KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Aaron Neeser tried to stop the flow of momentum working against Park Hill three different times in the fourth quarter of a key Suburban League Red Division matchup.
None of the stoppages worked for the Trojans coach, and Truman ran to a 60-49 win Monday, Feb. 9 at Park Hill High School. Entering the final 8 minutes, Park Hill trailed just 45-44, but the Trojans did not score for nearly 4 minutes and mustered just five points in the fourth quarter.
Park Hill lost a second straight game and dropped into third in the division standings — two games back of Liberty and one behind Truman.
“We did not make plays in the fourth quarter, and they did,” Neeser said. “They were better than us in the fourth quarter. We did not get stops in the fourth quarter, and they did. Hopefully, we’ll learn from this and get better for the next game.”
Truman’s Kierra Collier took full advantage of open gaps in the Trojans’ 2-3 zone, driving to the basket for a game-high 23 points. She scored 18 after halftime and eight in the fourth quarter, using transition to beat Park Hill’s players down the floor after missed shots.
“She’s a good player,” Neeser said. “There’s no excuse. I’m not going to make any excuses. My kids did not get back on defense when they needed to.”
Park Hill senior guard Jaleiyah Gibbs hit three 3-pointers — all in the first half — but scored just four points after the break to finish with 15 points. Riana Everidge — the Trojans’ leading scorer, signed to play at Division I Nevada — also tallied 15 points and had just one in the fourth quarter.
A free throw from Everidge with 4:06 to play stopped a 10-0 run from the Patriots that started on a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the third quarter.
Park Hill (14-6, 3-2 Suburban League Red Division) suffered its first loss at home this season. The Trojans return to action with a trip to rival Park Hill South on Thursday, Feb. 12. The Panthers are winless in Red Division play and sit in last place.
Blue Springs South 54, Park Hill 53
The Trojans staged a big comeback but came up short of taking home the Northland Classic championship on Friday, Feb. 6 at North Kansas City High School.
Blue Springs South jumped to a 19-10 lead after the first quarter and maintained that advantage until the third quarter. Park Hill took a 34-31 lead on a 3-pointer from Everidge, and a free throw from Maliah Hudson with 20 seconds left put the Trojans up 53-52.
Park Hill quickly committed a foul, and senior Brooke Neal (11 points) made both with 17 seconds left for the winning points.
In the remainder, Park Hill managed a pair of potential game-winning shots, but both missed. Blue Springs South’s Cloe Lane (20 points) hit a 3 at the third quarter buzzer to tie the score at 38, and the Jaguars led 52-47 with a minute and a half to play.
A pair of free throws from Everidge (game-high 22 points), and a 3-pointer from Amanda Alexander tied the score at 52. Blue Springs South ended up with eight 3-pointers.
Park Hill 74, North Kansas City 72, OT
The Trojans forged a huge comeback against the hosts in a semifinal played Wednesday, Feb. 4. The result gave Park Hill a 2-1 win in the season series between the two teams.
North Kansas City led 22-9 after the first quarter and 43-28 at halftime in what turned into the highest scoring game between the two this season. Park Hill closed within 66-65 with less than 2 minutes to play before the teams started trading baskets.
Gibbs knocked down a 15-foot jump shot with 19.5 seconds left to tie the score at 70 and force overtime after the Hornets missed a pair of free throws with 8 seconds left.
The points dried up in the extra 4 minutes with Everidge fouling out with a game-high 22 points. She hit four 3-pointers, while Gibbs (18 points) hit three more and Gigi Hopkins added two. Alexander tallied 11 points, and Hudson rounded out a double-digit scoring quartet with 10.
Park Hill hit 31 field goals while going just 2 of 6 on free throws.
Liberty girls 73, Park Hill South 37
For the second time in a week, the Blue Jays handled the Panthers — this one in a Suburban League Red Division matchup on Monday, Feb. 9.
Liberty also beat Park Hill South in the first round of the previous week’s Northland Classic. Park Hill South has now lost six straight and dropped to 6-14 overall and remained winless in conference play.
Park Hill South hit 11 3-pointers in this loss to the undefeated division leader but made only one two-point basket and two free throws. Raquel Reid hit five 3s and finished with a team-high 15 points, while senior guard Mackenzie Stout added four treys and 12 points.
Kearney 44, Park Hill South 40
The Panthers couldn’t overcome a slow start, despite big nights from Sydney Baska and Stout in the seventh-place game of the Northland Classic on Thursday, Feb. 5.
The duo combined for six 3-pointers — three apiece — and 28 points in the loss for Park Hill South, which went 0-3 in the tournament. Erica Timmerman added another pair of 3-pointers on the way to eight points for the Panthers.
Overall, Park Hill South had eight treys and only five two-point field goals with Kearney outscoring the Panthers 23-16 in the first half.
St. Pius X 58, Park Hill South 47
The Warriors outscored the Panthers 41-25 in the second half to come back and win the consolation semifinal matchup on Wednesday, Feb. 4.
Baska (16 points), Stout (11) and Timmerman (six) again did much of the scoring, while Reid put up 10 points in the loss. Park Hill South hit only 14 field goals, while St. Pius ended up with 21. The Panthers stayed close with strong free throw shooting (17-for-22).