Kyler Ng is not one to back down for challenge, especially a perimeter shooting challenge.
Friday night in the second game of the Mercy Sports Medicine CJ Classic, Ng and Blue Springs guard Jaylin Dinkins went head-to-head to see who could best the other.
Ng hit two 3’s in the first quarter, two more in the second and another in the third.
Dinkins would answer with one the second, three in the third and the finally, the knockout shot in overtime.
Dinkins 21-foot jumper just before the buzzer lifted the Wildcats to a 71-68 victory over Seneca at the Carl Junction High School Gymnasium.
Dinkins, a 6-foot senior, was one of three Wildcats to score 15 points in the game.
“We told our kids to keep an eye on No. 33 (Jay Corwin) during the timeout because we thought he would be there go-to guy in that situation,” Seneca head coach Will King said. ”But we knew 12 (Dinkins) was a guy who could shoot also and that’s who got it.”
In overtime, both teams sank a pair of free throws to tie the game at 68. Blue Springs took possession of the ball with 1:10 remaining after an offensive foul.
The Wildcats worked the clock down to 18 seconds when Blue Springs head coach Adam Jones called a timeout to set up the final play.
“We had been running that set most of the game, trying to get our guys to make good decisions either feed the post or find our shooters,” Jones said. “(Thursday) night, our guy with the hot hand was Jay Corwin, tonight it was Jaylin Dinkins.
“Our point guard (Walter Sorrells) showed so much maturity tonight and find the right guy at the right time and he drained it. We drew that play up for him, we wanted to him to have the ball in his hands and I knew it was good as soon as he released it.”
After the ball was inbounded with 18 seconds left, Sorrells dribble penetrated along the left side of the paint before he kicked out to Dinkins who was open in the deep right elbow.
“You have to give them credit, it was a great shot, I thought we contested it well,” King said. “We didn’t give up a layup, we guarded the paint and they took a 20-plus foot shot to win the game or go to another overtime. It’s a crazy game and things like this happen.”
Sorrells, a 5-foot-10 junior, and Corwin, a 6-5 senior had 15 each for the Wildcats.
“Coming out the time out, I knew I was going to get the ball and I had been feeling it,” Dinkins said. “I wanted to take that shot. I was surprised the defense collapsed as far as they did on Walter because it felt like I was wide open. It felt good when I released it, but it was a 50-50 shot because I was falling backwards when I shot it.
Page 2 of 3 - “It was an amazing feeling; all the guys running at me afterwards. That was a first for me, I’ve never hit a game-winner at the buzzer before.”
The overtime loss overshadowed a big shooting night for the Indians. A year ago Friday night in the CJ Classic, Seneca set a school record with 13 3-pointers in a loss. Against Blue Springs, Ng, Seth Harris and Bradley Jumper combined for a season-best 12 3-pointers.
Ng finished with a game-high 26 points, 20 in the first half, before fouling out in overtime. Harris, a 5-8 junior guard, had 20 points including six 3-pointers. Logan St. Clair and Elias Roelfsema added eight each for the Indians while Jumper finished with three.
On Saturday, after enjoying two games with a hot-shooting touch in the Mercy Sports Medicine CJ Classic, a shooting drought was all but inevitable for the Indians.
Trailing by four with 3:58 left in the third quarter, the Indians would not score again until 6:46 left in the fourth quarter and in the meantime, Carthage opened a 14-point cushion to earn a 71-53 victory in the final game of the three-game, four-team classic at the Carl Junction High School Gymnasium.
The loss, coming 15 hours after suffering a last-second overtime loss to Blue Springs, dropped Seneca to 11-6 on the season. Carthage improved to 7-11.
“I hate to use that (three games in three days and the legs going out from the shooters) as an excuse, but there was some of that and then there was Carthage who did a good job defending us and coach (Steve) Ray got them prepared for this one,” said Seneca head coach Will King. “Yes, we didn’t get the shots to fall that we got to fall in the first two games, but their defense had something to do with it.”
A one-point game at halftime, Seneca trailed by as much as seven early the third quarter before Seth Harris connected on a pair of free throws with 3:58 left in the quarter.
Then, the lid was placed on the Indians basket and five minute, 12 second drought followed.
Seneca missed its last seven shots of the third quarter — however, the Indians did not commit one turnover during the stretch — and missed a jumper on its first possession of the fourth quarter before Logan St. Clair scored on a layup with 6:46 left in the game, but by the time, the Tigers had opened a 52-36 lead.
Carthage’s Levi Saving converted a 3-point play, Anthony Turk drilled his fourth 3-pointer, Dawson Allmoslecher connected on a 3-pointer from the left elbow to end the third quarter for Carthage and Saving started the fourth quarter with a deep 3-pointer from the left corner and Corey Prevost added a pair of free throws to make it a 52-34 game.
Page 3 of 3 - Carthage led by as much as 22 late in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers were paced by Turk, a 6-foot junior guard, who came off the bench to score 12 points on four 3-pointers. His 12 points were part of 28 bench points for Carthage.
All-tournament selection Nathan Reid, a 6-5 senior forward, added 11 and Allmoslecher also had 11 for the Tigers
Kyler Ng, a 6-foot senior who also earned all-tournament honors for a second straight season, finished with 11 for the Indians. Harris added 11 points and St. Clair had 10, followed by Jumper with six, Roelfsema four, Smith six and Shane Murphy five.
Seneca connected on nine 3-pointers in the contest, finishing the tournament with 30 treys in three games.