Southwest Livingston girls barely hang on against Norborne, but 59-56 victory Saturday night gives them sweep of regular-season, tourney crowns. Northwestern's Eagles, seeded only fourth, repeat as boys' champ
By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
TINA, Mo. — On a night when there wasn’t as much snow outside as weather forecasters had once anticipated there could be, the Mendon: Northwestern Eagles buried the Brunswick Wildcats under an avalanche of second-half 3-points shots to claim a second-consecutive Carroll-Livingston Activity Association (CLAA) Tournament boys’ high school basketball championship Saturday, 75-62.
Ahead only 27-25 at halftime, the Eagles knocked down four treys in each of the last two periods to, first, open a double-digits lead and, then, keep it.
Leading the way was Northwestern junior guard Wade Adams, who pumped in four of the post-intermission triples to cap a 30-points performance that led to his being selected as the tourney’s most valuable boys’ player.
The girls’ champion of the 65th-annual CLAA Tournament is Southwest Livingston’s Lady Wildcats, who barely held off a late Norborne rally to prevail 59-56 Saturday. The triumph nervously completed an SLHS sweep of the loop's girls' regular-season and tournament crowns without a loss.
Ahead by twin digits several times in the second half, including in the last few minutes, the top-seeded Lady Wildcats and second-time tourney MVP Kortlyn Rounkles could not exhale until a running 3-points shot attempt by Norborne with a couple of seconds to go was too strong, sailing over the backboard.
Rounkles, who was the 2016 tourney’s most valuable girls’ player, as well, scored a game-high 25 points as SLHS – hugely boosted by an unexpected 14-points, 10-rebounds double from senior forward Marley Anderson, won for the second time in three meetings with Norborne this season. A fourth clash is a possibility, but would have to come in state-tournament play.
Earlier Saturday, the once-delayed tourney’s final round saw Southwest Livingston’s boys best Keytesville 65-51 and Tina-Avalon dumped Hardin-Central’s girls 34-31 for third place.
Those came after the Hale-Bosworth boys had walloped Hardin-Central 57-36 and Northwestern’s girls topped Keytesville 54-45 in the consolation finals.
Following Saturday’s games, Rounkles’ and Adams’ selections as MVPs were announced as part of the discloure of the members of the 6-players "Bullet Bob Carter All-Tournament Teams.”
Joining Rounkles on the girls’ unit were Southwest Livingston teammate Kaylie Campbell, Norborne squadmates Madison Brown and Kennadie Crowe of Norborne, Haley Rucker of host Tina-Avalon, and Julia Finley of Hardin-Central. Sophomore Crowe and freshman Rucker are the only non-seniors of that group.
The boys’ all-tourney team, conversely, had five underclassmen, including junior MVP Adams. Joining him on the elite squad were teammate and classmate Jaden Humphrey, Southwest Livingston sophomore Mack Anderson, Keytesville sophomore Evan Craig, freshman Jayden Sears of Hale-Bosworth, and lone senior Reece Winn of Brunswick.