By Denise Tucker (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
With 10.2 seconds left in a tie game, Parkview coach Landon Cornish called time out. As soon as both Parkview and Strafford took the floor, Cornish again called time out.
The result of that timeout was a game-winning layup from junior point guard Dontae Taylor to give the top-seeded Vikings a 53-51 Blue Division quarterfinal victory over the Strafford Indians in the Blue & Gold Tournament on Thursday morning at JQH Arena.
“We want to put the ball in his hands; he’s our playmaker,” Cornish said of Taylor, who scored a team-high 14 points. “We didn’t really want to force anything, kind of see what was set up and what we thought maybe we could get. But in that first timeout, it was more talking about situations after the play, so we could use that second timeout to actually draw up a play, to make sure we covered all of our bases.”
In the first half, Class 3 Strafford gave Class 5 Parkview all it could handle leading 13-12 after the first quarter and 23-18 at the half. But Parkview clawed its way back in the second half, outscoring the eighth-seeded Indians 35-18.
“First of all, they’re still a really good team without Tyem (Freeman – Parkview’s star player lost for the season with a torn ACL),” Strafford coach Tyler Ryerson said. “We had a bad 2 to 2-1/2-minute stretch with about 5-1/2 minutes to 2 minutes left where we just didn’t play very well. We kind of got away from what got us the lead.
“They’re really hard to guard off the dribble. They can get by about anybody, and we didn’t help as well as we had helped the entire game. I think if we play that game a few more times, it’s a toss-up every game.”
Strafford senior Riley Oberbeck had another big game for the Indians, scoring a game-high 23 points.
“He is the epitome of a gym rat,” Ryerson said. “He’s in the gym every single day, and it shows. I think he’s had over 20 (points) every single game, and he’s really hard to stop. He’s fun to have. For me, he makes my job a heck of a lot easier.”
As the No. 1 seed, and without its superstar, Cornish is happy to see his team advance to the next round.
“This tournament, in general, each game is a dogfight because everybody looks forward to it all year long and wants to come out and compete,” Cornish said. “So, every game is going to be a challenge and you’ve gotta have kids show up and really be ready to play.
“I thought, for that early in the morning, for our guys – and (Strafford), too – everybody was ready to go. It was a very intense game from start to finish, and I was really proud of our effort and to move on.”
Parkview will take on fourth-seeded West Plains, a 66-53 winner over Hartville, in a winners’ semifinal at 4 p.m. Friday, while Strafford meets Hartville at 12:30 p.m. at Hammons Student Center.
BLUE & GOLD TOURNAMENT
BLUE DIVISION QUARTERFINAL
PARKVIEW 53, STRAFFORD 51
STRAFFORD (7-2) – Trayson Lawler 2, Wyatt Maples 8, Riley Oberbeck 23, Dillon Hester 9, Zak Lutgen 4, Gabe Mahon 2, Cade Rear 2, Vance Mullins 1.
PARKVIEW (8-3) – Anthony Green 9, Dontae Taylor 14, Latre Morrison 6, Nakai Johnson 10, Jevin Huddleston 8, JaVeo Tolliver 1, Jon Franklin 2, Trevon Brazile 3.