Special to the Citizen
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Sometimes, it’s just difficult to win on the road in conference play.
Park Hill South experienced a great-deal of turbulence in their 68-67 victory over Truman at Truman High School on Friday, Feb. 9.
The No. 10 ranked team in the recently released Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Class 5 poll, Park Hill South (16-5, 5-1 Suburban Red) needed nearly all of the 32 minutes on the clock to pull ahead of a Patriots squad they throttled at home 73-40, just two weeks ago.
“Hats off to them tonight, they attacked the basket and were scoring on us,” Panthers coach Dan Parra said. “We needed every single one of our points, tonight.”
Holding just a two-point lead at 53-51 entering the fourth-quarter, the Panthers surged out to a 9-0 run opening their advantage to 62-51.
Junior guard and major college prospect Lamel Robinson contributed six of his game-high 32 points during that stretch with a triple and an and-one. Classmate Desi Williams added the final bucket of the run at 3:31 remaining for two of his 13 points with a floater putting the Panthers ahead 62-51.
“Really, I want to thank my teammates for trusting me,” Robinson said. “They saw, where I had the early hot hand and they just kept feeding me.”
After Williams’ floater the Patriots heated up.
They scored the game’s next six points over a minute stretch, before Williams quelled the threat with another floater stretching the Panthers’ lead to 64-57 with 2:04 left on the clock.
With just a minute left the Patriots were still down 66-60, when junior guard Don Edmondson got the party started knocking down his only triple of the evening for three of his nine points with 39.1 remaining trimming the Patriots deficit to 66-63.
After, Williams missed a free-throw the Patriots were back on the attack. Senior guard Jordan Mabry collected an offensive rebound after a missed-shot and when he went up with the ball, he was fouled.
Mabry split his free throws cutting the Panthers’ lead to 66-64 with 30.9 left.
Another Panthers miss from the line gave the Patriots a golden-opportunity to seize the lead and thanks to a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Kaimen Lennox from the top-of-the-key the Patriots were ahead 67-66 with 9.8 seconds left.
With the game on the line, Parra whistled for a timeout and prepared Robinson for the possibility he may be fouled.
Once, the ball was sent in bounds it found the hands of Robinson, who was fouled as he made his way up the floor.
Robinson calmly stepped to the line and nailed his free throws vaulting the Panthers ahead 68-67 with 7.8 seconds remaining.
“Coach Parra told me, when I came out of the huddle, that I was going to get fouled,” Robinson said. “I stepped to the line with confidence and the crowd screaming and did my job. It felt good knocking those free throw’s down and giving us the lead.”
The Patriots got a good look at the last shot, but Lennox couldn’t connect this time and the Panthers survived for a 68-67 conference victory.
The Panthers picked up a hard-fought team win against a game Patriots squad, that allows them to control their fate in conference play.
“I thought with the game, being called so tight that there was a good chance we would get fouled and that’s what happened,” Parra said. “It’s huge to win a game of this type and it puts us in first-place in conference. Now, we can control our own destiny in conference.”
The Panthers came out of the gates firing, as they held a 24-16 advantage after a quarter of play as Robinson contributed 11 points.
The Patriots charged back and tied the score at 35, holding a brief 35-33 lead before Robinson canned a jumper at the halftime buzzer tying the game.
Park Hill South 60, Liberty North 43
The Panthers took the third meeting between the two Suburban Conference Red Division foes with a victory on Tuesday, Feb. 6, in Liberty, Mo.
The two teams mets in a three-game span last month, with Liberty North winning in the league game but the Panthers getting revenge in the first game of the North Kansas City Tournament.
The Panthers ran its win streak to four in a row thanks to a 29-point first half that set the stage for the victory. Park Hill South went up 16-10 in the first quarter with both Lamel Robinson and Desi Williams scoring five points.
Saadique Perkins carried the offense in the second quarter by scoring six of the Panthers’ 13 to give them a 29-16 lead at the break.
Each team scored 12 points in the third and Park Hill South went to the line 20 times in the fourth quarter – hitting 12 of them.
Robinson had 21 points, while Williams had 15 and Perkins tallied 14.
Park Hill South 52, Raytown 50
A 21-point fourth quarter helped vault the Panthers to a come-from-behind victory on Friday, Feb. 2, in Riverside, Mo.
Lamel Robinson stepped up in the final quarter by scoring half of his team-high 18 point, including one 3-pointer. Saadique Perkins scored all six of his points in the fourth for the Panthers, which extend their win streak to three.
The Blue Jays led 20-17 at the break and held onto a slim 33-31 lead going into the final quarter after the Panthers out scored them in the fourth.
Park Hill South had three players figures led by Robinson. Desi Williams added 11 — five in the fourth — and C.J. Lee had 10.