Story by Nicholas Petrone, Central Methodist Sports Information Director
OLATHE, Kan. - Mitchell Farr made his Central Methodist (Mo.) debut a memorable one, canning a school-record 12 three-pointers in the Eagles' 70-69 conquest of No. 21 Park (Mo.) in the Tip-Off Classic in Thursday's season-opener for both schools.
Although Farr finished with 36 points, it was Melvin Tillman's free throw with one second remaining that iced the victory for Central Methodist (1-0), which defeated the Pirates in last year's season-opener of the tournament.
Farr's 12 made three-pointers breaks the previous record of nine held by Aaron Brooks and Mike Wilken. The Racine, Wis., native was 12-of-19 from distance.
Both teams slugged it out early, with neither the Eagles or Park (0-1) taking more than a three-point lead, coming off a Tillman trey (17-14) midway through the first half. A Farr bucket from distance gave the Eagles their first two-possession advantage, 20-16, of the contest two minutes later, and the Green and Black took a 32-30 edge into halftime.
Trailing 34-32, Park went on an 8-0 run. Two straight buckets by Josh Lewis and a jumper from Denzelle Cook put the Pirates up 40-34 at the 17:15 mark of the second half. Park would lead by as much as seven, 45-38, before the Eagles countered, tying the affair at 45 on a Farr trey with 12:10 remaining.
Five lead changes and a tie dominated a three-minute stretch midway through the second period, but the Eagles regained the lead 56-55 at the 7:31 mark on a Farr shot from distance. Consecutive treys from Farr gave Central Methodist a 64-58 advantage with 5:06 left in the game.
Park rallied to take a one-point lead, 67-66, after two made free throws by Xavielle Brown, but Farr's final three of the night, coming with 1:43 on the clock, allowed Central Methodist to never trail again.
Jarvis Griffin tied the game for the Pirates with 35 seconds on the clock before Tillman's heroics. A Nigel Van Oostrum turnover sealed the fate of Park, preserving the win for the Green and Black.
John Palmer chipped in 12 points and nine assists in the win, and Tillman added 11 points and seven assists. Eric McDaniel had eight rebounds.
Van Oostrum led his team with 13 points. Brown and Cook scored 12 and 11, respectively.
The Eagles shot 50 percent (14-of-28) from behind the arc and 45.6 percent (26-of-57) from the field.
Central Methodist takes on Baptist Bible College (Mo.) Friday to conclude play in the Tip-Off Classic. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT.