Park Hill girls rally for 3rd at Bobcat Classic

ROSS MARTIN/Citizen photo Park Hill guard Jaleiyah Gibbs, right, drives to the basket against Hayden (Kan.) during the Basehor-Linwood Invitational on Thursday, Jan. 22 at Basehor Kan. BASEHOR, Kan. — Park Hill recovered from a lackluster semifinal loss to claim third place in the Bobcat Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 24 at Basehor-Linwood High School.

Rianna Everidge topped the 20-point mark for the second time in the three-game tournament, scoring 25 in a 56-45 win against Blue Valley (Kan.), which shot just 7 of 24 on free throws in the loss. The Trojans turned in a dominant second half to overcome a 28-27 halftime deficit in the matchup.

Two days earlier, Everidge tallied just five points — all in the first half of a 53-39 loss to Hayden (Kan.) in the semifinals.

Park Hill closed the gap a bit late on a 7-2 or 6-2 run, depending on how the scoreboard operators arrived at the final score. The Trojans were down 40-33 after the third quarter, but a point disappeared from the scoreboard without explanation for a time in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Hayden scored nine unanswered to make the scoring discrepancy a non-issue.

Down 30-23 at halftime after a buzzer-beating bucket from Amanda Alexander, Park Hill looked poised to close the gap after Hayden standout Kirah Lohse was whistled for her third foul early in the third quarter. A few minutes later, the officials changed the call and gave the foul to another player, and Lohse re-entered the game, finishing with 12 points and four fouls.

Jaleiyah Gibbs led Park Hill with 12 points, seven in the second half, while Alexander scored all eight of her points in the first half for the Trojans. Alexander hit back-to-back layups as part of a seven unanswered for Park Hill to open the second quarter, forging a tie at 15.

Hayden scored the next 10 on the way to a halftime lead.

Park Hill was down 9-2 and picked up seven fouls in the first 5 minutes, forcing the Trojans out of their pressure defense. Hayden, which went on to lose to St. Joseph Benton in the championship, pressed throughout, helping senior point guard Bree Schmidt score a game-high 24 points.

Park Hill girls 52, Ottawa (Kan.) 45

The Trojans survived a first-round scare behind 22 points from Everidge on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

After allowing Ottawa to close within three after three quarters, Park Hill staved off the challenge and made 10-of-14 free throws overall. Amanda Alexander added 14 points, and Jaleiyah Gibbs contributed seven to round out a high-scoring trio for the Trojans.

Park Hill hit six 3-pointers to Ottawa’s one, including three for Alexander and two for Everidge.

Park Hill girls 60, St. Joseph Central 46

The Trojans remained second in the Suburban League Red Division standings with a comfortable victory Monday, Jan. 26 at Park Hill High School.

Park Hill (11-4, 2-1) jumped out to an 18-4 lead after the first quarter and maintained from there despite a slow third quarter. Gibbs tallied a team-high 16 points, and the Trojans placed four in double-figures for perhaps their most balanced effort this season.

Everidge added 15, while Alexander went for 12, and Gigi Hopkins chipped in 10.

Park Hill travels to Ruskin (11-7, 1-2) on Thursday, Jan. 29. Liberty remains unbeaten in the Red Division and gave the Trojans their only league loss.