The Overachiever Award of the 50th annual McPherson Invitational definitely went to the Wichita North Redskins.
The Redskins, who entered the Invitational as the No. 8 and last seed, shocked host McPherson in the first round before eventually taking third place by outlasting Derby 73-69 in an entertaining game Saturday that went overtime.
The Redskins were just 4-5 entering the tournament, but showed that nobody had better overlook them the second half of the season as their success here should be a springboard for better days.
Following its pattern of the first two nights, Derby dug itself a deep hole before extracting from it. The Panthers were down 17-9 after a quarter and 31-22 at the half. But they battled back and tied it up at the end. They even had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but Jeremy Dunham’s point-blank shot missed, one of few times he didn’t covert all night.
In the overtime, Sean Bernard took over, scoring eight points for the Redskins as they never trailed.
The loss spoiled a 33-point effort by Dunham. Nyjee Wright, a flashy freshman who has star written all over him, added 15 and James Conley scored 12 before leaving the game with a head injury when he was cartwheeled on a play under the basket.
Bernard scored 22 points for the winners, Zach Beard added 19, Gage Loy had a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Tarius Williams added 10 points.