Overland Park, KS - In a back-and-forth battle at Kansas Christian College on Tuesday, the outcome of the game could have been determined by a multitude of factors. A missed shot, a turnover, a defensive stop, a rebound, or any number of other things can make a difference in the outcome of a close game. One such instance, however, could be an event outside of the control of the players or coaches involved in the game. The Bobcats experienced this firsthand in Overland Park, Kansas, when a series of calls toward the end of the contest turned the tide and took the ball out of the hands of the Bobcats.
The Bobcats were looking to avenge an earlier overtime loss to the Falcons, and this game was tightly contested from the opening tip. The back-and-forth battle began with a three by Kyle Flavin, a Falcon three, and another Flavin three, with just over a minute gone from the clock. Flavin drained another three, and KCC continued to answer. The teams continued to trade jabs, but the Falcons seemed to have a slight advantage. Garrett Simmerman jumped into the scoring column and Andrew Mitchell drilled home a three to tie the score 18-18, with 13:52 left in the half. For every challenge the Bobcats posed, the Falcons had an answer. The Falcons went on a quick 6-0 run before Terry Gupton responded for the Bobcats. Another Flavin three cut the gap to 24-23, and a three by Gupton followed to give the Bobcats their first lead since the opening minutes. The Falcons charged back again, however, and the lead was short-lived. A Bobcat cold spell ensued and by the 8:00 mark, KCC had built a 35-27 lead. Gupton broke the silence with a basket, but the Falcons continued to apply pressure and answer the Bobcat Challenges. Devin Carroll and Cainen Mar joined the three-point shooting action to keep the Bobcats close, and with his third trey in three minutes, Carroll gave the Bobcats the lead. KCC bounced right back again and regained the lead, but an Andrew Mitchell basket and free throws by Flavin and Mar sent the game to the intermission with the Bobcats leading 46-45.
The Bobcats opened the scoring in the second half with a Josh Linehan three-point play, but the Falcons wasted no time responding and the tug of war was on. The scoring went back and forth, as did the lead as the half progressed. Baskets by Linehan and Flavin tied the score at 55-55 with 15:25 on the clock but the tide was about to change. The Bobcat shooting cooled while the Falcons began to heat up. Never a good combination, and the Falcons began to build a lead. A 16-0 run put the Bobcats in a hole before Terry Gupton broke the silence with a traditional three-point play and 11:41 showing on the clock. Trailing 71-58, the Bobcats needed defensive stops and baskets to climb back into contention. A Falcon basket at the 10:14 mark put the Bobcats down 75-61 and the Kyle Flavin provided a spark. A Flavin basket was followed by a three and Gupton, Simmerman, and Linehan combined with the Bobcat defense to go on a run of their own. With the defense holding the Falcons scoreless, the Bobcats had mounted a comeback and had taken a one-point lead. With the momentum clearly in favor of the Bobcats and the wheels on the KCC wagon getting very wobbly, a call on the Bobcat baseline threw things into a spiral. While going for a rebound, the Bobcats were whistled for a foul. The official however, immediately signaled a technical and everyone watching assumed it was on the Falcons. As the dust settled, the officials and teams began walking to the other end for free throws, and everyone was confused. The Falcons were awarded two shots, shots for the original foul, and also given the ball. Making all four free throws and scoring on the next play, KCC had turned the momentum, and the game around. Now trailing by five, and no explanation or logic for the technical foul, the Bobcats needed to regroup. The Falcons used their newfound momentum, and the gap grew. The Bobcats battled to stay close, but KCC continued to answer the challenges. Fighting to the end, Devin Carroll nailed a deep three with :31 on the clock. Now a two-possession game, there was still a chance for the Bobcats to come back. A pair of Falcon free throws widened the gap, but the Bobcats were not ready to concede. Another Carroll three cut the deficit to five, and KCC took a timeout. With :14 showing on the clock and eminent pressure coming from the Bobcats, the Falcons elected to run a “trick” inbounds play. With all five players lined up on the baseline, the ball was passed from one to the next. The third Falcon, however, did not catch the ball and it bounced into play. The same player jumped inbounds, took the ball, and dribbled to the other end. What should have been a violation and given the ball to the Bobcats, was not called. A foul sent the Falcons to the free throw line where they made one of two to seal the 93-87 final. With the ball in hand, the possibility of a Bobcat comeback still existed. Unfortunately, the opportunity was not given, and the final score stood. Bobcat fans in attendance and those watching online were left scratching their heads over the developments of the final few minutes of the game. Still proud of the bobcats and the fight they displayed, all that was left to do for Coach Shepherd and the coaching staff, was return to Point Lookout and prepare for the next contest.
Kyle Flavin led all scorers with 27 points including 5-8 from beyond the arc and 10-17 from the field. Devin Carroll came up big, scoring 17 points on 5-8 shooting from three-point range as well. Terry Gupton and Josh Linehan each added 13 points while Garrett Simmerman tacked on eight, Andrew Mitchell five, and Cainen Mar four.
The Bobcats will travel to Springdale, AR, Friday to take on Ecclesia College in a 2 PM start.