Multiple splits mark area hoops action Thursday, Friday; Hamilton drops boys' championship game of KCI Tournament Friday

All went mostly as expected on C-T-area high school basketball courts Friday, spiced by an overtime win by Tina-Avalon’s boys for their first victory of the season.
In girls’ play, Southwest Livingston, Hale-Bosworth, and Tina-Avalon all claimed runaway Carroll-LIvingston Activity Association triumphs. On the boys’ side, in addition to T-A’s verdict, Hale-Bosworth and Mendon: Northwestern emerged on top in CLAA competition.
In Friday’s championship game of the KCI Conference Tournament, top-seeded Trenton fell to No. 2 seed Lawson, the Hornets’ first loss of the season.
(G) Tina-Avalon 43, Keytesville 10;  (B) Tina-Avalon 49, Keytesville 42, ot
TINA — Tina-Avalon’s boys got their first 2016-17 win the tough way Friday.
In a thriller, the host Dragons overcame a bad third quarter at both ends of the floor, according to head coach Kyle Kelley, to get the game to overtime and then dominate there.
Down 17-15 at intermission, Keytesville took advantage of quality scoring chances – four or five of them on steals and breakaway layups, the T-A coach notes – to jump ahead 33-24 going to the fourth quarter.
“We fell apart. Our defense let down so they got some good looks, and we couldn't take care of the ball on offense,” laments Kelley. On top of that, several Dragons got into foul trouble.
The break between quarters didn’t stop the momentum of the Tigers (3-2, 1-1), who pushed their lead up to 12 as 6’7” T-A senior center Luke Churan picked up his fourth foul very early in the last period.
After he sat for a short spell and the Dragons’ deficit increased, Kelley saw no option but to go for broke and reinsert his key cog.
Suddenly, Keytesville’s offense vanished, failing to produce any points over the last 5-plus minutes.
“ We made a few changes on offense and defense and slowly started to creep back into it. We started playing harder and smarter on defense and taking care of the ball to get to the basket on offense,” Kelley details.
Finding better shots and shooting luck as its defense improved, Tina-Avalon chipped away slowly.
After drawing within one possession when Chandler Colliver dropped in two charity tosses with a bit over a minute to go, T-A forced a KHS turnover to regain possession with a chance to tie or lead. Going inside to Churan, the Dragons (1-3, 1-0 conf.) got the deuce to tie it at 36-all.
Just inside the final 10 seconds, a foul was called on Keytesville to give Tina-Avalon two chances at the free-throw stripe to take the lead, but it did not capitalize. When the last few seconds ticked off, the teams headed to overtime, where T-A – with KHS’ top player, Aldon Stephenson, having fouled out – continued its dominance of the last six minutes of regulation time.
“We really started to pound the ball in to the post and eventually got the Tigers’ starting center, Evan Craig, to foul out,” recounts Kelley. “After that, we had a big advantage in the paint and kept feeding the ball to Churan.”
The tall Dragons center, who managed to play the final 9-plus minutes without fouling out, scored 11 of his team’s 13 points in the extra four minutes, finishing his night with 22 points. He also was in double digits in rebounds, his coach reports, and swatted away about a half-dozen Keytesville shots.
Colliver hung tough, despite some ballhandling issues, his coach noted, to provide a career-high 18 points. He fired in three treys and was five of six at the foul line.
Joey Crowe stabilized the Dragons’ ball-security issues and played tough defense when some teammates had to be cautious, due to foul issues, Kelley notes. Crowe also provided eight points.
For Keytesville, Stephenson was dynamic while in the game, in the T-A coach’s view. He scored a team-high 17 points, including 11 in the third quarter when the Tigers made their big push. He also had multiple steals – several in that third frame – with his “help” defense.
“He was very aggressive on defense, which led to a lot of steals, but also led to him fouling out late in the fourth quarter,” Kelley observes.
The Tigers’ best big man, Evan Craig “had a very strong game playing post defense,” praises the T-A coach. “He limited Churan through most of the game, while also drawing many fouls on our post players.”
While the boys’ game went down to the wire and beyond, the girls’ contest was no contest, even though T-A’s Lady Dragons (3-1, 1-0 conf.) were not that potent on offense.
Defensively, however, new head coach Dana Hansen’s veteran-led club didn’t give up a second field goal until the second half, blanking inexperienced Keytesville the entire second quarter.
