Andru Garrett, welcome to the Grain Valley High School boys basketball book of lore.
Garrett, a senior who moved to Grain Valley from Blue Springs, hit a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left in Saturday afternoon’s third-place game in the Grain Valley Sonic Showdown to lift the Eagles to a 65-64 overtime victory over rival Oak Grove.
The Panthers had just taken a 63-62 lead on Jaxon Althaus’ layup and free throw – his 1,000th and 1,001st career points, but Garrett made sure the Oak Grove celebration was short-lived.
“I wasn’t having a very good game, and I was open and took the shot and hit it,” said Garrett, who finished with 19 points. “They had just taken the lead and I wanted to get off a shot with enough time left that we could still do something if I missed it.”
The basket led to a dramatic finish and a scramble under the Oak Grove basket that resulted in a jump ball, with the Eagles getting the basketball with 3.1 seconds remaining.
And inbounds pass went out of bounds – without touching a Grain Valley player – so Oak Grove got the ball under its basket.
“We wanted to get the ball to Jaxon, but Grain Valley knew that and wouldn’t let us get him the ball,” Oak Grove coach Ty Hames said. “We got it to Dylon (Pfeifer), and he had a great look at the basket from the baseline, but it just didn’t fall.
“But that’s OK. We will probably play them three more times this season and I expect every game to be just like this one. It was a great high school basketball game.”
It was close throughout as Grain Valley led 13-12 after one period and it was tied 27-all at halftime and 37-all at the end of the third quarter.
Oak Grove trailed 58-54 late in the game when Althaus converted his first and-one three-point play to make it 58-57. He followed hitting one of two free throws to knot the score at 58 at the end of regulation.
“I’m happy to get my 1,000th career point and get that out of the way,” said Althaus, who led all scorers with 21 points, “but right now, I’d trade all 1,000 points for a win.”
Coach Andy Herbert just shook his head and smiled when asked about the dramatic third-place game.
“It’s just a shame this wasn’t the championship game because both teams played like champions today,” Herbert said after his Eagles improved to 16-2. “That was a big shot by Garrett and we survived the finish.
“Ethan Macoubrie is a big-time player for us and he did a nice job defending against Pfeifer on that last shot. We weren’t going to let Jaxon get the ball – he’d done enough damage in the game. He’s just a great player.”
Josh Kilpatrick, who hit two big 3-pointers in the third period, finished with 14 points for the Eagles. Macoubrie and Tate Collum added eight each.
Kenton Wilhoit and Gavin Richardson contributed 11 points each for the Panthers and Brenden Marsh came off the bench to hit three consecutive 3-point baskets in that dramatic fourth-quarter Oak Grove run.
The two teams meet again Friday at Oak Grove.