Park Hill, South boys earn dramatic victories

Desi Williams’ late 3-pointer forced overtime, and Park Hill South made the second chance count.

The Panthers ended up on the right side of the last of three lead changes in overtime Thursday, Jan. 12 at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo. Lamel Robinson put them up for good with a pair of free throws, and a Liberty North turnover proved costly in Park Hill South’s 55-54 win.

Robinson ended up with a game-high 21 points to lead Park Hill South’s comeback, while Williams had 10. Robinson hit all six of his free throw attempts in the overtime.

Park Hill South trailed nearly all of the first half and went into halftime down 26-17 after Liberty North closed on a 14-5 run. The Panthers quickly answered with a 7-1 run to start the third quarter but were down four with 2 minutes, 17 seconds left in regulation.

Jacob Kline’s steal led to an important layup for Robinson to cut Park Hill South’s deficit to 43-41. Williams’ late 3 tied the score at 45, and Liberty North’s Dominic Fragola saw his 3 attempt at the buzzer rim out.

Kline opened the overtime with a 3-pointer and the latter half of the extra session turned into a free throw contest. Robinson hit two late to make the lead two possessions, and the Eagles’ 3 at the buzzer provided the final points of a tight Suburban Conference Red Division matchup.

With the win, Park Hill South improved to 9-4 overall and leveled its league record at 1-1 after starting the conference slate with a loss to St. Joseph Central.

Park Hill 58, Blue Springs South 56

For the second time this season, Dru Smith beat the buzzer for Park Hill in a dramatic win.

Blue Springs tied the score late in regulation before the Trojans’ senior guard made a layup to cap a comeback victory Tuesday, Jan. 10 at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo. Smith also made a winning shot at the buzzer to beat Oak Park earlier in the season.

Blue Springs led the Suburban Conference Gold Division matchup 45-38 entering the fourth quarter.

Park Hill rallied, just as it did in the earlier win against Oak Park, behind Ronnie Bell (17 points), Smith (15 points) and Chester Graves (14 points). Bell hit three of the Trojans’ four 3-pointers, and they were also a perfect 10-for-10 on free throws while Blue Springs went 5-for-10 at the line.
Park Hill led 52-51 with 1 minutes, 25 seconds left in regulation and 56-53 with 26.2 seconds to go.