Junior Anthony Bell has recently given a boost to the Park Hill South frontcourt.
Bell, a 6-foot-6 forward, contributed 11 points in the No. 3 Panthers’ most recent victory, a 77-50 thumping of St. Joseph Lafayette on Saturday, Jan. 5 in the Hall of Fame Classic at Benton High School in St. Joseph.
Bell had an even greater effort in South’s 64-51 Suburban Conference Red Division road victory over Liberty on Friday, Jan. 4. Bell poured in 16 points, all in the second half, against the Blue Jays, finishing behind teammate Lamel Robinson’s game-high 23 points.
“It was a very important win, a conference game and sometimes can be more intense like Park Hill, so we always like winning the Liberty games,” Bell said after the win.
“He was huge,” Panthers coach Dan Parra said of Bell, who scored 12 in the third quarter alone. “(Starting junior forward) Dylan (Brougham) was struggling a little bit with foul trouble and his motor was tired, so Anthony was huge for us in getting layups. It’s nice having him and Dylan both (playing at the same time), especially defensively.”
At the moment, Bell’s focus is centered around working hard, regardless of his role.
“I’m always going to go as hard as I can with the playing time I get, regardless if I get two minutes or I’m in there 10 minutes,” Bell said. “Our guards were passing it into the bigs and we just had a great connection.”
The Panthers (5-3, 1-1 Suburban Red), ranked third in Class 5, used a big first half to put Lafayette away in a single-game Hall of Fame Classic. South led the Irish 19-4 after the first quarter, 34-13 at halftime and 57-33 through three quarters.
Senior guard Desi Williams led a balanced Panthers’ attack with 16 points and three treys. Robinson added 15 points with two 3s, while Brougham chipped in 10.
South returns to action Friday, Jan. 11 with a home contest against Truman, the back end of a doubleheader.
Park Hill South 64, Liberty 51
Robinson got the Panthers rolling in the Suburban Red matchup against Liberty on Friday, Jan. 4.
Robinson, a Nebraska-Omaha signee, had the hot hand early, scoring 10 of his 23 points in the first quarter as the Panthers led 17-14 ahead of the second frame.
Robinson cashed in on three deep balls, all before the Panthers took a 34-30 lead into halftime.
“He’s obviously a special player,” Parra said of Robinson. “When he gets going like that, our guys just feed off of him. There’s a lot of times where he carries us offensively. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before.”
The third quarter belonged to Bell, who scored the first two buckets of the frame to give South an eight-point advantage. He scored on four more occasions during the third period, helping the Panthers to a 19-9 frame and a 53-39 lead before the fourth quarter.
The Blue Jays (4-6, 0-1) managed to edge South 12-11 in the final period, but it wasn’t enough.
“There were a couple of times where we rushed things offensively,” Parra said. “But when you win by double digits on the road, it’s a good thing.”
Grandview 57, Platte County 39
Platte County’s losing streak reached seven games as the Pirates dropped a Suburban Conference Blue Division test to Grandview on Friday, Jan. 4 at Grandview High School.
Senior guard Justin Barkley cashed in on six 3-pointers, three per half, for a game-high 21 points. Barkley scored his other three points at the free throw line with a 3-for-3 effort.
The Pirates trailed Grandview 18-10 after the first quarter, 29-19 at halftime and 44-28 after three quarters. Three players were in double digits for the defending state champion Bulldogs (10-2) — Reggie Morris with 11 points and Kamto Eze and Taj Manning with 10 points apiece.
Platte County, who won the season’s first two games, had a 2-7 record headed into Tuesday’s opening round matchup of the Kearney Invitational against North Kansas City. Results were not available by press time.