A pair of gritty offensive rebounds by Max Black allowed Sam Billimon to be the hero for the Truman boys basketball team.
Down 53-51, Black grabbed those rebounds in the closing seconds and passed it out to Billimon on the 3-point arc. Billimon drained a 3-pointer with five seconds left to lift the Patriots to a 54-53 Suburban Large Seven road victory over 10th-ranked Liberty Tuesday night.
"Huge win for us," Truman coach Rod Briggs said. "I am proud of our team."
Truman jumped to a 15-5 lead after the first quarter but the host Blue Jays used a 15-7 advantage in the second to pull within 22-20 by halftime.
Truman took a 40-37 lead into the final quarter, but Liberty grabbed the lead in the fourth before Billimon’s shot decided it. The Blue Jays missed a desperation shot at the buzzer.
"We played very well in the first quarter but really struggled again in the second quarter. Grant Stubbs really was a handful for Liberty," Briggs said after his team swept Liberty in the season series.
Billimon finished with 18 points and Kaimen Lennox added 17 to lead the Patriots (15-8, 6-4), while Stubbs finished with 25 for Liberty (17-6, 6-4).
BLUE SPRINGS 66, PARK HILL 64: Kyle Bruce hit a layup with 1.4 seconds left to seal Blue Springs’ Suburban Big Six road win over Park Hill Tuesday.
The Wildcats’ balanced attack was able to overcome Park Hill’s nine 3-pointers.
"Great team win tonight in a hard fought conference battle at Park Hill," Blue Springs coach Adam Jones said. "Park Hill played a great game and really shot it well. We found success early in the game with a good mix of Braden Appelhans from the outside and Ikenna Ezeogu inside. Mike Harrison had a great game with his extra effort plays on defense."
Blue Springs trailed 21-15 after the first quarter but tied it at 33 at halftime with an 18-12 advantage in the second. The Wildcats took a 44-41 lead into the final period.
Ezeogu scored six of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter. Bruce, Harrison (who scored eight third-quarter points) and Appelhans each finished with 14 for the Wildcats (13-8, 6-2), who trail Raymore-Peculiar by a game in the conference race.
RAYTOWN 66, FORT OSAGE 39: Starting with a 19-2 deficit doomed Fort Osage in a Suburban Middle Seven home loss to Raytown Tuesday.
"That didn’t help," Indians coach Josh Wilson said of his team’s deficit after the first quarter. "With their quickness, if they’re knocking down their outside shots, that makes them extremely difficult to beat."
Raytown drained 11 3-pointers in the game to make a Fort Osage rally impossible.
Leading 33-14 at halftime, the Blue Jays put the Indians away with a 23-11 advantage in the third quarter for a 56-25 lead.
Aaron Franklin led four scorers in double figures with 19 points for Raytown (18-6, 10-1 Middle Seven).
Triston Turner scored 18 points and Eli Parker added eight to pace Fort Osage (6-14, 1-8).
RAYMORE-PECULIAR 52, LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH 46: Lee’s Summit North gave Suburban Big Six leader Ray-Pec a battle before falling Tuesday at Ray-Pec.
The Broncos led by one point entering the final quarter and were within two points with a minute left but couldn’t get it tied.
North dropped to 4-18 overall and 1-7 in the conference, while sixth-ranked Ray-Pec improved to 20-3 and 7-1.
Dayne Davis scored 11 points and Kolby Franklin added 10 to lead the Broncos.
OAK GROVE 68, ODESSA 64: Oak Grove coach Dustin Fox is looking for a strong passing game from his team, and it paid off down the stretch in a MRVC West win over rival Odessa Tuesday.
The Panthers outscored the Bulldogs 18-14 in the final quarter to break a 50-50 tie.
"Tonight was a battle throughout the entire game and we found a way to win it down the stretch," Fox said. "I am proud of our guys offensively as we have really started to prioritize assisted field goals more than hunting for shots on our own and we have improved a lot in that area lately. We have been in situations this year like last night and hadn't executed down the stretch, but tonight we did that and I'm proud of our guys for the mental toughness they displayed."
Brenden Marsh tallied 13 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, Tully Thomsen totaled 22 points and seven rebounds and Eli Wycoff added 19 points, five rebounds and five assists to power Oak Grove (11-8, 4-2 MRVC West), which has won three straight.
The Panthers rallied from a 20-13 first-quarter deficit to take a 35-31 lead into halftime, but Odessa outscored them 19-15 in the third to tie it.