After Mylie Schupback of the Lady TIgers (1-5, 1-1 conf.) hit a first-quarter field goal, the visitors didn’t put the ball through the ring from the floor again until Schupback hit her side’s second and last bucket for KHS’ only points of the third stanza. With 5-of-6 free-throw shooting in the last segment, Keytesville barely squeezed into double digits for the game.
T-A, which led 10-3 after one stanza, 21-3 at the half, and 39-5 after three frames, did not have an individual double-figures scorer, but, when the other team barely gets there as a team, that’s not any problem, especially when you have eight players getting on the scoresheet. Khloey Forst’s eight points topped TAHS.
Tina-Avalon will host Meadville in non-conference play tonight. Keytesville will welcome Hardin-Central for league play tomorrow .
(G) Southwest Livingston 55, Mendon: Northwestern 20; (B) Mendon: Northwestern 86, Southwest Livingston 66
LUDLOW — In a surprisingly one-sided result, the defending CLAA champion Southwest Livingston Lady Wildcats dominated Northwestern’s Lady Eagles, who had come in with a 4-1 early mark.
“We just played good defense and were very unselfish on offense,” assessed SLHS head coach Julie Bothwell, who used all 12 players she had dressed out, including three freshmen who had played during the junior-season.
The Lady Wildcats (3-1, 2-0 conf.) seized a sizable 18-7 lead after one quarter, led by Spanish senior foreign-exchange student Ona Furst’s six points. They then iced the win early with a 14-4 second stanza to lead by 21 at intermission.
Eventually, Southwest would have nearly twice as many assists as turnovers (21-11) and more steals (15) than giveaways, while spreading the various chores around individually.
Junior forward Kaylie Campbell had a modest double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds, while nearing a triple-double with eight of the assists. She also blocked five shots and made three thefts.
Kortlyn Rounkles led the scoring with 13 points and wasn’t that far from double digits in steals (eight) or assists (seven).
Junior center Marley Anderson packaged eight points and six boards.
Northwestern’s girls (4-2, 1-1 conf.) were topped in scoring by backup Georgeanne Zahner’s six points.
The boys’ contest was tied at 22 early in the second period, Bothwell reports, before the visiting Eagles (5-1, 2-0 conf.) took the lead for keeps. A 6-points microburst in the final 42 seconds of the opening half left coach Mike Kahn’s squad in front
42-33 at the stoppage.
That momentum carried over to the third frame as, behind all-district guard Garrett Johnson and Jaden Humphrey, Northwestern soon had extended its lead to 16 points.
Led by 6’4” freshman Mack Anderson’s school-record performance on the backboards, the taller Wildcats (0-4, 0-2 conf.) whittled that down to an even 10 points early in the fourth period before Johnson rippled the cords from beyond the arc three times to clinch his team’s win.
Johnson, with 13 tallies in the last segment, finished with a game-best and season-high 34 points. He had six treys altogether. Lucas McCollum tacked on 23 markers and Humphrey 19.
“We definitely had the height advantage, but the Northwestern boys are quick, see the floor well, and very good passers,” assessed Bothwell.
Anderson put an exclamation point on the impressive start to his high school career by breaking Trevor Shira’s SLHS’ boys’ record for rebounds in a game as part of a huge double-double. He ripped down 22 boards, including nine on the offensive glass, while scoring 28 points. Included in his offensive exploits was 6-of-8 free-throw shooting. Shira’s caroms mark had been 21.
Senior guard Brady Bothwell nearly double-doubled, too, firing in 20 points, while snaring eight boards, dishing out five of the Wildcats’ 17 assists, and making four steals.
Next for Southwest Livingston will be conference play at Breckenridge Thursday. Northwestern will welcome non-league foe Linn County Tuesday.
(G) Hale-Bosworth 65, Breckenridge 15; (B) Hale-Bosworth 56, Breckenridge 48
HALE — Both Hale-Bosworth squads got off on the right foot in conference play Friday, although the boys were pushed hard by the winless Bulldogs.
The host Cardinals (2-4, 1-0 conf.) were knotted at 21 apiece at halftime before outscoring Breckenridge’s boys (0-5, 0-3 conf.) 20-13 in the third quarter. A slight edge in the last eight minutes permitted Hale-Bosworth a bit of breathing room in the final moments.
