ML King Holiday is usually another benchmark along the season. Teams now expect to be moving much closer to their optimum level of performance. Let's take a look at some teams riding "high" in the saddle...
Known more for football than action on the hardwood, Raymore - Peculiar raised their mark to 12-1 with a 70-37 romp over Lee Summit (10-4). The Panthers, sitting atop of the Suburban Big Seven Conference alone after the win, jumped on the Tigers immediately and walked off with a 13-2 first quarter lead. Josh Stockman led the scoring with 20 points.
On the small school side--Strafford elevated their season mark to 11-2 with a strong 54-39 victory over Blue Eye (4-2) on Friday night. Anthony Peters dropped in 21 to lead Strafford.
A quick word on the Tournament of Champions held in Springfield Missouri. This classy tourney hosts only very high level-elite teams -- both in and out of Missouri. This year, White Station (Tenn-14-3) edged Milton (Ga-14-2) 68-63 for the title. Joe Jackson (White Station) was named the Tournament MVP. Remember his name for collegiate level play in the future. The Missouri teams and their finish in this prestigious tournament -- Kickapoo (4th), Hillcrest (6th), Chaminade (8th).
Moberly's Lady Spartans are off to their best start in a decade! After beating Helias 62-37, the Lady Spartans were 12-1 for the year. Jr. Tierney Seifert scored 20 points in this win which was the first win over Helias since 1988-89 season !
The Salisbury Lady Panthers are 10-1 after they handled Fayette 66-23 easily. Three girls in double figures were led Rachel Richards 15 points. Salisbury is now 3-0 in Lewis & Clark Conference play.
In a battle of two titanic powerhouse programs. Branson (12-1) used a huge first quarter margin of 23-8 to tumble the Ozark Tigers (7-1) 73-60. The Pirates were led by Avery Dingman's 29 points. Seth Arnold led Ozark with 26 points. These two teams are always "there" at post season time so pay close attention to their games down the road.
In another huge game, the Rockhurst Hawklets(10-3) beat Raytown South(10-4) 71-62 at home. The Hawklets used a balanced scoring attach (5 players in double figures) to knock off the high flying Cardinals.
The Union Girls Tournament was won by the Borgia Knights 39-30 over the Jefferson City Lady Jays. This low scoring contest involved two programs accustom to winning.
It was revenge and a tight inside defense in the Championship game of the Scott-Mississippi conference Championship. After falling to Scott City in the title game of the Chaffee Tourney just weeks earlier, Delta took away the 1-2 punch of the Rams-- Steph Essner and Katie Hogan. Hogan (6 ft 1 in) and Essner combined for 33 points in the earlier win for Scott City. Not this time....Delta crowded the middle and forced other players to shoot. The strategy worked beautifully as Delta won 53-42. Bobcat Senior, Taylor Smith scored 18 including four from beyond the arc.
Some teams flying under the radar....on the girls side....
Coming out of the Four Rivers Conference, the Pacific Indians are 13-1 . Anna Vogt holds a 22.8 ppg mark to lead the offense. The Indians have some stern test in St. Clair, Hermann and St. James in the final weeks.
St Joe-Benton is also unbeaten at 10-0 but since they don't have many opportunities to compete in larger cities, they often are overlooked despite a consistently strong program.
Ft Zumwalt West, a state quarterfinalist last year, has quietly hung up an 11-1 record (it's only loss to # 1 ranked IWA). The Jaguars are led by Kelsey Jones and the Swopshire sisters (Janna & Jasmine) but have a deep corp of talent. Currently ranked #4 in state rankings, the Jags won in the Prepcasts Elite Girls Shootout last week.
By the way, the Prepcasts Shootout had on display the #1, 3, 4 teams of Class 5(IWA, St Joe, Ft Z West), the #1 team of Class 4 (Webb City), and the #3 of Class 3 (Hermann) in our 4 games last Saturday.
On the boys side, some teams that you may have missed...
After starting with a 2-3 record, the Patriots of Parkway South are now 10-5. Coach Mitch Stevens has three players scoring at double figures -- Kevin Pohle (14.4), Chris Meador (10.9) and Alex Johnston (10.3).
The North County Raiders of the Mineral Area Conference are 13-3 for the season. Coach Dan Johnson also had three players holding double figure marks for the year. Derek Emily is 18.3 with a 42% mark from beyond the arc, Seth Caldwell is 14.8 and Tanner Beers is 14.0 but he also is a deadeye from the three-point range with 48 trey's to his name.
The Clayton Greyhounds 11-5 may not seem that glittering until you look closer. Losses to Hazelwood Cen, Miller Career, Parkway South, McCluer and Whitfield (who they beat in a rematch) are losses to very strong (and usually much larger schools) teams. Christian Thomas, a 3 year starter, is the offensive main-stay of the team.
Prepcasts jumps back into full swing this week with a slate of games ranging from girls/boys basketball, couple wrestling matches, ice hockey and Southwestern Illinois College basketball. Listen LIVE or listen LATER on www.prepcasts.com Prepcasts cover high school sports like NO ONE ELSE !!