As per the usual for the Missouri River Valley West conference game between Pleasant Hill and Harrisonville, the gym was packed and tons of students were in the stands ready to cheer on their team.
Playing on their home court Feb. 1 should have given the Wildcats an advantage, but it was the Roosters that ran away with the rival 72-58 victory.
“I think we played pretty well from the beginning to the end of the game,” Pleasant Hill senior Nick Shore said.
“We came out in top gear and never let up and never let down,” Pleasant Hill senior Brad Smith added.
The Roosters started out the game on top and never let up, leading 20-10 at the end of the first quarter and 34-17 at halftime.
The Wildcats finally got it together in the third quarter, scoring 21 points, more than they did in the entire first half. But Pleasant Hill just kicked it up a notch as well, still outscoring Harrisonville with 23 points.
Harrisonville cut the lead to 43-32 midway through the third quarter, but Shore sunk a free throw and two three-pointers to put the Roosters up 50-32.
“I think I did pretty good,” Shore said. “I’m just glad I could help the team win.”
After a basket by Wildcat junior Brock Kliewer, Smith put in a shot for Pleasant Hill. Kliewer followed with two free throws, but Pleasant Hill junior Josh Shewmaker sunk a score. Harrisonville responded with a basket by senior Jacob Gibbs, but Shore hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to put the Roosters up 57-38.
The Wildcats outscored Pleasant Hill 20-15 in the fourth quarter, but the Roosters had built a good lead.
“It feels great,” Smith said. “This is one of the biggest games we have played so far, a big conference game obviously. I’m really glad we could come here and win. Especially in such a tough atmosphere. It was pretty loud, but we had a good student section too, so that helped us.”
Shore led the Roosters, 14-6 and 5-0 in conference, in scoring with 16 points, followed by Shewmaker with 15 points and Smith and Matt Townsend with 13 points each. Dillan Findley added eight points, Christian Martin had six points and Brandon Uebele had two points.
Harrisonville, 12-7 and 3-2 in conference, was led by Gibbs with 15 points and Matthew Prindle with 14 points. Brice Renner had 10 points, Mason Saffels had eight points, Kliewer added six points and Zach Davidson had five points.