When it comes to the Lee's Summit North boys basketball team, the backcourt duo of Javaunte Hawkins and Mikel Henderson get a lot of the attention because of their ability to consistently score and power the offense.
However, in Saturday's Class 5 quarterfinal matchup with William Chrisman, the Broncos got help late from a pair of unlikely sources.
Senior forward Devin Richardson made a putback layup to put the Broncos ahead 59-58 and Tommy Irwin got a huge offensive rebound late in overtime in a gutsy 63-58 win over the Bears at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
The Broncos will advance to the Class 5 semifinals and will play Columbia Rock Bridge at 1 p.m. at John Q. Hammons Arena at Missouri State University in Springfield.
North led for the entire game until junior Zachariah Rowe received pass from junior Isaiah Jackson and buried a 3-pointer to give Chrisman a 45-43 lead with 6:05 left in the fourth period. The Bears led until late in the period when Hawkins made a pair of free throws to put North up 53-52 with 2:32 left. Chrisman senior Dawson Herl hit 1 of 2 free throws with 1:15 left and the game went to overtime with both teams tied at 53-all following a buzzer-beater attempt from Jackson that fell short.
Rowe gave the Bears an early lead in overtime after hitting a pair of free throws. But Hawkins answered back with a 3-pointer from 27 feet out to put the Broncos ahead 56-55. Bears senior Kelvyn Mason then made a driving layup through contact for a 57-56 lead. Shortly after, Richardson made one of the plays of the game. North senior Elijah Smith missed a mid-range jump shot and Richardson flew in for the rebound and put in a teardrop shot that put the Broncos up 58-57.
Rowe hit 1 of 2 free throws on the other end to tie it. Shortly after the Broncos inbounded the ball, Richardson was fouled. He made the first free throw, but missed the second. However, Erwin chased down the rebound after the miss was just out of the reach of Herl with 1:02 left. That led to a timeout and the Bears were forced to go for a steal or foul. Henderson was fouled and made two free throws. With Chrisman down 61-58, Rowe missed a contested 3-pointer and his teammate Alexander Calhoun grabbed the rebound. However, he stumbled backward into Richardson and was called for an offensive foul. The fired up Richardson clapped while on his back, stood up and threw multiple fist pumps. Hawkins hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to put it away.
Hawkins led the Broncos (26-3) with 24 points and Henderson added 21. Wigfall led the Bears (20-9) with 12 points, followed by Rowe with 11 and Jackson with 10.
Check out the full story in the Tuesday, March 12, edition of the Examiner and on examiner.net.