Penney High Lady Hornets of Hamilton to meet California at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lee's Summit after blitzing Higginsville early in sectional Wednesday. Norborne to meet Glasgow at 6 p.m. Saturday at Salisbury after stunning unbeaten Green City in Chillicothe Tuesday

A blazing start in which all five starters scored baskets in the first quarter Wednesday night (Feb. 28, 2018) put the Hamilton Lady Hornets on their way to Saturday's Class 3 state tournament quarterfinals .
Senior McKauley Prothero, heroine of the 22-7 Lady Hornets’ district-championship game overtime upset of Trenton, had 11 tallies in that huge opening stanza and center Tegan Bruce provided another seven as Hamilton bolted to a 25-10 advantage en route to a no-tension 68-51 triumph over Higginsville (17-11) in Wednesday’s sectional-round game at Excelsior Springs.
The victory moves coach Jordan Richman’s squad on to Saturday afternoon’s 1 o'clock state quarterfinal contest at Lee’s Summit High School.

The opponent will be California (24-4), which bested Kansas City: Barstow 64-55 Wednesday night at Harrisonville.
Hamilton’s closest thing to a common foe with California is having beaten Chillicothe, which defeated Boonville. Boonville lost two of three to California.

Also Saturday, Norborne's Lady Pirates – fresh from avenging their Class 1 state tournament sectional loss to Green City in Chillicothe last year with an overpowering 56-43 triumph again on the CHS court – will play a state-quarterfinal game, meeting Glasgow (21-7) at Salisbury at 6 p.m. with a trip to Columbia and an appearance in the state semifinals and finals on the line.

Having seized the big, early lead Wednesday, Hamilton essentially matched points with the Lady Huskers the rest of the night, outscoring them 11-10 in the second frame and 17-15 in the third to go to the last quarter ahead 53-35. Higginsville had a 1-point edge in the last stanza, but never made a serious charge at the Penney High squad.
M. Prothero and Bruce cooled some after leading the early charge, but still finished with 20 and 13 points, respectively, while receiving plenty of backing from teammates.
Point guard Nora Ford had a night full of threes – three 2-point baskets, three 3-pointers, and perfect 3-of-3 free-throw shooting – to net 18 total points and Kassie Moore made a scoring contribution in every quarter and totaled 10 tallies.
Higginsville was led in scoring by Rachel Ramsey’s 18 points, but 10 of those came in the last quarter when the cause effectively already was lost. Raegan Walterscheid, Higginsville’s top producer through the first 24 minutes, was blanked in the last eight and settled for 12 markers.

Tuesday night, rematched with unbeaten Green City on the same floor where their season ended a year ago, the reconstituted Lady Pirates (22-4) turned the tables on the Lady Gophers.
NHS, with three new starters – a transfer sophomore and freshman twins, moved into the 2018 Class 1 state quarterfinals Tuesday, dealing Green City’s Lady Gophers their first and only loss by a stunning 56-43 margin.
NHS jumped out to a 14-6 lead after one quarter behind six Kennadie Crowe deuces and led 21-16 at halftime and 41-29 after three stanzas as post player Emma Thoeni, not normally a significant offensive contributor, hit four inside shots. With 7-of-12 free-throw work in the last frame, the Lady Pirates closed it out.
“I feel pretty good about how we played and defended,” reports Michael Lock, NHS coach. “We left it all on the floor.”
Crowe, the sophomore transfer from Tina-Avalon School, fired in a game-best 24 points with Thoeni supplying a huge boost with 14. GCHS All-Stater Brooke Littrell finished with 21 – 12 of those in the last quarter.
Norborne is making its third-straight state-tourney appearance.