By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
BRAYMER • Saturday night in the championship games of the 56th-annual Braymer Invitational Tournament, Southwest Livingston's top-seeded Lady Wildcats and likely All-Stater Sydnee Rounkles ripped off the first 12 points of their game against second seed Braymer and never let the Lady Bobcats into the contest as the Ludlow-based girls more than doubled up the hosts, 67-31.
Then, the favored host boys and their own All-State player, Jesse Utt, took it to Southwest Livingston's boys, 63-35.
Third place in the tournament went to Tina-Avalon's girls and the Lawrence, Kan.: Veritas Christian School's boys. On Friday, Chillicothe's junior-varsity girls earned the 7-team tournament's consolation trophy with a 56-34 victory over Breckenridge's varsity and CHS' "B" boys did the same, clobbering Lexington's Wentworth Military Academy, 62-30.
(G 1st) Southwest Livingston 67, Braymer 31
Lady Wildcats senior S. Rounkles put her seal on this one immediately, putting her impressively-expanded offensive repertoire on display while dominating the backboards.
Braymer (7-5) found about the upgrade first-hand as S. Rounkles followed an early deuce with a pair of treys and then four free throws in as many attempts as Southwest Livingston built a big lead.
Then, as if that wasn't enough, she somehow managed to slip free of coverage in transition in the final seconds of the opening stanza and drained a third trifecta just before the horn to make it 19-6, Lady Wildcats, after one. Of those 19 Southwest Livingston points, 15 had come by S. Rounkles' hands.
With Rounkles highlighting the early second-quarter action with a four-points play by sticking another trey while being undercut and then ending the stanza with another buzzer-beater – this time from mid-range, by halftime, Southwest Livingston had expanded its lead to 37-20.
With a couple more early-fourth-quarter treys, S. Rounkles finished with five bombs, 32 points, and 19 rebounds for the Lady Wildcats (8-2), all of which may be career-highs. Frosh Haylee Johnson did establish a personal career-best – one she'll almost certainly surpass many times in the future – by hitting for 17 points. Maritza Chavez had 11 rebounds and eight points.
Braymer, a young squad itself with a couple of freshman starters, a fine 5'10" sophomore post player, and two juniors, was led in scoring by frosh Madison Mallory's 11 points. Junior guard Darcey Peters, who had four fouls in the game's first nine minutes, eventually netted eight points, the same as center Sadie Watson.
(B 1st) Braymer 63, Southwest Livingston 35
With Utt scoring six first-stanza points and eight in the second, the Bobcats (10-1) staked out a commanding 33-13 halftime lead.
Utt tacked on another 10 in the third segment as the BHS lead grew to 26 before retiring to the bench early in the final period with a game-high 26 markers.
Page 2 of 2 - Southwest Livingston (8-2) received a team-high eight points each from Mason Mehrhoff and John Anderson. All of reserve Anderson's tallies came in the final period when, primarily, both sides' subs dueled.