Thrills and upsets in high school basketball playoffs -

Thrills and upsets in high school basketball playoffs

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By Bryce Moore By Bryce Moore

How did it happen?  27-0, ranked #1, beat this team by 20+ just three weeks ago ? How did they lose ? ya go.



Chaminade took thier unblemished record into the STATE Quarterfinals game against a fired-up McCluer North Stat team. The Red Devils spanked the North Stars by 20ish just three weeks ago. This score was still fresh in the minds of Coach Randy Reed's team. They installed a few new modifications but had a "chip on their shoulder" about the first game.  In the 1st quarter, Bradley Beal (U of Florida recruit) score 9 of Chaminade's 11 points. He was spectacular but it was only 11-9 Chaminade. By halftime it was 29-23 and Beal had 20 points. However, McN took away the driving ability of Beal by jamming the key and forced Chaminade to beat them from the outside. Also, BJ Young had a difficult time getting on track. Akintoye Okunrinboye matched his 7 ppg average in the first half with some energetic play and kept McN in the game. During the 3rd quarter Chaminade reached a 6 point lead just prior to the buzzer while BJ Young was proving to be unstoppable on his dribble drives but.....Beal was whistled for his 4th foul at the 0:42 mark. When Beal headed for the bench, the sight of him moving to the Chaminade bench seemed to ignite the NorthStars.  An 8 point run early in the 4th gave McN their first lead at 45-42. Young finished this run with a jam! Caoch Kelvin Lee had no choice- he sent Beal back into the game. From here on, each team was playing frantically to stay alive. This anxiety led to some hurried passes, tentative shots, missed free throws --the type of things that you see when two powerhouses are being pushed by each other! Beal tied it at 55-55. On the next trip down the court, BJ Young hit two FT at the 15.7 second mark to put the North Stars up by two. Chaminade made 1 of 2 on their next trip to the line, was able to come up with the rebound but committed a violation and it was OVER! 57-56-McCluer North. Some are calling it a classic--they're probably right!


Two super players playing at their best (Young scored 32, Beal 30) as part of two very good teams in a tight battle in a very important game! It was fabulous!! Listen to the replay--Chaminade vs McCluer North


Another team that capitalized on its opportunity to avenge an earlier loss was the Troy Trojans. Troy lost  to DeSmet just prior to District play. The Trojans made 16 3-balls that night but lost.  DeSmet had a huge advantage on the front line with heights of  6-8, 6-5, 6-5.  This time around, Coach Ryan Myers wanted a very meticulous approach and he wanted rebounding. When Nolan Berry (6-8, Soph, DeSmet) got into foul trouble, it made life a little easier on the rebounding side of things.  Closely played throughout, it was the 4th quarter free throw shooting of Neil Branham (8 of 8) that pulled Troy into a 68-56 win. Branham finished with 26 points and Derek Deters popped in 22.


Yet another team tasted the sweet taste of revenge as Rock Bridge beat Branson 57-45. In January, the Pirates had beaten the Bruins by a 63-58 score. Things didn't look promising in the first quarter for the Bruins. Branson jumped out to 14-7 lead and the Bruins had two key players on the bench (Karon Hayes and Matt Kelly) with foul trouble. The 2nd quarter proved to be the decisive quarter of the game- Rock Bridge had runs of 7 points to start and end the quarter and 6-3 Manuale Watkins (Kelly's replacement) shut down the Pirates leading scorer - Avery Dingman (Creighton bound)! This combination of factors led to a 21-16 lead for RB. In the 3rd quarter, the Bruins put together yet another 7 point run to finish off the quarter and led 37-29 when the buzzer sounded. The quick, talented Bruin guards ran the spread game in the 4th quarter and advanced just a couple miles down the road for a game in Columbia in Mizzou Arena. Hear this thrilling game again-- Troy vs DeSmet


The top four Class 5 Girls teams will all be there next week in the Semifinals. This rarely happens...often they meet each other someplace along the way or...they simply get beat (see Chaminade above).  #1 Webb City coasted to an easy 68-50 win over the West Plains Zizzers (one of my favorite nicknames!). Flying out of the chute, the Cardinals raced to a 21-5 first quarter lead. Sr. Katilin Jaeger led the way in this contest. She scored 28 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks and she scored 6 consecutive baskets HERSELF in the first quarter as the Cardinals wrapped this one up in a hurry.


Waiting, and they've been waiting a long time for this rematch, are the #3 ranked Incarnate Word Academy Red Knights. IWA won for the third time over a very talented Ft Zumwalt West team 48-45 on a 3 point shot at the buzzer by Frosh. Nakiah Bell.  IWA beat Ft Z W by a total of 7 points in the 3 wins! The Jaguars (25-5) lost 3 times to IWA and once to St Joseph this season.  Webb City beat IWA in the Prepcasts Elite Girls Shootout in early January. At that time, both these teams knew that it'd be likely that there would be a rematch in Columbia in March. Take your choice--listen to the   Webb City-IWA game of Jan or the IWA-Ft Zumwalt West QTR. game.


