Mustangs held Tri-County Conference champs to 23 points in the first three periods of 56-42 Class 1 District 12 Tournament championship win Friday (Feb. 22, 2019), open state tourney in Chillicothe Tuesday night (Feb. 26). Norborne girls shaded 52-50 by Wellington-Napoleon for District 13 crown Friday.
PURDIN, Mo. — The Tri-County Conference had two of its boys’ basketball teams seeded first in Class 1 district tournaments last week, but both lost in championship games. However, that didn’t deny the league representation in the state tournament.
Playing on their home court, Linn County’s Mustangs – who lost three of their eight TCC games during the regular season – used stifling defense and passive La Plata offense to upset the league champions 56-42 Friday night and both capture the District 12 title and gain a spot in the Class 1 state tournament which begins Tuesday night.
Behind 12-10 after one quarter, the host Mustangs (17-7) electrified the home crowd by smoking La Plata 20-4 in the next frame behind two trifectas and eight points from reserve Cody Murrell.
Owning a 30-16 lead going into the second half, Linn County’s boys braced for the likely push-back from La Plata, but it didn’t really materialize.
Although the Mustangs only managed eight points in the third period, their defense still allowed them to increase their intermission lead to 38-23 going to the last segment.
At last, La Plata’s attack awakened, but it was too late as the Mustangs, even with their biggest offensive weapon held to only three points on the night, hit enough free throws (eight of 17) in the last eight minutes to remain comfortably in front.
Linn County, which will clash with District 11 champion Slater (21-5) at Chillicothe High School’s gym tonight at 6 o’clock, was led in scoring by Michael O’Kane’s 20 points, including three first-half treys. Chadley Waltz tacked on 17 and Murrell nine. The second-seeded Mustangs prevailed despite going only 11 of 24 at the foul line.
The District 12 girls’ title went to top seed and state veteran Green City 56-29 over Brashear.
Lady Gophers All-State forward Brooke Littrell started the game’s scoring with a 3-pointer and pumped in 11 first-quarter points on her way to 31 for the night. Mary Watt added 13., all in the second half and 10 of them in the last stanza, when GCHS outscored Brashear 21-5 to run away.
Green City (22-4) will be Tina-Avalon’s foe in Tuesday night’s 7:45 p.m. girls’ sectional-round game in Chillicothe.
Norborne girls’ state streak narrowly ended
BRAYMER, Mo. — State tournament participants each of the past four years, the Norborne Lady Pirates made a very strong, determined push to make it five straight Friday, falling just short, 52-50, against Class 1 District 13 No. 1 seed Wellington-Napoleon.
Playing from behind most of the night, the Lady Pirates (18-3) trailed 40-32 going to the fourth quarter when first-year head coach Ken Brown’s club – particularly sophomore guard Olivia Dooley – found its stride.
O. Dooley alternated two triples and two deuces in the last eight minutes for 10 points, Kennadie Crowe had the last two of her six baskets, and Kate Brown netted her third “3” of the contest as NHS put up 18 points in the last stanza.
That wasn’t quite enough, however, as Wellington-Napoleon’s 3-pronged attack of Carleigh Jenkins and freshman twins Bree and Ayden Shannon produced the last 12 of their combined 49 points to get the Lady Tigers to the finish line barely still in front.
O. Dooley’s 17 points, including four trifectas, topped Norborne, with Crowe tallying 15 more. Kate Brown added nine and Kayla Dooley seven.
Jenkins’ 23 led all scorers, while each Shannon provided 13.
The District 13 boys’ title was a 78-46 laugher, thanks mainly to Winston star guard Jacob Lewis.
Lewis riddled the Wellington-Napoleon team. which had eliminated second-seeded Southwest Livingston in the semifinals, for six treys, six deuces, and 12-of-17 free-throw shooting for 42 points as Winston earned its third trip to the state tournament in four years.
The District 13 champions begin play at St. Joseph’s Civic Arena Tuesday afternoon.