturday, Dec. 13 in Blue Springs, Mo.
Wichita State signee Landry Shamet scored 17 points to earn a spot on the all-tournament team. Fellow senior Deionte Wilson scored 31 points in the game — and a total of 72 combined in the tournament’s three games to earn a spot alongside Shamet on the all-tournament team.
Park Hill (4-1) beat Springdale — a Class 7A school in Arkansas — in the opening round but lost to the hosts in the semifinals, 74-65. The Trojans played vs. Lee’s Summit North on Tuesday, Dec. 16, but the result wasn’t available at deadline.
After playing four games in a week, Park Hill remains idle until Dec. 26. The Trojans earned the No. 2 seed in the Nelson Division of the William Jewell Holiday Classic, and they open with Granvdview.
St. Joseph Lafayette boys 59, Platte County 52
Pirates forward Sam Zimmerman tallied a game-high 17 points, but Platte County lost for the second time this season against the 2014 Class 4 state runners-up on Friday, Dec. 12 at Platte County High School. Lafayette beat the Pirates three times last year.
Platte County guard Topher Kilkenny scored 13 points and forward Jake Eastman also reached double figures in scoring with 11. The Pirates dropped to 2-4 with the loss and played at Smithville on Tuesday, Dec. 16. The result wasn’t available at The Citizen’s deadline.
Next up: a road date vs. St. Joseph Benton on Friday, Dec. 19 before a lengthy holiday break.