Well, go ahead...read the rankings because it won't matter any longer! We start the District Tournament, which in fact is the start of the State Tournament since each team enters fresh at 0-0 and keep playing as long as they win.
Now it's time for me to drag out the ol' crystal ball, as clouded as it often seems to be, to take a look at the Districts. I won't touch on EVERY class 4 and 5 district but it'll be enough for you to chew on and kick around.
How about Hazelwood Central, Rock Bridge, Miller Career, Mexico and Smithville ? Each school had both their boys and girls seeded #1 in their districts ! Let's look at Class 5's stories first.
District 2, the #1 and #2 seeds in both genders are Haz Cen Hawks #1 and McCluer North #2. Somehow, despite the glittering 25-1 record of the Hawks on the boys side, I have a feeling that the North Stars(22-4) will be emotionally charged as they look to avenge their 81-63 defeat of 2 weeks ago, play some defense and tumble the #1 seed. I think that the Lady Hawks will advance.
District 3-- how can anyone pick against Chaminade with their unblemished 24-0 mark, a superstar in Bradley Beal, an experienced front line, and some young outside sharpshooters? Well, I can't pick against them either. On the girls side, St Joseph (23-3) comes in to tourney smarting from thier loss in KC to ND de Sion. Ladue (22-1) takes 2nd seed. I actually am choosing Nerinx Hall over Ladue in semis and then the Angels to beat the Markers for the title.
At Lafayette, District 4, #1 boys seed-Parkay South (20-5) looks to avenge a loss to Lafayette(18-7) last Friday 60-53 in OT. These are two very solid, well coached teams. The team that wins the 3-point battle will win the title game. On the girls side, Eureka (19-6) will have a fast-paced semifinal game against the Lady Patriots of Parkway South (13-13)then face the winner of Lafayette(15-8)-Marquette (16-9)game for the title. Most of these teams have struggled of late-Eureka lost last Tuesday to Mehlville (8-16), Marquette has lost two in a row, South has lost 5 of their last 6 games. The Lancers are coming into the distict with the best "run"-they've won 5 of their last 6 games so...that's who I'm going to dance with in district 4.
District 6 #1 boys seed at Lindbergh is owned by Vianney (15-11). The Golden Griffins have won 7 of the last 9 games, including the Eldon Tournament. All of their losses have been to Chaminade, CBC, Haz Central, DeSmet with one exception. Meanwhile, the Oakville Tigers (16-10) are riding a 4 game win streak. If Vianney can keep Oakville off the foul line, they should move on. On the girls side, Cor Jesu (20-8) brings in the best record. The #2 seed, Kirkwood (18-8) probably has the best athletes. Will it be the inside game of the Chargers or the outside speed of the Pioneers ? I'm going with speed here...upset!
Holt is the #1 boys seed in District 7. 6-6 Dantiel Daniels lead the 18-4 Indians with 21.7ppg and 11.8 reb/game. Troy(16-10) brings in their long range artillery (they hit 16 3's this week in a game). Holt edged Troy 37-34 at Holt last Friday. I'm thinking that since Troy is the host, that's worth at least 4 points. Upset...Troy. Ft Z West Girls should coast in this district.
District 9 has Rock Bridge as both of the #1 seeds. The Bruins just handled Jeff City last week in a near perfect game as they won by 20ish. I dont' think that they'll have to be that sharp to win the district. Meanwhile, the Lady Bruins seem to be a notch above everyone else in the district.
I think that home court will be a huge factor in District 11 as I see Nixa beating Glendale for the title. Ozark Girls have been a top ten team all year and we were impressed by them in the Prepcasts Shootout in January. Ozark moves down the road.
I see an upset in District 13. Ruskin has their usual outstanding team of shooters. Somehow, I'm thinking that Rockhurst will slow it down, dictate the pace and win the title in the boys side.
Now, some looks at Class 4 districts.
District 1 looks like Sikeston in a breeze on the Boys side. On the Girls side, Notre Dame (Cape) holds the #1 seed and has too much for Dexter (#2 seed) to overcome.
