The first weekend of STATE basketball is "in the books". The new three day format provided optimum times to watch the semifinals, 3rd place and Championship games LIVE!
Class 5 Boys....
The Hillcrest Hornets (25-7) led by Dorial Green (6-5 soph center) and Trey Starks offensively and an aggressive match up zone are now wearing the Class 5 Boys crowns. Trailing by four points at 44-40 with 2:21 left in the game, the Hornets (who finished the season with 13 straight wins) had to rally for the first time in their winning streak. Green blocked two shots, scored 8 points during this time frame, including a magnificent OOB "homerun" pass to Green, and led the Hornets to the 54-49 championship victory. Trey Starks (22) and Green (21) powered the Hornet offense. Green also had 13 boards and 3 blocks. Personally, he reminds me of a young Herschel Walker. He's only 15 years old but is a man among boys. Football is his life, basketball is his hobby. Remember his name folks....Dorial Green.
Oakville (27-5) has been to Columbia in back-back years- quite an accomplishment. The Tigers semifinal win was the most exciting of the weekend. Josh Noblitt sent the game in OT with a long 3 pointer in the final 2 seconds to tie the CBC Cadets. Trailing most the game, the Tigers went on to a 47-44 semifinal win. Noblitt had a career game in the semis. He missed his first two shots from beyond the arc then drained the next six three-pointers (including the game tying shot). CBC (23-9) went on to capture the 3rd place flag 51-43 over Park Hill South. Both teams provided playing time for their roster in this tightly played game.
Class 5 Girls....
Rated #1 through most the year and rated nationally, the Incarnate Word Academy Red Knight (30-1) had their hands full with an equally athletic and very talented Blue Springs team. The Red Knights final score of 52-43 was not indicative of how close this game was played until the last 2 minutes. IWA jumped out to a quick 9 point lead that was erased by the Wildcats in the 2nd quarter as Blue Springs outscored the Red Knights 14-4 during that time. During 3rd & early 4th quarters, IWA would grab a lead and then see it evaporate as the Wildcats would rally. This game was full of terrific athletes. There were great matchups all over the court-- inside- Azia Washington vs Brianna Puni; at the point guard- Chloe Nelson vs Cherisse Burris; Jazmin Hitchens vs Tyonna Snow were at times perimeter players, post players, all over. After Hitchens fouled out, IWA attacked the Wildcat press efficiently to score a couple layups and free throws (of course). The Wildcat half court and whole court press had been troublesome for IWA. It was a real pleasure to watch the chess match between these two talented coaches, Dan Rolfes (IWA) and Mark Spigarelli (Blue Springs) as defenses were continually changed which dictated offensive counter-moves.
Each team had worn down their semifinal opponents. IWA beat Ft Zumwalt West (25-6) for the 3rd time this year 55-36. The Wildcats outlasted a feisty, determined Kickapoo Lady Chief team 52-41. In the 3rd place game, Kickapoo (25-6) played inspired ball for their Coach Stephanie Phillips and won 52-36. Coach Phillips, who has always done things the "right way" during her coaching tenure at Kickapoo has been fighting cancer throughout the year.
Class 4 Boys...
The Kearney Bulldogs become one of the rare schools to win a STATE football and Boys Basketball in the same year. The Bulldogs had a rematch from last years title game with the Borgia Knights in the Championship game. Using their huge front line of 6-9 Dillon Starzl and 6-7 Gran Cozad, the Bulldogs (28-3) went zone and forced the Knights out beyond their normal 3-point shooting range. The strategy worked as Borgia was held to their lowest scoring output of the season in the 47-43 Kearney win. Borgia shot just 31% and were only 6 of 29 from beyond the arc in the game.The loss snapped the 46 game winning streak of the top ranked class 4 team.
In the semifinals, Borgia jumped on Soldan International early to build a lead but Soldan, led by Brier West's 25 points, kept chipping away. A 4th quarter push iced the game for Borgia as they won 83-72. Tyler Ressel had an unusual double-double-- 17 points and 10 assists for the Knights. Borgia was 9 of 11 from the 3-point range in this game. Kearney cruised past Republic 43-31 in a game that wasn't as close as the final score may indicate.
The 3rd place game saw Republic jump out to a 20-7 first quarter lead. Soldan began chipping away at the lead and sliced it to 40-39 at the end of 3 quarters. Led by Brier West prolific 34 point scoring binge, including the last 7 points of the game for Soldan, Soldan rallied and won 62-55. Coach Justin Tatum, in his 2nd year, took the 3rd place trophy as did his alma mater, CBC, the day earlier.
Class 4 Girls...
Webb City (30-1) won their 1st STATE Championship. The Lady Cardinals, who have been nationally ranked at times this year, fought off a late rally by Notre Dame (Cape) to win by a 60-53 score. Hailey Roderique scored three layups late in the game to open up a 9 point bulge with 1:17 left only to see ND drain three 3-balls to tighten up things. It took 3 more very late Free throws to earn Coach Brad Shorter the STATE title. Kaitlin Jaeger was terrific in the semifinals as the Lady Cardinals toppled O'Hara 55-42. The high pressure press, especially after a missed shot, led to a couple flurries of points that made the difference. O'Hara fought gallantly with strong play from Hailey Houser and Alexandria Smith (knocking down 3 treys) to keep it very close until the last couple minutes.
Notre Dame(Cape) had a real see-saw semifinal game with St. Dominic. ND won 62-55 in a game that saw the momentum, lead, pace of the game swaying back and forth in this highly entertaining game. St Dominic went on a 13 point spurt early in the game to take the lead. After falling behind by twelve points midway in 2nd quarter, the Bulldogs scored ten unanswered points to slash the lead to 30-28 at half. The game stayed within a point or two until midway in 4th, Allyson Bradshaw buried a 3-ball after Jane Morrill's basket and the Bulldogs took a 5 point lead that they would never relinquish. Coach Suzie Mennemier has taken the Crusadors to the Final Four teams twice already in her coaching career.
A footnote here... Prepcasts hosts an All-Girls Shootout. This year in our second shootout, 8 schools participated. Two of the schools won the STATE title-Incarnate Word and Webb City. There are many other impressive stats about these 8 teams. Check our Shootout button on the landing page. We're proud to announce that St. Dominic will rejoin us again next year....check out this fantastic Shootout III schedule for January 2011 - - - -
Webb City vs IWA (yes...class 4 champ vs class 5 champ)
Edwardsville vs St Joseph (Edwardsville a super sectional team)
St James vs Hazelwood Central (St James in final 8-lost webb city)
Benton vs Ft Zumwalt South (Benton 24-4; Ft Z S 22-5 this year)
Hermann vs St Dominic (Hermann - elite 8 team; St Dom 4th-State)
We'll wrap classes 1-2-3 next week for you! Meanwhile, Prepcasts has a steady daily diet of college softball for you this week on www.prepcasts.com .