KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two of the best teams in state clashed for the Class 5 District 14 championship for the second year in a row.
While the location was different, the result stayed the same as North Kansas City won a tight game against Park Hill South on Friday, March 2, the Class 5 No. 1-ranked Hornets edged out a 33-30 victory against the Panthers, ranked No. 5 in the MBCA poll.
Last year, North Kansas City won 42-38 against Park Hill South to end the Panthers’ season.
The rematch of the two was close throughout, with the score being even at 8 after the first period.
The Hornets (25-2) went up 19-11 at the break behind the one-two attack of Cassidy Turner and Chandler Prater, who scored all 11 for the Hornets in the frame.
Limited to only a 3-pointer by DeQuaria Guillory in the second, the Panthers flipped the script offensively in the second.
She hit another in the third quarter, while Kate Eischens hit another, part of a five-point quarter for her. Alecia Westbrook added three free throws, helping the Panthers tie the contest at 22 with 8 minutes to play.
De’Jaria Guillory scored six of the Panthers’ 8 points in the fourth, while Dymeria Guillory added another, but it wasn’t enough to counter NKC’s duo.
Prater scored eight of her game-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, while Turner drained a 3-pointer, giving her 11 points. The two scored all but six points for the Hornets.
DeQuaria Guillory led Park Hill South with nine, while De’Jaria Guillory had eight. Westbrook was held without a basket and finished with three.
“It is a huge matchup, talent wise, and it sucks the way it is set up,” Park Hill South coach Josh Dorr said of playing North Kansas City in the finals following a semifinal win. “Coach (Jeff) Lacy and I have been talking about it. We both have great teams and unfortunately only one is going to make it out.”
Park Hill South 64, St. Teresa’s 57
The Panthers punched their ticket to the championship game thanks to a come-from-behind win on Wednesday, Feb. 28.
After the first quarter, Park Hill South looked like it could cruise to the win after starting on a 6-0 run and leading 14-4 following the first 8 minutes.
Then, things got interesting over the final three quarters.
The Stars, who entered with an 11-12 record, went on a 12-6 run and tied the game on Clare Herrington’s 3-pointer.
That became the start of a back-and-forth contest that went down to the final 30 seconds, when the Panthers (22-4) pulled away with six late free throws.
“We’ve been there before,” Park Hill South coach Josh Dorr said. “We have done that, it doesn’t matter who we play, we seem to get down and let them go on a run. We have fought back and luckily we have that … out of 22 wins, probably done it 18 times. Honestly of the four losses, three of times we didn’t do it.
“We are used to that, I don’t think we get down. We understand what we need to do and we take care of business.”
After Dorr called a timeout following Herrington’s 3-pointer, De’Jaria Guillory scored to give the Panther the lead back, but then Hailey Coleman scored to give the Stars the lead for the first time at 19-18.
Back-to-back baskets from Alecia Westbrook gave the Panthers the lead back, but St. Teresa’s took back the advantage on Grace Kauten’s 3-pointer with 22 seconds left. A last-second basket by Guillory made gave Park Hill South a 26-25 lead at the break.
The Panthers went up by seven after going on an 8-2 run to open the third quarter, but St. Teresa’s took the lead for the third time on a 3-pointer by Maddie Gentry with 3:42 left in the third.
Consecutive baskets from Dymeria Guillory, De’Jaria Guillory and DeQuaria Guillory gave the Panthers a 45-43 lead going into the fourth.
A 3-point play by Westbrook gave the Panthers a seven-point lead 1 minute into the fourth and with 5 minutes to play, Park Hill South still maintained that advantage.
Then, three straight 3-point plays gave the Stars the lead again.
Herrington and Coleman hit 3-pointers and Kauten was fouled shooting a trey and went to the line and hit all three free throws, making it 56-54 with 2:49 left.
“They are a good ball club and they play hard,” Dorr said. “They want to create turnovers and get up and down.”
The Stars had a chance to put further distance from the Panthers, but hit only 1 of 4 free throws over the next minute.
Westbrook hit one free throw with 1:11 left to pull her team within two and then a St. Teresa’s steal and layup tied the game at 57 with 53.7 seconds left.
The game turned on the next possession when Westbrook jumped in front of a pass and threw it to DeQuaria Guillory, who was shoved in the back by Herrington on the way for a layup.
An intentional foul was called and DeQuaria Guillory made both free throws, breaking the tie with 33.3 left. With the ball still, De’Jaria Guillory went to the line with 21.6 seconds left.
With 5.4 seconds, Dymeria Guillory hit two more free throws to account for the final score.
Westbrook had 22 points, while De’Jaria Guillory added 20.
Herrington was one of three Stars in double figures, finishing with a team-high 16.