RUSSELL, Kan. The Phillipsburg Panthers won their Amos Morris Classic semifinal matchup with the Central Plains Oilers by a score of 38 to 37.
The game was a tight up and down battle for most of the evening.
Phillipsburg led early 8 to 2 over Central Plains. By the end of the second quarter, the Oilers tied the game at 18.
The Oilers played a slower, more deliberate offense and controlled the clock to have the last shot. They moved the ball around until it was time to give it to post player Tyler Holmes. Holmes missed his first shot, but he got the rebound a put it back to lead at halftime 18 to 16.
Central Plains came out of the locker room and added more points. They led Phillipsburg 28 to 22 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Phillipsburg clawed back and tied the game at 36 all with 1:21 remaining.
While Central Plains tried to hold the ball to wait for the last shot, JJ Heredia was fouled. He only made one of his two free throws.
The Oilers led 37 to 36 with 59 seconds remaining.
Phillipsburg worked the ball to their end and Parker Dibble got the basket to fall. The Panthers retook the lead 38 to 37 with 40 seconds remaining.
Central Plains again tried to set up the final shot. Jered Bieberle took a shot near the basket but it missed.
Phillipsburg recovered the ball. After a series of inbounds and fouls, the clock finally expired. The Panthers hung on and won by a score of 38 to 37.
"Central Plains always plays so smart and tough," said Phillipsburg Head Coach Keith Sides. "They make you earn everything. They took a lot of time off the clock and made us over exert a lot of energy. We were very fortunate to get a win there."
Kagan Keeten of Phillipsburg scored 12 points on the night and led all scorers.
JJ Heredia had the most points for Central Plains with 11.
Phillipsburg advances to the championship game to face the winner of the Ulysses versus Plainville game Friday.
The loser of that game will square off against Central Plains for third.