RIVERSIDE, Mo. — Needing to take care of business, Park Hill South dominated Truman from start to finish in a Suburban Conference Red Division matchup Friday, Feb. 10. The Panthers’ 77-49 win at Park Hill South High School against the last place team in the standings allowed them to keep pace and hope alive of working back into title contention.
Park Hill South had won 3 of 5 in Red Division play entering play Tuesday, Feb. 14 but suffered disappointing losses in that span to Liberty (50-46) and Raytown (61-59) that put the Panthers at 4-3 in conference.
“If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that you were going to be winning every game in the fourth quarter, I like our chances because we have really good guards; we’re just young,” Park Hill South coach Dan Parra said. “We’ve got two guards that are sophomores and Jacob (Kline) is a senior so we’ve got one kid that is really in control out there, but they just go, go, go and you have to take the good with the bad sometimes and they’re growing up.”
Against Truman, Park Hill South sophomores Lamel Robinson (16) and Desi Williams (12) combined for 28 points.
The Panthers have mostly played with a seven-player rotation in big games and have struggled to develop balance. Saadique Perkins, a sophomore transfer from Sumner Academy (Kan.), played into the hot start against the Patriots with a pair of dunks in the first quarter on his way to 10 points.
“I was just trying to play off the energy,” Perkins said. “Our crowd was amazing tonight, and I just played off their energy.”
Park Hill South led 37-15 and mostly coasted to the finish of the needed win.
Robinson, Williams and junior reserve MJ Walker combined for five 3-pointers in the third quarter, and Parra got the chance to stretch his bench in a second straight double-digit win. Robinson hit four total 3s, and reserve CJ Lee gave the Panthers a fourth player in double figures with 10 points.
“We just played as a team,” Perkins said of the balance. “We actually moved the ball very well tonight, and we had a lot of assists and we played really good defense as a team. We just have to continue to play as a team, play defense and just work together so we can win.”
Back above .500 in the Red Division, Park Hill South (16-6) has three more games in league to close the regular season — all against the teams currently in front of them in the standings.
That run started Tuesday, Feb. 14 in the rematch at Liberty, but the result was not available at deadline.
Park Hill South finishes with games at St. Joseph Central on Friday, Feb. 17 and vs. Raytown on Tuesday, Feb. 21 ahead of the postseason. The Panthers need to sweep all three and get some help to catch Raytown, currently 6-0 in Red Division play.
“I think it’s going to be really good for us; it’s going to be a good test,” Parra said. “Liberty beat us by four here then Raytown beat us by two and St. Joe Central beat us by three. We just want to play well; that’s all we care about. If we play well and lose, we’re OK; I just want to see us play really well.”
Park Hill South 58, Liberty North 36
The Panthers came out hot in the second half after both teams limped into halftime Tuesday, Feb. 7 in Riverside, Mo.
Up just 16-13 at the break, Park Hill South blew out the Eagles during the final two quarters behind 17 points for Williams and 14 for Robinson. The duo combined for four 3-pointers to help complete a season sweep of the Eagles in Red Division play.
Park Hill 81, Blue Springs 73
The Trojans moved into a three-way tie for first in the Suburban Conference Gold Division with a victory Friday, Feb. 10 in Blue Springs, Mo.
Both teams scored 33 points in a wild fourth quarter with Park Hill shooting 27-for-39 on free throws overall to secure the win. Roman Wilson led the way with 21 points, while Ronnie Bell added 18.
Dru Smith, a senior guard, was perfect at the line (6-6) and added 16 points for Park Hill.
Coupled with Blue Springs’ win over Lee’s Summit West three days earlier, those two teams plus Park Hill sat at 7-2 entering action Tuesday, Feb. 14. Park Hill was scheduled to play at Blue Springs South, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.
Park Hill had won five of six entering the matchup with the lone loss at Lee’s Summit West, which travels to Park Hill on Friday, Feb. 17 for a likely tiebreaker matchup.
Park Hill 75, Lee’s Summit North 60
The Trojans avenged a prior loss with Chester Graves scoring a game-high 21 points Tuesday, Feb. 7 in Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Park Hill bolted to a big lead and held on from there. Bell added 19 points, and Smith went for 18 with three players accounting for most of the Trojans’ production. They hit 30 field goals total.