Park Hill South was upset in the opening round of the 40th annual North Kansas City Invitational on Monday, Jan. 28.
The Panthers, who had previously won three straight, suffered a 55-52 loss to Schlagle (Kan.) High School.
Park Hill South (14-3) let it slip away late, as it led 42-38 after three quarters.
The Panthers played a second straight game without senior guard DJ Guillory, who suffered an injury in practice ahead of South’s conference game against Liberty North on Friday, Jan. 25.
Thanks to three treys, two coming from Addison Howe, Park Hill South led Schlagle 15-10 after the first quarter. But the Panthers managed just three field goals in the second quarter, and the Stallions (8-3) raced ahead with a 20-point frame and a 30-21 halftime advantage.
Park Hill South, however, doubled up its score with a 21-point third quarter to grab a three-point advantage headed into the fourth quarter. But Schlagle’s Ishante Suttington scored 11 of her game-high 27 in the fourth quarter to lead the Stallions to the three-point victory.
Alecia Westbrook led the Panthers with 23 points, while Howe finished with four 3-pointers for 12 points.
Park Hill South will take on St. Pius X at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30, in a consolation contest. Lincoln Prep beat St. Pius X 58-39 in another first-round game.
The Pirates will take on Park Hill in nonconference action at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31, at Park Hill High School.
Platte County 53, Raytown South 35
Platte County claimed its fourth victory in its last five games with a Suburban Blue conference win over Raytown South on Monday, Jan. 29 at Platte County High School.
The Pirates locked down on defense, particularly in the middle quarters, and Amaya Blake led the way offensively with 15 points.
Platte County (9-7, 3-4) led 13-9 after the first quarter, 25-14 at halftime and 36-20 after three quarters.
Blake, a freshman guard, who finished with 15 points, scored 11 in the second half, including seven in the final quarter to put Raytown South away.
Jaycie Stubbs contributed 13 points and Shayla Kohler chipped in 10 for the Pirates.
Park Hill South 51, Liberty North 41
Park Hill South coach Josh Dorr doesn’t often use zone defense. The right situation must present itself for him to make the switch from man-to-man defense.
And, to him, he wasn’t quite sure that moment was on Friday night, Jan. 25, in a conference matchup with Liberty North. But some of his leaders sure thought so.
“In the second half, one of the players came up and said ‘hey, can we try a zone?’” Dorr said. “And all three of our assistants were like ‘no, this isn’t going to last very long.’
“But it was the coaching decision of the game right there by the players,” Dorr said of DQ Guillory and Westbrook, who were in agreement that zone was the right counter to Liberty North’s attack. “That was very effective. We handled that pretty well, we were able to protect our players against fouls. … Every once and awhile things like that will happen. The leaders are part of this, too.”
The zone defense sparked the Panthers to a second victory over the Eagles in the previous eight days, as Park Hill South held off the visitors late to improve to 5-2 in Suburban Red action.
Liberty North (10-8, 3-2 Suburban Red) was within striking distance for most of the contest, as they trailed by only two at half — 26-24 — and one after three quarters — 36-35. But Park Hill South blitzed the Eagles with a 15-6 final frame for league win No. 5 on the season.
DQ Guillory scored 16 points with three treys to lead the Panthers in scoring. Westbrook added 13 points and Bali Cortes chipped in 12.
The Panthers return to conference play with a home contest against Liberty on Monday, Feb. 4.
Blue Springs 61, Park Hill 36
Park Hill, seeking a fourth win in its last five tries, struggled offensively in the first half as the Trojans’ suffered a Suburban Gold loss on Friday, Jan. 25 at Blue Springs High School.
Park Hill (7-9) scored just 10 first-half points in a game that was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 22.
The Wildcats held the Trojans at bay early, but managed an 8-6 lead after the first quarter. The second quarter, however, was more kind to the hosts, as Blue Springs out-scored Park Hill 20-4 to take a 28-10 lead at the break.
The Trojans scored a clip above 70 percent of their points in the final frames, but the Wildcats managed to score at a higher rate, out-scoring the visitors 12-10 and 21-16 in the third and four quarters, respectively.
Park Hill was plagued with 29 turnovers compared to Blue Springs’ 14. Thomas and Kennedy Townsend paced the Trojans with seven points apiece.
Park Hill played Raytown on Tuesday, but the results were not available by press time. The Trojans will host Platte County at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Park Hill 47, St. Pius X 41
Park Hill hasn’t seen much of the St. Pius X Warriors. In fact, the two sides had linked up just once in the last decade.
Last Thursday, Jan. 24, changed that as the Trojans visited the private Catholic school, which is just nine miles from its own campus, for the first time since Feb. 7, 2014, when the Trojans claimed victory in the Northland Classic.
Although it did not come easily, Park Hill repeated history with a 47-41 nonconference win on Jan. 24 at St. Pius X High School.
“Coach (Krista) Daniels and I know each other, so we just decided to play,” Park Hill coach Aaron Neeser said. “Their kids always play hard and play smart, so I knew it’d be good competition for us. We’re just trying to play some different teams.”
The Trojans, a Class 5 squad, came out strong and held a 17-10 lead after the first quarter against the Class 3 Warriors.
“I love the way we started the game,” Neeser said. “We started with a lot of energy, made some steals, got some buckets and used our defense to start our offense. And then we went back into some old habits for the second and third quarters.”
After the Trojans scored the first five points of the second quarter, the Warriors regrouped with a pair of 3s, setting up a 10-4 run to end the first half, which ended with Park Hill leading 26-20.
The Warriors opened the third quarter with a 9-2 run to take a 30-28 lead. St. Pius X maintained a lead until the beginning stages of the fourth quarter, which started with a 36-35 Warriors’ advantage.
Teresa Thomas and a strong Park Hill defense led the Trojans the rest of the way. Thomas, who finished with eight points, cashed in on an and-one play for a Park Hill 38-36 lead, one that the visitors would not relinquish, and a 3-for-4 showing from the free throw line down the stretch.
The Trojans held the Warriors scoreless until the 1:47 mark of the fourth quarter, when Park Hill led 43-38. Avery Mertz was also 3-for-4 on charities to aid the Trojans down the stretch.
“Our kids played hard today and played with some energy,” Neeser said. “We weren’t very consistent today, but they’re getting better at it and realizing that the longer they’re consistent the longer it gives us a chance to be consistent.”
Hannah Graves led Park Hill with 15 points, while Jayden Dorrell added 13.
Kearney 51, Platte County 21
Platte County struggled offensively in a Suburban Blue tussle on Thursday, Jan. 24 at Kearney High School.
The Bulldogs, ranked No. 4 in Class 4 by the MBCA, won its 13th straight game to stay perfect in league play at 7-0, while moving to 15-1 overall on the season. It was Kearney’s second win against the Pirates this season.
Kearney was strong defensively, holding Platte County to single digits in all four quarters. The Bulldogs led 17-3 after the first quarter and 32-9 at halftime.
Taylor Frizzell led all scorers with 18 points for Kearney. Stubbs led Platte County with seven points.