Buzzer-beater gives Tigers 36-33 win over Panthers
CLAY CENTER — Tanner DeMars hit a deep three-point shot as time expired to give the Clay Center Tigers a 36-33 North Central Kansas League win over the Concordia Panthers in the final game of the regular season for both teams.
Concordia led the game 31-21 with just over five minutes to play, but would score just two points the rest of the way.
Clay Center rallied to tie the game at 33-33 on a three-point basket by Blake Frederick with 13 seconds remaining in the game.
Following a Concordia turnover, the Tigers called a timeout with 3.4 seconds on the clock.
DeMars then took the inbounds pass, raced up the floor and hit the game-winner as time ran out.
“We didn't do what we wanted to do. We wanted him to catch the ball going away from his own basket, and he kind of got around Wyatt (Trost) and got a run at the rim,” Concordia coach Michael Roe said, “They hit a 15 footer. They hit a three to tie it. They had all of the confidence in the world at that moment in time. The one thing we knew we didn't want to do is foul them and put them at the free throw line. The kid makes a great play and gets a shot off, and it goes in.”
Concordia led the game 23-12 at halftime, and would not allow the Tigers to get closer than seven points through the first 12 minutes of the second half.
A layup by Jacob Rosenbaum gave the Panthers a 31-21 advantage with just over five minutes to play.
Clay Center, aided by Concordia turnovers and missed shots, closed the gap to three points, 31-28, on a basket by Simon Lee with 2:00 on the clock.
Chas Carlgren scored inside to give the Panthers a 33-28 advantage.
A jumper by Witt Williams with 1:02 to play got Clay Center back within three points, 33-30.
Rosenbaum was unable to connect on the front end of a one-and-one opportunity with 42 seconds left.
Frederick then drilled the three-point shot to tie the game.
Trost had the ball knocked away, and the Tigers came up with it and called timeout to set up the final shot.
“We couldn't score,” Roe said, “The entire second half I think we shot 25 percent from the field, didn't hit a free throw and had 14 turnovers. Not the way you want the second half of a close, low-scoring ball game to go. That is kind of what it boiled down to.”
Concordia finishes up the regular season 4-16 overall and 3-7 in league play.
The Panthers will be seeded seventh in the Class 3A sub-state tournament hosted by Beloit. They will play at second-seeded Hoisington (16-4) in the opening round on Monday night.
“They are really good. They are a guard driven team,” Roe said of Hoisington, “They are fast and they want to play fast. I would compare them to Marysville. We have the ability to play some good basketball. For us it comes down to can we shoot a pretty good percentage and turn the ball over.”
Concordia and Clay Center would both struggle to score the basketball in the early going.
The Tigers, 5-15 overall and 3-7 in the NCKL, led 6-5 at the end of the first period.
The game was tied at 10-10 when Concordia got baskets by Tyler Hobrock and Rosenbaum to go up 14-10.
Frederick scored for Clay Center to make it 14-12 with 3:35 to play in the first half.
Chase Parker sandwiched a pair of baskets around a three by Carlgren and Trost made two free throws to give the Panthers the 23-12 halftime advantage.
A three-point play by DeMars and a free throw by Williams early in the second half got Clay Center within seven points, 23-16.
The Tigers then missed on 10 straight field goal attempts.
Baskets by Carlgren and Trost put Concordia up 27-16.
Williams made two free throws in the final seconds of the third period, and it was a 27-18 game.
A bucket by Parker gave the Panthers a 29-18 cushion.
Clay Center scored three straight points, and trailed 29-21.
Rosenbaum's layup made it 31-21.
The Tigers then rallied to steal the victory.
Carlgren scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds for Concordia.
Trost finished with six points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Parker scored six points and pulled down eight rebounds.
Concordia shot 33 percent, 13 of 40 from the field, and made 5 of 10 free throws.
The Panthers turned the ball over 22 times to 17 for the Tigers.
DeMars led all scorers with 13 points.
Vignery 1-0-0 3, Trost 1-4-4 6, Cav Carlgren 1-1-2 3, Owen 0-0-2 0, Rosenbaum 2-0-0 4, Hobrock 2-0-2 4, Chas Carlgren 3-0-3 7, Parker 3-0-0 2 6. Totals: 13-5-14 33.
CLAY CENTER (36)
Lee 3-0-2 7, Floersch 0-0-3 0, Glavan 0-2-1 2, Pfizenmaier 0-0-2 0, Frederick 2-1-2 6, Williams 3-4-0 8, DeMars 4-4-0 13, Musselman 0-0-1 0. Totals: 11-11-11 36.