Heartbreak as Eisenhower falls in semifinal

The Eisenhower boys basketball finally shook off its State first-round struggles with a 55-50 win over Bishop Carroll on Thursday, but that joy turned to heartbreak in Friday’s semifinal as the Tigers – the top seed at State and the top-ranked team in Class 5A – lost to Shawnee Heights 57-55 in overtime.

Shawnee Heights erased a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime. A layup by Michael Brooks in the final seconds ended Eisenhower’s title hopes.

Just a minute into the fourth quarter, the Tigers appeared to be in control, 51-33. But Shawnee Heights went on a 15-o run to pull to within three points, 51-48. Heights’ Trey Brown scored 12 of his game-high 30 points in the quarter.

A three-point basket by Heights with 26 seconds to play forced a 53-53 tie and overtime.

Eisenhower’s Matt Pile dominated the interior. He had a triple-double in the game – 16 points, 15 rebounds and 10 blocks.

He scored a basket in the overtime for a 55-53 Eisenhower lead. Shawnee Heights tied the game with just over a minute to go.

A three-point shot by EHS’ Dylan Vincent missed with 59 seconds to play. That created an opportunity for Shawnee Heights, which pulled down the rebound and then played for the final shot. They made that shot – Brooks’ layup – with 0.7 seconds to play. On the inbounds, the Tigers got a long pass to Pile, who turned and took a three-point shot. He hit the rim but the ball bounced away, and Shawnee Heights celebrated the win.

The Tigers led 14-8 after the first quarter. A 6-0 run early in the second quarter extended their lead to 20-8. At halftime, Eisenhower was ahead 25-17.

A three-point basket at the end of the third quarter gave the Tigers a double-digit lead, 46-33.

Eisenhower will play for third place Saturday against No. 6 seed Heights (18-6). Heights beat No. 3 seed Pittsburg to open the tournament, then lost 50-39 to K.C. Schlagle in Friday’s other semifinal. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. at the Kansas Expocentre.

The Times-Sentinel is not aware of a radio broadcast or online broadcast of Saturday’s game.