Senior guard Xzavier McArthur canned a buzzer-beating 3 in overtime to secure Parkview's first win in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions since 2000.
“We stay in the gym a lot so trust your shot,” McArthur said. “I just trusted in my shot and knocked it down.”
The shot lifted Parkview to a 47-44 win over New Madrid County Central.
McArthur wouldn’t have had a chance to win the game in overtime if senior guard Elijah Whitley didn't hit a pull-up three at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime.
Parkview had a play drawn up for Whitley to get a shot off but he took matters into his own hands to keep his team in the game.
“It just kinda turns into give it to dudes and let them go make plays,” head coach Landon Cornish said. “We tried to run a zip around the side. We didn’t get it so you throw it to him and say ‘hey, let your guy make a play.’”
And make plays they did.
Whitley nailed 3 after 3 to keep his team in the game. He finished the game shooting 5-of-13 from deep with 19 points to lead all scorers.
Cornish has given him the go-ahead to shoot any shot he wants, but he had to earn that privilege.
“I spent a lot of time over the years with coach and I spent a lot of time in the gym working on my game,” Whitley said. “I earned his trust and it shows.”
Whitley wasn’t the only Viking making big plays down the stretch. Senior forwards Marcus Price and Shane Glass consistently battled in the paint on defense and got key stops and held New Madrid’s Jadis Jones to only six points in the second half and overtime.
“We really felt like they were force-feeding him a lot,” Cornish said. “We needed to force them to shoot some outside shots, so we really tried to pinch in and help out a lot and make other guys shoot shots from the perimeter.”
While the Vikings had a couple of players stand out on both sides of the floor, it takes an overall effort to win a game the way they did.
“That was a big character win for us,” Cornish said. “Even when things weren’t going our way, I thought the toughness to pick our heads up and continue to play was huge for us. That's not always something that's happened.”
Parkview will play Saturday at 4 p.m. for a chance to win the consolation final.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Tournament of Champions: Parkview advances with shot at buzzer