Late shot rims out to give Eagles a victory

Greg Mast
Wellsville High School freshman Dezmond Winton attempts to take the ball to the basket against the Perry-Lecompton defense Friday in the Paola Tournament.

The Wellsville and Perry-Lecompton boys were embroiled in a thriller Friday in the final game of the Paola Tournament.

The Eagles led 71-70 late in the game. Perry-Lecompton drove to the basket and had a layup attempt. The ball appeared ready to drop into the basket for a buzzer-beating shot. The ball spun around the rim and out as the buzzer sounded and Wellsville celebrated a narrow victory.

“I have seen them now and again, but at the end of a ball game, that is a first for me,” veteran Wellsville coach Rick O’Neil said about the shot.

That victory came on the heels of a two-point victory Thursday. O’Neil said the Eagles are playing with more maturity this season.

“It is a growth thing for us,” he said. “Some of them playing for quite a few years.”

The game went back-and-forth for most of the game. Wellsville pulled the ball out with about two minutes left protecting a 69-68 lead. After a timeout, Perry-Lecompton stole a pass and sped for a basket.

Wellsville, down 70-69, gave the ball to Jimmy Dorsey, who drove the lane, but missed the shot. The Eagles had a couple of cracks around the rim, but nothing fell. The ball found Ayden Kearney for a short jumper that went in with 12 seconds remaining.

That set up the wild finish.

O’Neil liked how the Eagles rebounded against Perry.

“That has been a week spot in the first two games,” he said. “We need to get second shots. We need to make sure on the defensive end they must get one shot.”

Kaden O’Neil paced the Eagles with 21 points. Jimmy Dorsey netted 20 and Jackson Showalter finished with 13.

The Eagles (2-1) plays Tuesday at Osawatomie and finishes off their pre-holiday schedule Friday with the home opener against Burlington.

Wellsville (71) — Winton 1, Kearney 5, J. Dorsey 20, Harris 3, W. Dorsey 6, O’Neil 21, Showalter 13, Smith 4.

Perry-Lecompton (70) —Stone 11, Robb 16, Tarwater 2, Dolenna 17, D. Williams 2, T. Williams 5, Ball 17.

Wellsville High School senior Jackson Showalter muscles his way to the basket. Showalter scored 13 points in the Eagle win.