First No. 1 seeded Pleasant Hill had the lead, then No. 3 seeded Harrisonville did in the Class 4, District 13 championship game March 2 at Pleasant Hill. At the end of the third quarter, the score was tied. But in the end, the Roosters fought for a 74-70 victory.
It’s the Roosters’ second district title in school history, as they captured their first in 2009.
“It’s pretty special to have this your senior year,” Pleasant Hill senior Nick Shore said.
Pleasant Hill had a 17-15 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Wildcats turned things around and led 40-35 at halftime.
“Obviously, we struggled throughout the game,” Pleasant Hill junior Josh Shewmaker said. “I don’t know what our percentage was, but it sure wasn’t very good. We made it where it counted and ended up winning the game.”
In the third quarter, the Roosters battled to knot the score at 47-47. Harrisonville responded with a basket apiece by junior Kenny Baker and junior Jon Koch, giving the Wildcats a 51-47 advantage.
But Pleasant Hill tied things up at 51-51 before the fourth quarter with a basket and free throw from senior Brad Smith and a free throw from Shewmaker.
In the fourth quarter, the Roosters amped things up to start with a basket each from Shore and Smith, plus a bucket and two free throws from Shewmaker to give Pleasant Hill a 59-51 lead.
Harrisonville responded with a basket and free throw from junior Matthew Prindle, but the Roosters came back with two free throws from Shore and two more buckets from Smith to lead 65-54. The Wildcats scored a basket from Koch, but the Roosters came back with a free throw from Shore.
After two free throws from Wildcat Prindle, Shewmaker hit a free throw to put the Roosters up 67-58 with 2:37 left in the game.
Harrisonville put in two shots in a row, from junior Brock Kliewer and senior Jacob Gibbs, but with less than a minute left in the game, Shewmaker sunk both shots from the charity stripe to make the score 69-62. The Wildcats retaliated with a basket rom Kliewer, but fouled Shore, who hit both shots, giving the Roosters a 71-64 lead with less than 30 seconds left.
“They (the free throws) were big and put our team up so we can come down in the end,” Shore said.
Junior Luke Cooper hit a three-pointer for Harrisonville and the Wildcats called a timeout with 20.1 seconds left and the score at 71-67. Prindle fouled out as Shore hit both free throws, but Cooper was fouled at the three-point line with 10 seconds left, sinking all three shots, closing the gap to 73-70.
Pleasant Hill senior Matt Townsend was fouled next and hit a free throw, sealing the victory.
“I don’t know what it was,” Shewmaker said. “Usually we are a pretty good team...It wasn’t our night, but it doesn’t matter. We won the game.”
The Roosters were led in scoring by Shewmaker’s 25 points. Smith added 19 and Shore had 16. Townsend added 15 points. Dillan Findley had two points.
Harrisonville was led by Cooper with 24 points and Prindle with 20 points. Gibbs had eight points and Brice Renner and Kliewer added six each. Koch had four points and Baker had two points.
“I’m so proud of our team and how they work together, and the will and toughness that they have developed over the season,” Pleasant Hill head coach Ryan Messinger said. “It’s obvious that the difficult schedule that we’ve played has paid off and we are playing some of our best ball at the right time. It’s nice for the seniors to win the last home game of their careers and accomplish one of our team goals of winning our competitive district.”
To get to the championship, the Roosters, 19-6, had to take down Odessa 64-44 in the semifinals March 1. Harrisonville defeated Clinton 58-44 in the first round Feb. 28 and beat Oak Grove 49-47 in the semifinals.
The Wildcats end the season with a 15-13 record.