Blue Springs forward Daniel Parker Jr. started a movement on the basketball team called “hand film.”
“Hand film” is a challenge where a player tries to make at least three 3-pointers in a game while having a defender’s hand in their face.
On Tuesday night, it didn’t matter if Parker had a hand in his face, was wide open or 25 feet away from the basket, he found a way to drain threes. The senior, who has signed to play football at Missouri, drained nine treys and scored a game-best 38 points to help Blue Springs capture an 88-71 Suburban Big Seven win over visiting Lee’s Summit North.
“That’s right, hand film. That’s what I do,” Parker said. “A hand in my face, wide open, it doesn’t matter. I have to hit those threes. I am the founder of hand film. I made it.”
Parker said a lot of the credit for his much improved 3-point shooting comes from the work that he put in during the offseason on his shot, as head coach Adam Jones informed him that he would play more of a stretch-four position rather than as a post player. Tuesday, he came within one 3-pointer of tying the school record for most threes in a game.
“It’s something I’ve worked on all offseason,” said Parker, who made 9 out of 14 shots from behind the arc and also grabbed 10 rebounds. “I went to (Blue Springs Fieldhouse) and worked on my threes and have people close out on me so I can stay consistent and not undershoot or overshoot it with a hand in my face. I have been working on breaking Jon Sundvold’s single-game (school) record of 51 points.”
His efforts was a part of a 13-for-27 shooting effort from behind the 3-point line for the Wildcats (8-14, 2-8).
“I thought our guys played a complete game,” said Jones, whose team snapped a five-game losing streak. “Obviously, we’ve been in a little bit of a rut. I think our kids made some changes tonight and put their foot down.
“We talk a lot about RJ (Lawrence) and Daniel, but we don’t talk about the other guys. Azaiah Bello was making some cuts to make the defenders give (Parker and Lawrence) just a shade of grey to shoot the ball.”
Parker wasn’t the only one to have a big day either. So, did fellow senior Lawrence, who not only had a big day, but a big week. Two days ago, the sharpshooting senior announced on Twitter that he committed to play basketball at NCAA Division II Pittsburg State. Then on Tuesday, Parker carried Lawrence to the center of the court during a courtwarming celebration. In Lawrence’s hands was a bouquet of flowers that he gave to his girlfriend and Blue Springs cheerleader Sophie Caldwell as he asked her to prom. She, of course, said yes on the same day that the point guard dropped 28 points.
“We planned this out last week since (the cheerleaders) left for Florida,” Lawrence said. “I haven’t asked her to prom, so I figured I might as well do it.”
Things didn’t go completely well for the Wildcats in the beginning of the game as North’s Javaunte Hawkins, who had a team-high 32 points, and Logan Jenkins combined for five 3-pointers in the first period to help the Broncos jump out to a 22-19 lead.
In the second, the Broncos led by as many as nine (31-22) after 6-foot-8 forward Elijah Farr putback a missed 3-pointer by Logan Jenkins. From there, Blue Springs went on a 17-4 run to go into halftime up 39-35, highlighted by Lawrence weaving through three defenders to for an assist to Braylon Culler, who made a wide-open layup.
“Both teams came out really hot,” North coach Mike Hilbert said. “Then unfortunately, Blue Springs continued to shoot it well and we cooled off. At that point, you have to stop shooting and attack the basket more. We needed to do that more in the second quarter.”
Parker then went off for 21 points in the third, scoring from just about every spot on the floor, including four threes. He helped the Wildcats go into the fourth ahead 67-55, and Lawrence took over from there as North’s defense focused on stopping Parker.
Hawkins made a fast-break layup to cut the Blue Springs lead to 69-63 early in the fourth, but the Wildcats countered with a 9-0 run capped by Lawrence’s three. He had 10 in the period.
“When they focus too much on one person, the other person has to go off,” Lawrence said of himself and Parker. “It’s only fair.”
Jenkins added 17 points for the Broncos (12-9, 5-5).