Caleb Israelite doesn't miss very many free throws.
The Blue Springs South guard's lone miss came in a key junction in the championship game of the Patterson Division in the William Jewell High School Holiday Classic Saturday night.
Israelite missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw with 3.2 seconds left in regulation.
Park Hill South got the rebound and then got a game-tying 3-pointer to force overtime at the Mabee Center.
In double overtime, the senior redeemed himself.
Israelite made six straight free throws to ice an 83-79 victory to vault the Jaguars to an upset of Class 5, No. 3 state-ranked Park Hill South.
Israelite acknowledged the miss bothered him, but he went 9-for-10 from the free-throw line and scored a team-high 21 points. He added seven rebounds, four assists and three steals and was named the Patterson Division Most Valuable Player.
He joins a select group of Jaguars to have that honor: Rich Bubalo in 1999, DJ Booker (2011) and Kevin Puryear (2013, 2014).
“A lot are surprised about this No. 10 (Israelite) from Blue Springs South,” Blue Springs South coach Josh Smith said. “Caleb played for me at the JV level and he was rock solid, he was just behind other guys. I really felt once he got his opportunity at the varsity level he would be really good. I'm not the smartest guy, but I think I've been right so far.
“To be the most valuable player in a division that featured a bunch of outstanding players from a number of teams, to see him get that honor … the coolest thing was our bench's reaction. I thought it was pretty awesome. The guys were generally excited for one of their teammates.”
The Jaguars (7-3) won their fourth straight and extracted a bit of revenge from a loss to Park Hill South earlier this year, 86-58.
Blue Springs South limited turnovers this time around – 16 in six quarters.
“We didn't turn them over as much this game than last,” Park Hill South coach Dan Parra said. “They were very efficient on offense. Last game, we made them turn the ball over, and we were in transition a lot.”
The Jaguars dominated the two middle quarters and held a 56-43 lead going into the fourth. A basket by Johnny George pushed the lead to 15 points moments into the final frame.
Park Hill South trailed by 15 with 4 minutes, 55 seconds left but rallied to force overtime.
The Panthers (5-3) went on an 18-4 run over the next three minutes to pull within 66-65, keyed by a pair of 3s from Lamel Robinson, who finished with a game-high 33 points and was named to the all-tournament team.
With a chance to take the lead with 9.6 seconds left, Park Hill South missed a shot and Khayden Hooks was fouled. He hit both free throws for the Jaguars, making it 68-65. After another missed shot, Israelite was fouled and missed the free throw.
That set up Robinson's fourth 3-pointer of the quarter, forcing overtime.
Park Hill South went up 72-68 in double overtime with 2:15 left, but Robinson fouled out in the extra session just prior to that. With 9.1 seconds left, the Panthers' Desi Williams hit the first of two free throws to make it 75-73, but missed the second.
That gave Blue Springs South a little bit of life and with 3.4 seconds left, Cade Berg drew a foul. He hit both free throws to tie the game. Park Hill South missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force double overtime.
In the second session, Dylan Brougham scored with 1:35 left to give the Panthers a lead, but Israelite scored the next six points on free throws to make it 81-77, the last coming with 11.8 seconds left.
Williams scored with 5.1 seconds left and drew a foul, but missed the free throw. Down 81-79, Hooks was fouled and hit two free throws to ice the win.
Blue Springs South had five players score in double figures. Along with Israelite, Jaylon McDaniel had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Hooks had 16, followed George with 12 and Devin Tomlinson with 11, including three 3-pointers.
“We were fortunate to win a heck of a high school basketball game,” Smith said. “The game was wild and full of twists and turns. It was fun to be part of it. It feels good we found a way to get it done after we left a lead slip away and they hit us in the mouth with a shot at the end of regulation and we ended up going to double OT.
“I've been coaching for many years. Not in this chair, but this is as crazy of a game that I've been a part of in quite some time.”