Teahan Recovers, Delivers Knockout Blow

Wednesday night, heavily favored Raytown (MO) High and Kansas City (MO) Rockhurst locked horns on the campus of William Jewell College in Liberty. The winner, would earn a sectional title and advance to Saturday's Missouri Class 5A quarterfinals while the loser would see their season come to an end.


For Rockhurst to have a chance at knocking off a talented, big and athletic Raytown team ranked #2 in the state, most figured they’d have to force a low scoring game and hope that recent Kansas commitment Conner Teahan came through with one of his typical playoff time scoring binges. Thanks to a masterful gameplan from head coach Mark Nusbaum, Rockhurst kept the score down but Teahan suffered through one of his worst games in the last two seasons.

That is, until it counted most.

As Raytown raced to a 24-12 lead with just a few moments to go in the second quarter, Teahan still hadn’t scored a basket. A late run by Rockhurst closed the gap to 25-20 at the half and other than hitting on four of six free throws, Teahan had still been held scoreless while going zero for four from the field.

Even though his star player still hadn’t made a basket from the field, Nussbaum was confident as his team headed to the fourth quarter trailing by only six at 34-28.

“We felt pretty good about our chances if we could make it to the fourth quarter and the game was within single digits,” said the Rockhurst coach. “Preferably single digits and low scoring.”

With just 5:51 remaining in the game, Teahan finally scored his first hoop of the game on a  tough layup over two Raytown defenders. Then with 2:31 remaining, the 6-5 guard calmly stepped to the line and buried two free throws to knot things up at 41-41.

After Raytown junior big man Brandon Scaife scored the final two of his game high 16 points to put Raytown back ahead by two, things got crucial. After a timeout, Rockhurst turned the ball back over with just 40.2 seconds to go. As Raytown worked feverishly to get the ball past half court, a whistle was blown with 30.7 seconds on the clock while 6-6 junior Dominique Morrison clutched ball -- still ten feet from crossing halfcourt -- as Rockhurst defenders appeared to foul him.

Instead of a foul call, the referees whistled Raytown for a controversial 10 second violation awarding the ball back to Rockhurst and setting up Teahan’s heroics.

It set up a situation eerily similar to the championship game of the 2005 William Jewell Holiday Tournament where Teahan hit buzzer beating threes against Raytown South to send to and win the game in overtime and everybody in the gym knew who was going to get the ball.

Coming up through the lane and getting a triple pick along the three point line, Teahan caught the ball on the right side, launched himself into the air and launched a difficult 22 footer with two defenders in his face. The result was a swish giving Rockhurst their first and only lead of the game at 44-43 with just under 16 seconds to go.

“I shot it and it looked like it was on line,” said Teahan. “ I was a little worried that I didn’t get enough legs into it but I thought it was going to go in and it did.”

After a desperation 18 footer by Morrison rimmed out and Scaife missed a tip at the buzzer, Teahan’s shot had delivered the victory and a sectional championship.

Up next for Rockhurst is a matchup with Liberty (MO) High on Saturday in a class 5A quarterfinal game. As far as Teahan’s concerned, he’s just happy that he hit the shot his team needed and that he was able to turn one of the roughest nights -- 11 points, 2-7 FG, 1-2 3PT, 6-8 FT, six rebounds, one assist,  and three turnovers -- of his high school career.

“I’ve never felt so good about a terrible performance,” finished Teahan. “It’s just a great feeling and I can’t really describe it.”

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