The other side of the brackets saw the top ranked teams have an easier time of it. Blue Springs Coach Mark Spigarelli saw his #2 ranked Wildcats build a 15 point 2nd half lead over Staley then squander it a bit, yet holding on for a 58-50 win. It'll be the 3rd consecutive trip to Columbia for Blue Springs.


#4 ranked St Joseph slowed the fast-flying Hazelwood Central Hawks down with a zone and won 56-34. St Joe used the inside game of Soph. Sydney Stipanovich  6 blocked shots defensively to limit the Hawks from penetrating effectively to the basket. Stipanovich scored 18, Maddie Stock 13 and Morgan Stock 9 as the Angels built on their lead each quarter. Listen to the St Joseph - Hazelwood Central game.


Who's taking both teams to STATE?'s the Borgia Knights!


St Francis Borgia Boys team(seemingly there at Mizzou Arena all the time) upended the defending Class 5 Champions- Hillcrest in Class 4 semifinals 52-42. This Borgia team graduated several key players from last years team, started the year 4-5 but in March, they're flying high! The Knights started off sizzling and led 32-15 for the biggest lead and it was 34-20 at half. Not really stopping, but holding in check a bit, the Knights kept Dorial Green from dominating. After a big 3rd quarter for Hillcrest, Borgia finished it off with a surge. Ben Ruether led the scoring with 22 points. At the line, Borgia capitalizes on all the charity as they were deadly accurate (16 of 19). An 8 of 18 (with most in the early going) from beyond the arc got the Boys Knights team rolling.


The Girls had an entirely different type of battle.  The #2 ranked Class 4 Girls Team, the Republic Tigers (22-7) had the lead throughout the ENTIRE game until 30 seconds remained. Kristin Dempsey drained two FT to give SFB their first (and only lead) of the game. After a missed shot and a rebound, Mackenzie Haddox was fouled and she also converted both ends of the 1 and 1. Borgia(17-11) advances with a 41-38 win. Dempsey led Borgia with 16 points and 7 rebounds.


The First Time!


Advancing into the Semifinal round for the first time are the Lee Summit North Broncos. North beat the Liberty Bluejays 52-41 to win their honors. Facing the Bluejays for the 3rd time this season, both teams know each other up and down. It came down to execution. Coach Mike Hilbert emphasized the "little things" all week but also was pleased to have the contributions of "BIG" 6-9 David Kravish (U of Cal Bound). The 5 points, 11 rebounds and 7 blocks were crucial in the paint. North will face another North- McCluer North in Mizzou Arena.


IT'S DISTRICT WEEK FOR Classes 1-2-3..what's going on?


Another #1 falls !


In Class 3 district play, Hermann (#6 ranked) toppled the #1 STATE ranked St James Tigers 47-43. Herman has enjoyed the high scoring of Shelby Winkelmann for the last 4 years but she was not the court in the final 5:09 and yet held onto the win over the talented Tigers. Each team played in the Prepcasts Elite Girls Shootout in January!


When you talk post-season basketball in Missouri, some names just naturally pop up. One of them is the Charlston Bluejays. Well, Charleston is back at it again as they beat Kennett 64-54 for the District Title. It's their 8th district title in 10 years and 28th in the school's history. Charleston built up a comfortable lead but Kennett kept fighting. In the 4th quarter, the Bluejays scored only two bucket but shot 10 of 15 from the line.


It didn't matter that only four field goals were scored in the 2nd half for St Vincent's. The Indians used an air tight defense to win the Girls District 37-30 over New Haven in Class 2, District 4 championship play. St Vincents'(20-5) averages 53ppg so the 37 point winning total surprised the Coach and many of the players. St Vincent had lost to New Haven in this same District championship last year and many girls indicated that they still remembered that bad feeling of losing the title game.


Mt Vernon swept both boys and girls title in Class 3 District 12 action. The Girls won easily 64-42 over Ash Grove The Lady Mountaineers bolted out to a 17-0 lead only to see it sliced to a 25-20 before turning things back around to win going away. Meanwhile, the Moutaineers seemingly had it locked up with a 31-19 lead over the E. Newton Patriots going into the 4th quarter. HOLD ON Buster ! The Patriots caught on fire  and actually took a 40-38 lead with 1:19 left in the game. Shane Williams (Mt Vernon) put the Mountaineers back on top 41-40 and hit another FT for the final 42-40 win for Mt Vernon. It's been quite a climb for the Moutaineers who were 6-11 at one time this season!


Check our class 4-5 semifinal- championship action from Mizou Arena and our class 1-2-3 sectional and quarterfinal games this week on Prepcasts!

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