The flashback arrived with about 8 seconds left. Lee’s Summit West senior Elijah Childs was drawn to a memory of last March, when the Titans’ playoff run ended on a pair of buzzer-beaters.
On Wednesday, in a similarly frantic final quarter, Lee’s Summit West earned a better fate.
The Titans held off North Kansas City for a 59-57 win in the Missouri Class 5 sectionals at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
“We were nervous — especially when you think about how last year ended — but we got it done,” Childs said. “You don’t get over a loss like last year. We’re trying our best not to let that happen again.”
North Kansas City (21-6) flipped an 11-point deficit into a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter. Lee’s Summit West (24-2) led by three in the final seconds and elected to foul to prevent a potential game-tying three-pointer.
Christian Bishop led Lee’s Summit West with 22 points. Deng Bol scored 24 for North Kansas City.
Liberty boys 57, Park Hill 45
At the conclusion of a handful of practices this season, the Liberty Blue Jays have lined up at halfcourt, taking turns heaving basketballs 47 feet toward the goal.
Jordan McClellan put the practice to good use Wednesday. McClellan nailed a shot from just inside halfcourt at the first-half buzzer, giving the Blue Jays a seven-point lead and a wave of momentum.
Liberty (20-8) held Park Hill (21-6) at arm’s distance throughout the second half, gliding to a 57-45 win in the Missouri Class 5 boys sectionals at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence.
“When I first shot it, I thought it was way short, so I didn’t believe it when it went in,” McClellan said of his shot. “I feel like it gave us life.”
After the two teams exchanged five leads in the first half, Liberty led by at least seven throughout the second. Jalen Lewis scored 13.
Park Hill senior guard Dru Smith scored a game-best 24 points in a losing effort, including 17 in the first half.
Park Hill coach Chad Jones returned from a one-game suspension, handed out after an incident at practice last week.
Park Hill girls 58, Liberty 43
For the first time since 1995, the Park Hill girls basketball team will play for a trip to the state tournament.
After a slow offensive start, Park Hill rolled to a 58-43 victory against Liberty in the Missouri Class 5 sectionals on Wednesday.
Park Hill is in the state quarterfinals for the first time in 22 seasons.
“I think they were just caught up in the emotion early, not having played in this game before,” Park Hill coach Aaron Neeser said. “As they got comfortable, they started making shots. It was that simple.”
Park Hill (21-6) led by only two at halftime but outscored Liberty 38-25 over the final two quarters.
Alex Berger made a trio of three-pointers and scored 19 points. McKenzie Hull scored 18 in the loss for Liberty (16-12).
Lee’s Summit girls 51, North Kansas City 46
When the postseason began, the Lee’s Summit girls basketball team owned a losing record.
On Wednesday, the Tigers moved over .500 for the first time in a month — and they moved within one victory of an appearance in the Missouri Class 5 Final Four.
Lee’s Summit outlasted North Kansas City 51-46 in the sectional round and will face Park Hill at 7:45 p.m. Saturday.
“Our chemistry just started to click,” said junior Claire Lock, who scored 21. “In practice, we’ve scouted well, and we’ve had high energy in the games, so I think that’s helped us.”
Chandler Prater scored 23 in the loss for North Kansas City.