All Marcus McDaniel wanted was a second chance.
McDaniel, McPherson High’s senior point guard, missed a point-blank shot in the last second of the first overtime Thursday against Shawnee Mission East that would have given the Bullpups a first-round victory in the 52nd annual McPherson Invitational.
Instead, a second overtime was needed and McDaniel quickly made amends by knocking down a long 3-pointer and then two free throws to send the Bullpups on their way to an 18-point outburst as they survived the Lancers, 80-73.
“I was really happy for him that he made the 3 to put us out (front) in the second overtime after he had an opportunity with a shot that he should make in the first overtime,” MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said. “He just missed it. It’s not like all of us haven’t missed shots.”
MHS fortunately has until 8:15 p.m. Friday to recharge its batteries when it takes on Carroll in the semifinals.
Kinnamon had warned all week that Shawnee Mission East in no way resembled its 1-8 record. In fact, the Bullpups spent much of the night playing catch-up, including the first overtime when they had to overcome an early six-point deficit.
“I’ve been telling you all week these guys are good,” he said. “They’re good, they’re really good. Good plan, well coached and can shoot.”
The Bullpups opened the second OT on a 9-0 run and then made just enough free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
For Shawnee Mission East, it was a tremendous effort. It took the game to MHS with a 20-14 first-quarter lead and still was up 35-30 at the half as it shot 61 percent from the floor.
East played a triangle-and-two defense on the Pyle brothers, Drew and Ben, and in the second half Spenser Wine stepped up to fill the void. He had seven points in the third quarter as MHS finally edged ahead 46-44
MHS was up as many as six in the final period and had appeared to weather the storm, but Jay Guastello and the Lancers wouldn’t go away. He made a couple of big shots down the stretch at the end of regulation and had a chance to win it with a shot that rimmed out.
In the first overtime, the Lancers came out hot with five straight points, but MHS charged back after later getting down 62-56. East was going for the game-winner late when Guastello had his shot blocked by Ben Pyle and MHS got the ball. The Bullpups put the ball in the hands of Drew Pyle, who played decoy as he threaded the needle to McDaniel underneath the basket, but he couldn’t convert, setting the stage for the wild second extra session.
McDaniel finished the night with 21 points, including four 3-pointers. Drew Pyle shook free long enough for 20 to go along with 10 rebounds as everywhere he went, two Lancers were hounding him. Wine added 15 after the break.
Guastello led the Lancers with 24 points and Mark Ward added 15 for East, which plays Blue Valley West at 4:45 p.m. Friday.
Carroll impressed Kinnamon with its win over Blue Valley West in the lead-in game.
“They’re really good,” he said. “They’re tough and play hard.”