The final played called for Blue Springs junior Justin Hall to take the last shot — preferably a close-range two-pointer that would draw the Wildcats even with Park Hill. But as the clock dwindled toward zero, that plan broke down.
Ten, nine, eight.
Hall scrambled for the next best option. As he turned to his right, he spotted sophomore Tyree King, who stood one step behind the three-point line. Hall swung the pass.
Seven, six, five.
“That’s when I knew,” he said. “It was going in.”
Blue Springs 64, Park Hill 63.
A game between a pair of one-loss teams lived up to its billing. Maybe even surpassed it.
Blue Springs, 10-1, erased a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit and took its first lead of the second half when King’s three-pointer hit the nylon. Park Hill guard Louis Reinmiller countered with a half-court heave, but the attempt fell short, igniting a raucous reaction from the Blue Springs bench.
“As soon as Tyree caught it, I knew it was good,” Blue Springs coach Adam Jones said. “It seems like the tighter the game gets, the less he worries and the better he does. He’s been on fire late in games.”
True to form, after Taysean Goodwin fouled out with a team-best 19 points, King took over in the fourth quarter, when he scored 12 of his 17 points.
The Wildcats followed suit.
After watching Park Hill, 10-2, slowly build a nine-point lead, Blue Springs fought back with a 21-point fourth quarter to avoid a two-game skid. In its previous game against Liberty, Blue Springs suffered its first loss of the season — a 76-74 overtime defeat.
“We had a week and a day to stew on that, so it’s been a long time thinking about that one,” Jones said. “We felt like we did some things in that game that were out of our character, and we did some things tonight that were out of our character, but when (the lead) got to nine, our kids just started chipping away.”
The comeback nullified the typically impressive output from Park Hill’s starting backcourt. Deionte Wilson scored 21 points, including 14 after halftime, and Landry Shamet added 18 more.