Blake Johnson scored 13 points to lead the Cardinals to their second triumph in their last three outings. Trent Hastings provided 10 more, all after intermission.
BHS had three double-figures scorers, paced by Corbin Gaunt with 14 markers. Trevor Adams added 12 and Chubbs Henderson 11.
The girls’ blowout saw Hayes Heussner pace the Lady Cardinals (5-2, 1-0 conf.) with 21 points. Devin Grossman was close behind with 19 and Bailey Stephens netted 10.
The Lady Bulldogs (2-3, 0-3 conf.) were led by McKenzie Riddle’s six tallies.
Hale-Bosworth hosts Norborne in CLAA action Tuesday. Breckenridge will be idle until welcoming league foe Southwest Livingston Thursday.
(G) Norborne 72, Braymer 29; (B) Braymer 54, Norborne 40
NORBORNE — Tall Bobcats post player Austin Hall dominated with 25 points in the first three periods Thursday as Braymer gained a split of its non-conference road action.
With Hall scoring half of their points and more than one a minute in the first 24 minutes, the Bobcats (5-1) staked out a 50-23 lead. They outscored the Pirates (2-2) 12-2 in the third stanza to salt it away.
Jordan Miller added a dozen points in the BHS win. Evan Glaze’s career-best 20, including three first-half treys, paced Norborne.
Scoring 25 points in each of the first two quarters, NHS’ Lady Pirates (3-1) built a 50-7 lead by intermission, holding Braymer to only two points in the opening frame.
Four Lady Pirates scored in twin digits, paced by Nelle Finley’s and Madison Brown’s 19 points apiece. Katie Wood tacked on 16 and Emma Thoeni had 10.
Braymer (1-5) received 12 from reserve Emily Youtsey, all after halftime.
Braymer visits Pattonsburg for Grand River Conference play tonight. Norborne has a Tuesday road date with Hale-Bosworth for CLAA action. Braymer’s boys had taken their Grand River Conference opener last Tuesday, winning at South Harrison 63-47 as Miller hit for 19 points, Hall 16, and Gabe Rogers and Robbie Shoe eight each.
Austin Hall dominated inside with 25 points for the winners. Jordan Miller contributed 12. Norborne (2-2) had 20 points from Evan Glaze, including three treys.
(G) Hardin-Central 53, Meadville 40;  (B) Meadville 62, Hardin-Central 43
MEADVILLE — A non-conference split resulted from Thursday’s meeting of former CLAA compatriots.
Dillon Seckington pumped in seven 3-pointers in 12 attempts as he scored 24 points and Ryan Young was 10 of 15 from inside the arc on his way to netting 21 points in the MHS boys’ fifth win in as many games this season.
Young added six assists, six rebounds, and three steals, while Tarran Baker earned six helpers and Jase Cowan grabbed seven boards and blocked three HCHS shots.
No individual statistical information was available for the Bulldogs (3-3).
Hardin-Central’s Lady Bulldogs (4-2) zipped to a 14-4 lead after one quarter and had MHS doubled up at halftime, 26-13.
For HCHS, Addie Paul barely missed a points-steals double-double, tallying 10 points and swiping the ball nine times, in addition to earning six of her team’s 17 assists. McKenzie McBee led the Lady Bulldogs’ scoring with 13 points, while Carly Thacker had eight points, six rebounds, and three assists. Julia Finley ripped down a team-best nine caroms and Lacey Logsdon added eight points.
The Lady Eagles (3-2) had 20 points and six steals from Reagin Klein, who hit four of six 3-points tries, and Madison Ryan combined 11 points, five boards, four assists, and three thefts.
Meadville plays at Tina-Avalon tonight. Hardin-Central next goes to Keytesville tomorrow .
(B 1st) Lawson 73, Hamilton 52
GOWER — After a blazing start by both teams, resulting in a 22-20 LHS Cardinals lead after one quarter, Hamilton (2-1) hit a wall in the second period, being outscored 16-4 and never recovered Friday night.
Cody Glenn rifled in seven treys and 35 points for Lawson. Jaran Richman’s 17 and Andy Ernat’s 16 paced the Hornets.
Hamilton's boys next play Friday at Lathrop in their conference opener. Hamilton's girls visit St. Joseph: Lafayette tomorrow.