Northland hoops playoffs: Five things worth a second look

03/18/2014 12:41 PM

03/19/2014 12:43 PM

Here are five things worth a second look during the Northland high school boys and girls basketball postseason stretch run.

1. Park Hill pulls the upset

Park Hill put an end to its 20-year boys district championship drought when the Trojans upset rival Park Hill South in the district title game March 8. To no one’s surprise, Landry Shamet led the upset with 16 points. He averaged more than 20 points per game this season.

Park Hill South defeated Park Hill twice in the regular season, but it was the Trojans who earned the spot in the Missouri Class 5 state basketball tournament.

To reach the district championship game, Park Hill survived two overtimes against Oak Park in the semifinals. Louis Reinmiller scored 21 points in that game.

“We really had some kids step up and make plays during districts,” Trojans coach David Garrison said.

2. West Platte falls just short again

While the West Platte boys team is sure to look back on its last two basketball seasons as a success — the Blue Jays lost only three games in two years — there’s still a sense that something was not accomplished.

A year after placing second in Missouri Class 2, the Blue Jays lost to unbeaten Sedalia Sacred Heart in the state quarterfinals March 8. West Platte led for much of the game before falling by three points.

To make the situation even tougher to swallow, Sacred Heart rolled to victory in the state semifinals and state championship game, winning each by at least 16 points. In other words, West Platte might have been the championship favorite had it been able to advance to Columbia.

“It’s tough,” Adam Roe said. “Losing three games in two years, that’s not bad, though. We had a fun ride. There’s nothing to hang our heads about. It’s been a great season.”

3. The halfcourt game-winner

The most memorable shot of the basketball postseason? That came courtesy of Liberty North junior Brian Sharp, who buried a 35-foot game-winner at the buzzer to lift the Eagles to a 53-50 win against Lincoln Prep in the Class 4, District 15 championship game.

Liberty North, which finished 17-11, led only once in the game, but it came with zeroes showing on the clock.

Sharp prevented Liberty North from playing in its eighth overtime game of the season.

4. Peaking at the right time

Advancing in the postseason is all about playing your best basketball at the end of the season. Few girls teams exemplified that better than North Kansas City.

The Hornets were 7-6 before winning 12 of 15 games, a run that resulted in a second consecutive district championship. They defeated Staley by 15 points in the Class 5, District 15 championship game after being swept by the Falcons in two regular season matchups.

The run ended with a five-point loss to Lee’s Summit North in the state quarterfinals.

5. A championship feel

When the Kearney and Truman girls teams met in the finals of the Class 5, District 14 tournament, they had a combined three losses. The matchup provided the quality — and atmosphere — of a state championship game, but neither will be in Columbia this weekend.

Truman prevailed 51-43 in the district championship but lost to Lee’s Summit North in the state sectionals.

Kearney ended its season 24-3, and senior Meagan Paul ended her high school career as the most prolific three-point scorer in Kearney history.

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