District 3 is really up from grabs.. Festus (11-11) has the #1 seed despite being 4th in Jefferson County league and limping home with a 1-4 mark in the last 2 weeks. I'm thinking that Pacific (14-11) the #2 seed who finished 2nd to Festus in Union Tournament 58-59 fell to #2 ranking due to that loss. I think that emotions can really be important and Pacific could make their season with a title win over Festus.
St Mary's will be hosting District 4. For the Dragons, this is their FIRST EVER district that they've hosted in the "new" gym. Miller Career (19-7) brings in too much talent on both girls and boys side for any to overcome.
District 6 sees Clayton Greyhounds(20-6) as the #1 seed over an erratic U City (16-9) team. One can never be sure what you'll see with the Lions of U City but don't be surprised if they tumble the Greyounds. On the Girls Side, MICDS (21-1) was the clear choice for the top seed. However, Westminster (16-7) owns that one win over MICDS!! I'm anticipating the Lady Rams to turn the tables and advance into state.
District 7 will see two long-time rivals, Duchesne (13-11) and St. Dominic battle it out for District crown on the Boys side. By the way, this rivalry will heighten in the near future. Duchesne and Borgia will be entering the Archdiocesan Athletic Association Conference. Talks are continuing with other schools so an announcement won't come until it's all finalized. On the Girls side, as much as I admire St Dominic (24-0) and the coaching of Suzie Mennemeier, I just have a feeling that Visitation (19-6) might be stronger. Viz has seen a tougher schedule and is playing very well right now.
In District 8, my crystal ball says that the Mexico Bulldog Boys team will advance by beating Moberly but that the Mexico Girls team will fall to the Lady Spartans of Moberly !
My crystal ball went cloudy at this point so let me throw some unusual numbers to you
ONE TEAM hit 16 three-balls this week and LOST ! Yes, the Troy Trojans(16-10) lit it up from beyond the arc but fell to DeSmet (20-5) in overtime 72-69. Tory went wild in the 3rd quarter with 31 points as many came from Cullen Devins who drained many of his 6 three-pointers during that time. The Spartans, trailing by 9 going into the final quarter, tied it by outscoring Troy 27-16 in the 4th quarter. Nolan Berry was fabulous as he dropped in 31. Troy vs DeSmet
ANOTHER TEAM misses ten straight free throws in the 4th quarter, loses the lead but WINS! CBC went ice cold at the line, actually trailed by three points with under 2 minutes against Vianney(15-11). Suddenly, the Cadets (19-7)half court trap caused a few turnovers, and boom... CBC wins 54-47. Wonder how the Cadets will be spending their Presidents Day ?
You could spend part of your time listening to it all CBC vs Vianney
THE #2 RANKED TEAM goes up 9-0 but LOSES ! Usually when a state ranked team races out to a quick 9-0 lead, you sit back and start thinking of a running clock. Not this time... The Miller Academy Girls(#2, class 4 )team with a 20-4 record raced to a 9-0 lead at Republic. The Lady Tigers(#5, class 4 team) recovered their poise and changed defenses to grab a home win. Republic raised their mark to 19-6 with the 56-47 win. Republic went to a zone after falling behind and the Phoenix struggled against it. Kyra Ramsey led the Tigers with 16 points.
TWO TEAMS PLAY BACK-BACK NIGHTS WITH TOTALLY DIFFERENT GAMES! On Tuesday, Leopold(16-6) scored 44 first half points and led by 19, 44-25, at the buzzer. Leopold coasted home to a 73-65 win over Zalma. The very next night, Leopold misses five of its first six shots, falls behind Zalma. Finally, Joe Elfrink warms up and pops in five from beyond the arc to ignite the offense. Leopold jumps on the Elfrink explosion and ends up winning by a 74-54 score
Prepcasts has 10 different championships sites ready for you to hear this week! Most sites, we'll have the girls-boys in back-back title games