Tuesday, Jan. 29 2013 2:48PM
To the buzzer
LSN pulls off final second win over Tigers
By Brian Spano
Special to the Journal
This couldn’t happen to the Lee’s Summit Tigers two games in a row could it? And twice on their home court?
After taking Suburban Big Six Conference foe Blue Springs to the wire on Jan. 22 and coming away with a 62-61 win on a Drew Lock buzzer beater, the Tigers had to do it again just three nights later Jan. 25 against neighbor and rival Lee’s Summit North.
But this time, it was the Broncos celebrating the last-second heroics when senior guard Ryan Sorrell scored his only two points of the night, and they were the most important two points of the night. He dropped in a layup as time expired to secure the 54-52 win. It was everything leading up to that moment that made this win all the more special for North, which improved to 12-4 overall and 2-0 in the league.
“Coach told me I was going to get the ball,” Sorrell said. “I knew exactly what I was going to do. I was thinking in my head and went through the whole situation. I went to the rim and do what I do. I knew it was going in.”
For much of the first half, this contest belonged to Lee’s Summit (7-9 and 1-1). The Tigers hit six three pointers, outrebounded North 11-5, shot a scorching 57 percent from the field (60 percent from beyond the arc) and took a commanding 32-21 lead into the locker room.
“I thought we were pretty good offensively,” Tigers head coach Keith Miller said. “I thought our kids played hard and really competed. It was a well-played game by both teams. That’s why they’re rivalry games. It makes it a lot of fun.”
In the second half, the Tigers extended the advantage to 40-24, looking like a team that was about to run away and hide from the Broncos.
But then something clicked. Slowly and methodically, North began to creep back into the ballgame, first going on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 40-34.
“We had it in our mind at the very beginning that we were a better team,” senior forward Tyler Anderson said. “But then it clicked. We knew that they are a really good team. Once we started thinking that, we started battling back. That’s one thing we need to realize is that they are a really good team.”
Over the next quarter-and-a-half, the Tigers’ lead began to shrink until the last 30 seconds of the game.
The Tigers were up 51-49 and had possession. North came up with a steal, and the ball ended up in the hands of Anderson. He drove hard to the bucket, while the Tigers’ Josh Maddox hurried to position himself right below. Anderson put up a shot. Collision. Whistle. Blocking foul on Maddox. Ball fell through the net. Game tied at 51.
With a loud and raucous Lee’s Summit crowd at a fever pitch, Anderson calmly sank the free throw to complete the three-point play and put the Broncos up 52-51.
“Our plan was to set a trap in the half court, I read the play and took it,” Anderson said. “I saw Josh slide over late, so I knew if I ran into him I was going to get the foul. I just put it up there, hoped to get it in and the and one to go up.”
Lee’s Summit still had a chance to play for the win on the last shot. Lock was fouled with five ticks on the clock. He missed the first free throw and made the second to knot the ballgame at 52.
Then the play that made Sorrell the hero and gave him the greatest basketball moment of his life was drawn up during a timeout.
“Ryan made an awesome play,” North head coach Mike Hilbert said. “It’s a little set that we practice all the time, end of the game situations. The kids executed it beautifully. We had Richard (Chapman) in the corner, and as soon as Ryan came off the screen and there wasn’t anybody on him, I knew he had a chance because he’s so good off the dribble. What a fun high school basketball game.”