Trojans take 3rd at Liberty North

Forward Nic Zeil continued his strong start to his senior campaign to aid Park Hill’s third-place finish at the Liberty North Tournament last week.

Zeil, a Truman State commit, averaged 19 points per game as the Trojans went 2-1 in the tournament.

After beating St. Joseph Lafayette 55-47 in the tournament opener, Park Hill suffered an 82-71 setback to Liberty North. Zeil scored 17 and 16 in the first two games before pouring in 24 points in the Trojans’ 58-46 win over St. Joseph Central in the third-place game.

The Trojans improved to 3-1 ahead of Tuesday’s home contest with Raytown. Park Hill will also host Fort Osage at 7 p.m. Friday before traveling to Park Hill South next Wednesday in the second game of a doubleheader at HyVee Arena in Kansas City.

In the victory over Central, the Trojans jumped out to a 20-10 lead after the first quarter. But Central countered with a 16-7 second quarter to cut the lead to 27-26 at the break.

Park Hill kept its lead throughout the second half, as Zeil registered 15 of his 24 points in the final two quarters, and the Trojans out-scored Central 12-7 in the third and 19-13 in the final frame for the 12-point win.

A 23-point third quarter paid dividends for Park Hill in the opening-round win over Lafayette, who led 10-8 after the first quarter.

The Trojans went on to grab a 23-19 halftime lead before the strong third quarter gave Park Hill a 46-34 advantage prior to the final frame, which saw Lafayette come up eight points short despite a 13-9 advantage.

THOM HANRAHAN/Liberty Courier-Tribune  Park Hill’s Nic Zeil, right, looks to pass to a teammate while guarded by St. Joseph Lafayette’s Tyson Koch in the opening round game of the Liberty North Tournament on Thursday, Dec. 6.

THOM HANRAHAN/Liberty Courier-Tribune

Park Hill’s Nic Zeil, right, looks to pass to a teammate while guarded by St. Joseph Lafayette’s Tyson Koch in the opening round game of the Liberty North Tournament on Thursday, Dec. 6.

Zeil collected seven points in the second and six in the third quarter as he led the Trojans with 17 total points. Nyk Bryant added 13 points.

Bryant and Zeil led Park Hill in the high-scoring affair with Liberty North. Bryant poured in 23 points, making 7 of 11 free throws, while Zeil converted two 3s as part of 16 points.

Ryan Kiser contributed three treys and 13 points for the Trojans, who trailed 22-11 after the first quarter, 47-27 by halftime and 64-41 after three quarters.

Park Hill turned on the jets in the fourth quarter with 30 points, including four made 3-pointers, two coming from Kisser, and 11 points from Zeil. But the last-ditch effort wasn’t enough, courtesy of Liberty North’s 18-point frame, giving the tourney hosts a nine-point semifinal win.