LIBERTY, Mo. — After presiding over Park Hill South’s second loss in a span of three games, Dan Parra wanted to see a response in the William Jewell Holiday Classic’s Nelson Division third-place game.
The Panthers started fast and didn’t let up in a 67-36 thrashing of Oak Park on Friday, Dec. 30 at William Jewell College. Ten different players were in the scoring column in the victory, a good sign for a team struggling to generate bench production in the early part of the season.
Park Hill South entered off of a 65-60 loss to Blue Springs the night before in the semifinals.
“After last night, I feel really good,” Parra said of the blowout win. “I think that we put our best game of the year together today and since Oak Park is a very good team I think we showed up pretty good today.”
Park Hill South bolted to a 37-18 lead with the starters doing much of the damage.
Jacob Kline, a senior guard and third-year starter, turned in a team-high 13 points with three of the Panthers’ eight 3-pointers. Connor Lee, another senior, also finished in double figures with 10 while the three highest scorers were limited to 25 points total.
Desi Williams had nine points on three 3-pointers, while Lamel Robinson and Saadique Perkins added eight apiece.
The starters still accounted for 48 points, but CJ Lee put up nine off the bench, while sophomore Dawson Owen had four. Parra continues to look for the right combinations off the bench to provide some relief to the taxed starting five.
“I want to see not just production out of the bench, I want to see getting rebounds and coming in with some energy,” Parra said. “Our starters do play a lot of minutes but I want to see more from our bench as far as energy goes.”
Robinson and Williams — both sophomore guards — have been the main scorers so far this season.
Kline brings a wealth of postseason experience, while Perkins transferred from Sumner Academy (Kan.). Park Hill South started 5-0 before a loss to Liberty in the Citizens Bank Classic in early December. The Panthers have now lost three in a span of seven games with an 8-3 record.
“We are young, but a lot of these guys played varsity ball last year so we’re young, but we’re experienced,” Parra said. “I think some of those we just come out and think we expect so many great things to just come to us but we’ve got to work every day to earn what we get.”
Blue Springs 65, Park Hill South 60
The Wildcats rallied back late to pull out a semifinal win on Thursday, Dec. 29 in Liberty, Mo.
Park Hill South led 48-43 entering the fourth quarter but yielded 22 points in the final 8 minutes to lose the lead. The Panthers were solid on free throws (24-for-31) but made only 17 shots from the floor.
Blue Springs had seven 3-pointers to Park Hill South’s 2.
Robinson and Perkins led Park Hill South with 19 apiece, while Williams added 14. CJ Lee scored six points for the Panthers’ only bench points.
Park Hill South 81, Lincoln Prep 62
The Panthers survived despite some late hot shooting from the opposition in an opening round game Tuesday, Dec. 27 in Liberty, Mo.
Park Hill South led 66-38 entering the fourth quarter behind four double-digit scorers. Robinson led the way with 23, while Kline added 16, including a pair of 3-pointers. Williams and Connor Lee chipped in 10 apiece.
In the second and third quarters, Park Hill South did most of its damage, outscoring the Blue Tigers 48-25 to build the big double-digit lead.