Unhappy with recent free-throw performances, a new drill has been introduced at William Chrisman boys basketball practices.

It paid off Tuesday night.

Unhappy with recent free-throw performances, a new drill has been introduced at William Chrisman boys basketball practices.
It paid off Tuesday night.
The Bears hit 21 of 24 free throws – including 15 of 16 in the fourth quarter – in an 82-66 win over visiting Rockhurst.
“I don’t like to say this, but it’s unlike us to make that many,” said Chrisman’s Jon Ekey, who led the Bears with 19 points. “We’ve been doing a lot of pressure free throws in practice, and if we miss, we have to run. More guys are getting on board with our free throws and taking it seriously.”
While the free throws sealed the game, Ekey helped put the Bears in a good position in the first half.
With leading scorer Justin Clark drawing a good amount of attention, Ekey knocked in 15 points in the first half, draining four of his game-high five 3-pointers.
“The great thing is that when you up us together, if he’s not 100 percent and things aren’t going his way, then we have me there to back him up.”
Ekey and Nathan Martin – who scored 11 of his 17 points in the first half – both kept knocking down 3-pointers to help the Bears build a 49-32 halftime lead.
“We shot well in the first half,” Chrisman coach John Vickers said. “Jon shot really well. We had five guys in double figures tonight. It’s a big deal for us to have (multiple) guys playing well.”
But in the start of the third quarter, the Bears’ season-long third-quarter struggles came back to haunt them.
Rockhurst scored eight straight points before a Korey Stucker 3-pointer sparked a 7-0 run for Chrisman, who never led by less than nine the rest of the night.
“We needed a good third quarter,” Stucker said. “That shot helped get us back into it.”
The fourth quarter then became a free-throw clinic starring Bobby Byrom and the Bears. Byrom hit all eight of his shots from the line, helping him finish with 13 points.
“Tonight guys really stepped up, especially Bobby,” Vickers said. “Bobby’s someone who has so much potential. It’s a huge deal to have a guy step up when you need him to, especially a senior and an experienced guy. I’m so proud of him.”
Byrom, however, said he was also proud of the team’s defense, which sparked several runs and kept Rockhurst from getting into too much of an offensive flow on the night.
“That was bigger than the free throws,” Byrom said. “We were able to get turnovers, get extra layups and then get put on the free-throw line.”
Clark and Stucker each had 12 points for the Bears.
The win sets the Bears up for a showdown with Suburban Big Six leader Park Hill South Friday at Park Hill South. The Bears won a tight matchup earlier in the season.
The game will be on MetroSports as the Hy-Vee game of the week and reunites Ekey with the Panthers’ 6-foot-8 star player Ivo Baltic in a one-on-one battle.
“I’m excited,” Ekey said. “He’s a really good player. We both have close to the same game. It will be good to guard another good player. It will be real back-and-forth. It’s at their place. There’s going to be a big crowd and television. It’s gonna be big.”