Boys basketball loses lead against Olathe North, ends season 8-13

Matt Antonic, Sports Editor

It all unfolded so quickly.

Just seven minutes remained, the Tigers holding a 8-point lead, a reward for perhaps the best showing of the season. The Olathe North Eagles, at 15-5, came alive with a run so vicious and complete, few Tiger fans could grasp it.

In first round of the 6A playoffs at North, the Tigers collapsed in the fourth quarter and ended the season with a 63-55 loss, bearing a scary resemblance to last year’s heartbreaker to Shawnee Mission East, where an 8-point lead with three minutes left vanished and turned into a 46-45 loss at the buzzer.

Other than the fourth quarter, the Eagles only had the Tigers outplayed in the first quarter, jumping out to a quick 8-point lead. BV responded with a couple of three-pointers, and rallied back to prevent the game from quickly getting out of hand. The Eagles lead was at three at the end of the frame, 19-16.

The second quarter saw the Tigers’ efficiency ratings go through the roof. The team blocked shots, collected several offensive rebounds and began pounding the ball to the post, outmuscling the largest opponent on the season in the process.

The Tigers went on an 8-0 run and went into the half with a 34-30 lead, with point guard sophomore Tyler Geiman narrowly missing a half-court shot at the buzzer.

A layup from forward junior Alex Debay pushed the lead to the largest it would get on the night, an astounding 9 points, at 41-32 midway through the third.

A handful of quick baskets by the Eagles saw the lead shrink until the Tigers went on yet another streak, pushing the lead back to eight with a field goal from guard senior Jack Pagenkopf, putting the game at 50-42 with the visiting fans were left jumping for joy.

With the score standing at 50-42 in favor of the Tigers, less than seven minutes remained until the buzzer — the last point in which the game was in hand. The Eagles would then go on a run so quick and blinding that it appeared as if the three-and-a-half quarters of lackluster effort were culminating in one massive thrust.

From the 6:00 minute mark until the buzzer, Olathe North went on a 23-5 run.

23-5.

North boxed out. North made free throws. North got the calls.

North took a 61-55 lead with just 60 seconds left, and the Tigers saw two shots rim in and out. It was all over. Two more free throws pushed the final score to 63-55, and all that was left was for the lights to go off.

The Tigers finished off the season at 8-13 overall, 4-9 in the EKL. Next year, the Tigers will return six varsity players in the chase to record the first winning season of the century.