The haunting of the 3-point line came to an end on Thursday for the Parsons Vikings boys, who ousted the Fort Scott Tigers 65-56 in their regular season finale.
Parsons had seen Pittsburg and Chanute combine to hit 28 3-pointers on Monday and Tuesday in a pair of close losses. Fort Scott was limited to five connections from behind the arc.
“It felt good to get back in the win column,” Parsons head coach Anthony Houk said. “Through the games this week, our guys have played good basketball. We just happened to face the league champion on Monday and a hot-shooting Chanute team on Tuesday. Our guys are fighting and playing good basketball. No doubt we’ll sleep better.”
The Vikings progressively wore down Fort Scott’s zone defense. Paxton Swanson, who’d missed time this year with an injury, led the Vikings with 21 points. Julius Smith-Reece added 18 points for Parsons.
“It was our leaders on offense,” Houk said. “We didn’t play any harder than we had the last few games. We had a more focused approach. It’s a great time to have that focus.”
Fort Scott, which entered the week one game out of first place in the SEK League standings, finished the regular season with a 10-10 overall record and 8-4 mark in league action. Parsons finished 10-7 and 6-5 respectively.
The Vikings host rival Labette County, which beat Parsons on its home floor earlier in the year, in the first round of sub-state on Tuesday. Parsons and Labette County have split the season series.
Two wins next week for Parsons in a sub-state bracket made up of league opponents will grant the Vikings their fourth straight trip to the Class 4A state tournament.
“We’re probably sick of hearing me say this, but we can’t beat ourselves,” Houk said. “Late in the season, if you want to move on, you’ve got to be focused and execute. You’ve got to eliminate ways to beat yourself. That’s the focus no matter who we’re playing.”
Parsons 65, Fort Scott 56
Parsons: 10 16 18 21 — 65
Fort Scott: 7 15 21 13 — 56
Parsons: Ethan Houk 8, Cedric Webb 7, Paxton Swanson 21, Sylas Huckles 5, Justin Smith 6, Julius Smith-Reece 18
Fort Scott: Tome 2, Brown 4, Cosens 2, Pyltowany 14, Southwell 21, P. Allen 5, Thomas 5, Hymen 3