C-T-area HS basketball roundup – Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, games

Three C-T-area high school basketball teams earned trips to tournament championship games with semifinals victories Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016.
Advancing to Saturday’s title games of the annual Northwestern Invitational at Mendon, Mo., were the top-seeded Meadville Eagles and second-seeded Hale-Bosworth Lady Cardinals and Northwestern Eagles.
Meadville (2-0) used 6’2” sophomore Dillon Seckington’s seven 3-pointers and 28 points to roll past Higbee 60-38 Thursday.
In Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. championship game, Meadville will meet another set of Eagles, these from the host school, after Northwestern’s boys pulled away from Linn County 75-64.
Free-wheeling Northwestern scored at least 20 points in three of the four periods. Senior scoring star Garrett Johnson led the way with 27 points and Kade Marnin added 19. Wade Adams had another 15, including four “triples.” Linn County’s Jase White led four Mustangs in double-digits scoring with 20 tallies.
In the girls’ division, Hale-Bosworth doubled up Linn County 58-29 as veteran star Devin Grossman tossed in 21 points and sophomore Bailey Stephens added 15.
The Lady Cardinals (2-1) will go against top seed Higbee at 6 p.m. Saturday. Higbee overcame a 28-24 halftime deficit against Northwestern’s girls to win 58-51, despite another big night (19 points) by NHS freshman Georganne Zahner.

While three C-T-area squads took advantage Thursday of their chances to pursue a tourney title, three others were unable to at the Gallatin Invitational.
The Braymer Bobcats lost to second-seeded Trenton 65-47 as THS’ Connor Cotton and Spencer Harris fired in 23 and 22 points, respectively.
Braymer’s Lady ’Cats fell to top seed Trenton 61-22 and Hardin-Central’s girls were bested by No. 2 seed Gallatin 48-27.
Braymer’s boys (2-1) were competitive, but outscored, in each quarter. Big men Austin Hall and Jordan Miller provided 19 and 12 points, respectively, and sophomore guard Keaton O’Dell nine.
BHS’ Bobcats will meet Gallatin for third place Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Braymer’s girls (1-2) had nine points from frosh Jasmine Taylor as they moved on to Saturday’s noon third-place contest against Hardin-Central, which also fell hard Thursday.
HCHS’ Lady Bulldogs (2-1) didn’t have anyone score more than six points, while Gallatin’s Karley Salmons’ 10 led a well-distributed offense that had four others net eight and a sixth tally six.

In non-tournament area play Thursday, there was a pair of non-conference splits with the Tina-Avalon girls and Hamilton boys prevailing.
(G) Tina-Avalon 46, Carrollton 35;  (B) Carrollton 51, Tina-Avalon 31
TINA, Mo. — The host Lady Dragons (2-1) had the better of play in the odd-numbered quarters as they prevailed. Freshman Kennedie Crowe continued to make a big, early impression, leading the T-A attack with 14 points. Senior Lilly Churan added 11. Carrollton had excellent balance with all six scorers netting between four and eight points.
The Carrollton boys got the inexperienced Dragons (0-3) down early and held off a couple of Tina-Avalon bids to rally.
“We are still battling with having a lot of inexperience and still going through growing pains trying to learn the game and get up to game speed,” says T-A boys’ coach Kyle Kelley. “…We finally got ourselves into spots to get some good looks and get shots off, but had trouble knocking them down as well. Our defense overall played well for most of the game
Senior Luke Churan’s 21 tallies topped T-A.
T-A is idle until Friday, Dec. 9, when they’ll start Carroll-Livingston Activity Association play by hosting Keytesville.
(G) Mercer 70, Hamilton 38; (B) Hamilton 61, Mercer 50
HAMILTON, Mo. — Delayed by their run to the Class 1 football state title, the host Hornets made their belated hoops debut Thursday by handling the visiting Cardinals.
Mercer led 14-11 after one period, but a 19-8 second stanza put Hamilton in front to stay.
Despite many key players’ lack of practices, the Hornets put four scorers – three of them gridders – in double figures. LaTroy Harper led the victors’ scoring with 17 points, followed closely by Wesley Pratt’s 16. Jaran Richman tacked on 11 and Cale Whitt 11. Bryer Noe’s 19 for Mercer led all scorers.
All-State senior Bailey Owens pumped in six 3-pointers and 28 points and Lindsay Wyatt had five triples and 23 points as MHS’ Lady Cardinals (2-0) rolled. The young Lady Hornets (0-2), having faced two 2015-16 state tourney participants in Chillicothe and Mercer, were topped by 14 Nora Ford points.