After shooting lights out the first three quarters, Hillcrest took the air out of the ball in the final seven minutes of regulation. It proved costly, as the Hornets suffered a 59-55 overtime loss to Bullitt East (Ky.) on Saturday night in the 5th place game of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions at JQH Arena.
Hillcrest led 42-29 on Austin Petry’s 3-pointer with 7:12 remaining in the game. The Hornets didn’t make another field goal until overtime.
“I thought we got too complacent with our offense and were worried about trying to take care of the ball,” said Hornets coach John Schaefer. “We weren’t trying to stall. We had to remind our guys to try to look to score.”
The Hornets had possession down 57-54 with five seconds left in overtime, but Bullitt East elected to foul rather than let the Hornets attempt a game-tying 3-pointer.
Thomas Whitaker made his first free throw attempt with 2.1 seconds remaining, then tried to intentionally miss the second. But the ball didn’t hit rim and the Chargers were awarded possession out of bounds.
“We didn’t have a lot of options at that point,” Schaefer said. “He missed the rim. It’s a hard thing to do, try to miss intentionally off the rim so we can get the rebound.”
Trey Rakes then made two free throws to put Bullitt East ahead 59-55 before time expired.
Rakes’ basket gave the Charges a 55-54 lead with less than 20 seconds to go. Whitaker then had his runner blocked by Derek Willis, who was fouled and hit two free throws with 5.2 seconds remaining to put the Chargers ahead by three.
Willis, who will play at Kentucky next season, hit a 3-pointer to get Bullitt East within 43-34 with six minutes remaining in the game. The Chargers briefly took the lead at 46-45 on Rakes’ 3-pointer at the 2:07 mark.
Hillcrest had a two-point lead and possession with five seconds to go in regulation, but the Hornets were called for a 5-second violation while in-bounding the ball. Willis was fouled and made both free throws to send the game to overtime.
Hillcrest led for most of the game thanks to hot perimeter shooting. Hillcrest was 7-for-9 from 3-point range in the first half and 10-for-13 in the game.
“We played, and shot the ball, about as well as we could have,” Schaefer said.
Bullitt East 59, Hillcrest 55 (OT)
Bullitt East 13 9 7 21 9 --- 59
Hillcrest 13 16 10 11 5 --- 55
B.E. – Derek Willis 27, Rusty Troutman 12, Trey Rakes 12, Hunter Noffsinger 6, Elliott Young 1, Rhett Troutman 1
Hillcrest – Roy Hardy 13, Juwan Johnson 13, Austin Petry 12, Thomas Whitaker 10, David McIntosh 6, Jonah Hill 1
Portis has big game in Hall victory
The 6-foot-10 Bobby Portis gave local Arkansas Razorbacks fans flashes of his future potential with a dominating final game at the Tournament of Champions on Saturday.
The Little Rock Hall center tallied 31 points and 15 rebounds as the Warriors beat Prestonwood Christian 55-39 in the 7th place game.
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With All-American forward Julius Randle and star sophomore Mickey Mitchell injured for Prestonwood Christian, Portis put up a dominant effort. Easily the tallest player on the court, he was 13-for-18 from the field and threw down a handful of dunks.
Hall started the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run to pull away. Portis accounted for 8 of the points, including a 3-pointer, during the stretch.
Hall 55, Prestonwood Christian 39
Hall 7 14 14 20 --- 55
P.C. 8 10 9 12 --- 39
Hall – Bobby Portis 31, Dayton Artis 8, Roy Owens 8, Javon Perry 4, Anthony Black 2, Evan James 2
P.C. – Marquan Botley 14, Evan Peters 10, D.J. McGee 10, Shane Missimo 3, Buddy Kennedy 2