Fourth-seeded squad kayoes Class 1 District 12 top seed Meadville by five in semifinals Wednesday. Will face Slater for title. Norborne, Hale/Bosworth to girls' basketball district final
TINA, Mo. — A near-fixture in the Class 1 state tournament over the past decade, including a state champion three years back and three top-4 finishes in a row, won’t be there in 2018, thanks to the red-hot Mendon: Northwestern Eagles.
Northwestern, recent champion – as the same No. 4 seed – of the Carroll-Livingston Activity Association Tournament on the same Tina-Avalon School floor where this week’s District 12 Tournament is taking place, took down the top-seeded Meadville Eagles 56-51 in the semifinals Wednesday.
As a result, it will be the Nos. 3 and 4 seeds – Slater and Northwestern – tangling for the district crown and a berth in the Class 1 state tournament Friday night at T-A. Slater earned its spot opposite Northwestern by following with a nearly-identical 57-51 verdict over second-seeded Brunswick.
Wednesday’s girls’ semifinals conversely followed form. The Norborne Lady Pirates, the tourney favorites, strolled past Keytesville 61-32 and No. 2 Hale/Bosworth eliminated the host Lady Dragons 60-49 with a strong second half.
The District 12 championship games are scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. (girls) and 7:30 (boys) with the winners advancing to play the District 11 champions – expected to be both Green City teams – in Chillicothe in the sectional round of the state tourney next Tuesday.
Northwestern’s boys took the lead during the second quarter and, after leading 27-23 at intermission, kept it most of the rest of the way. It inched its margin up to six points after the third period before hanging on down the stretch in a fairly-low-scoring closing segment.
Junior point guard Wade Adams – most valuable player of the recent CLAA Tournament – again led Northwestern, racking up 24 points – 21 in the first three frames. Adding 14 was Ryan Fisher, while Jaden Humphrey netted 10.
Meadville, which – since 2008-09 – had missed state play only two years ago, also had 24 from its top gun Dillon Seckington and 13 by Parker Burton, but lacked a third scoring source to keep pace with Humphrey.
Hale-Bosworth’s Lady Cardinals – surprisingly unable to win either of its games in the CLAA tourney at Tina-Avalon a couple of weeks ago – are making amends in the district event.
They made it to the championship game at the expense of their western neighbor, pulling away down the stretch after getting a huge second-stanza boost from reserve Marissa Yeomans.
Ahead of Tina-Avalon 15-8 after one quarter, Hale/Bosworth had only one player find the hoop in the second, leaving an opening for a T-A rally, which did happen. However, because that one Lady Cardinal – Yeomans – knocked down five deuces in those eight minutes, Hale/Bosworth’s co-op club still was in front at the mid-game break, 25-23.
When play resumed in the third quarter, the other Lady Cardinals had reawakened. Bailey Stephens rang up nine markers – including two 3-points shots – in the third quarter as the second seed’s lead increased to 45-40.
The fourth quarter saw a half-dozen Hale/Bosworth players make scoring contributions as the Lady Cardinals outscored the Lady Dragons 15-9 to have a comfortable cushion in the late going.
Stephens’ 17 points topped the winners with Hayes Heussner close behind with 15 and Yeomans popping in 12. For T-A, Aleeya Heussner led the attack with 15 points, while Haley Rucker hit for 13 and Hannah Colliver 11.
Norborne’s girls coasted, getting 16 points by Kennadie Crowe and 11 by Madison Brown. Keytesville, much improved the second half of the season, received an impressive five trifectas from Charlee Grimes, who finished with 19 of the Lady Tigers’ 32 markers.
Slater’s boys got a game-high 25 points from Keshawn White as they knocked out Brunswick. The Wildcats were led by Reece Winn’s 22 markers with A.J. Worley and J.T. Collier adding 12 apiece.