After spending all game fighting from behind at North Kansas City, including a most-improbable rally in the final minute, overtime turned out to be the easiest four minutes Friday for William Chrisman’s boys basketball team.
Randall Horn got fouled shooting an off-balance 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds, calmly sank all three free throws to tie the game at 73 and force overtime, and the Bears rolled away in the extra four minutes to claim an 89-80 Suburban Middle Seven win.
North Kansas City had a 73-68 lead and the ball with 28 seconds left in regulation, but the Bears (11-9, 5-3 Middle Seven) induced a 5-second inbound call and then a traveling turnover with 16 seconds left, with Horn scoring in traffic in between.
Horn missed a 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds left, but a hustling Gannon Ogle saved the offensive rebound, making a blind fling from the baseline that Horn caught before taking his fateful attempt.
He canned the first two free throws, then swished the third after North Kansas City (2-18) called timeout, showing little evidence of the nerves he admitted to afterward.
“Lot of pressure,” said Horn, who scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter. “We felt good (going into overtime), but we still knew it wasn’t over. We had to keep fighting.”
After Brett Pendergist easily won the opening tip for overtime, Chrisman sprung Chris Horn free for a 3-pointer from the left wing. His first trey of the game after four misses gave the Bears their first lead of the game.
Alex Ball hit three free throws over the next two possessions and assisted Eli Henderson’s basket down low to make it 81-74, and North Kansas City never got closer than five. When the Hornets’ Austyn Uhl got a steal and appeared on his way for a layup to make it a three-point game, Randall Horn stripped Uhl from behind, leading to a Pendergist basket at the other end.
“I never thought we’d need 89 points to win a game all season,” Chrisman coach Chad Wright said, adding that he felt more relaxed after Chris Horn’s bomb to open overtime.
“The kids got some rebounds, hit some free throws and finally played some good gap-denial defense,” he added.
Wright’s team quickly fell behind 9-1 to start the game, then scored seven straight only to give up a 19-3 run by the Hornets.
But thankfully for the Bears, Eli Henderson found a hot hand. He hit three 3-pointers and capped a 19-4 run with a steal and layup that allowed Chrisman to go into halftime trailing just 34-30. When NKC went up 41-30 early in the third, the sophomore banked in another 3-ball to start a 9-2 run.
“I thought my shot was just falling,” said Henderson, who finished with a team-high 23 points. “It was a good way to get my confidence back. It seemed like everything I shot went in. I hadn’t scored in double digits since the first game.”
Back-to-back three-point plays by Pendergist and Alex Ball drew the Bears within 59-57 midway through the fourth, and Chris Horn’s three-point play with 2:05 remaining tied things at 66.
Major Finley had three 3s in the first quarter on his way to 27 points to lead North Kansas City. Cole Gage added 17 points and Matt Garcia 10. Six Hornets combined to his nine treys, and the team combined to make 24 of 27 free throws.
“You knew they were going to him some 3s,” Wright said. “I told them we’ve just got to be aggressive in getting to the rim. When we went to the rim, we shot a lot of free throws.”
Chris Horn had 18 points and seven rebounds, and Ball added 15 points, seven boards and five assists.
NORTH KANSAS CITY 58, WILLIAM CHRISMAN 40: The visiting Bears led 21-15 at halftime, but Hornets senior guard Aries Washington erupted for 24 of her 30 points in the second half of Friday’s doubleheader opener.
North Kansas City (15-7, 7-2 Suburban Middle Seven) his five 3-pointers in the third quarter to take a 36-30 lead into the fourth. A jumper by Washington and two free throws by her after a steal made it 49-38 with 2:30 remaining, and Chrisman (9-11, 4-4) couldn’t get within single digits.
“This is disappointing because I felt like we reverted to what we were back in November, and that’s never a good thing,” Chrisman coach Lindsay Thompson said.
“I felt we had a great game plan, and executed flawlessly in the first half. But in the second half they hit a couple shots and we just lost our marbles. A player getting 30 points, that should never happen. That one’s hard to take.”
Rachel Losch had 10 points, Makenzie Erikson nine and Adreon Bell eight for Chrisman. Kianna Lane backed Washington with 13 points for NKC.