Third-seeded BHS basketball girls hung close through three quarters, then held Lady Bulldogs to four points in last stanza. Top-seeded Meadville squads handily prevailed in Northwestern tourney championship contests Saturday (Dec. 7, 2019)

While the Northwestern Invitational high school basketball championship games played out quite predictably Saturday night, earlier in the day, the Braymer Lady ’Cats upset the apple cart in the Gallatin Invitational title contest.
Establishing early their intent to battle heavily-favored, No. 1 seed Trenton for every point and possession, Braymer stayed on very close terms through three quarters, then shackled the Lady Bulldogs for only one basket and two free throws in the last eight minutes to pull out a 39-37 title-winning triumph.
At Mendon, the Northwestern tourney wrapped with Meadville’s girls and boys – both seeded first – crushing the host school’s teams by wide margins. The MHS boys concluded the event with a 55-31 romp after the Meadville girls had fired off a 68-45 message.
        GALLATIN TOURNAMENT
GALLATIN, Mo. — Unexpectedly trailing only 33-30 after three quarters, BHS coach April Stone’s squad capitalized on the pressure that placed on Trenton, which has back a key starter and several other contributors from the team which finished third in the state tournament last season.
As Trenton’s nerves tightened, its shooting touch deserted it and, facilitated by Braymer’s continued strong defensive effort, the Lady Bulldogs scored only four more points over the last segment – all by junior standout Maci Moore with a deuce and two free throws.
Meanwhile, the Lady ’Cats got a couple of baskets and two free throws from senior star Jasmine Taylor, one deuce from emerging steady threat Kennedy Stone, and one Dallah Hall foul shot to outscore Trenton 9-4 in the closing quarter and complete the upset. Taylor’s two charity tosses ultimately provided the decisive tallies.
Braymer (3-0) was led in scoring by Taylor’s 15 points, nearly half of which (seven) came in the opening quarter to boost her side’s confidence, and 14 by Stone, who produced at least one basket in every frame. Moore led THS with 12 points, but managed only one field goal after the opening segment.
Braymer’s next action is to be at home Thursday against non-league foe Norborne.
The Gallatin tourney’s boys’ crown was won by the top-seeded, host Bulldogs, 49-41 over Winston.
Polo’s girls and boys each seized third place in their respective gender divisions.
The Panthers on Saturday took down Trenton, 68-58, as all-tourney selection Joe Beaver fired in 22 points, Alex Pilger added 17, Trent Roby 12, and Will Vaughn 11. Trenton, which will host Chillicothe’s girls and boys in a varsity twinbill Friday, also had four dual-digits scorers – Brycin Loyd with 15, Royce Jackson with 13, Jaren Whitney with 12, and Chase Otto with 11.
Polo’s Lady Panthers spanked worn-out Hardin-Central 49-29 Friday night, 24 hours after HCHS’ marathon loss to Braymer. PHS’ Kelly Baldon rang up 19 points and Mary Copeland 10. The Lady Bulldogs got 19 from Carly Thacker, but only one other player had more than one.
Next for Polo is Thursday home action against Winston.
Hardin-Central’s boys lost the GIT consolation game Friday, beaten 58-26 by Maysville. The Bulldogs were paced by Brayden Schick’s eight tallies.
HCHS will have its second Carroll-Livingston Activity Association (CLAA) outing already Monday when it hosts Southwest Livingston. Hardin-Central then will host Meadville Thursday.
     NORTHWESTERN TOURNAMENT
MENDON, Mo. — There was no drama during the final night of action in the Northwestern Invitational, even though both of the host school’s squad had battled their way into Saturday’s title games as the No. 3 seeds.
In the all-Eagles championship round, despite having four players with five or more points at halftime and already having swished five 3-pointers, Meadville’s girls led by only a modest 35-28 margin at halftime, as Northwestern’s Georgeanne Zahner had ripped the cords for 14 points and the home team also had found the range from downtown five times.
The teams went their separate ways after intermission, though, with Meadville continuing to get points-production diversity while Zahner was largely quieted and only Alayna Adams did any other scoring, albeit 13 points of it.
By the end of the third stanza, Meadville had more than doubled its lead to 51-35 and it continued to pull away the rest of the game.
Hitting four treys and five deuces, MHS veteran guard Kiera Holcer pumped in a game-high 22 points. Maggie McLain was not far behind with 22 and Krysta Meyers tacked on 15 more. Zahner finished with 18 and Adams 17 for Northwestern.
MHS’ boys took early charge, leading 17-5 after one stanza behind eight Conner Fletcher points and seven by Dominik Gannan, and were never threatened thereafter.
Netting five trifectas, Fletcher finished with a game-best 21 points. D. Gannan tacked on another 15. Northwestern received 11 from Hunter Stockwell.
Meadville is to visit Hardin-Central Thursday after hosting Atlanta to start its Tri-County Conference slate Tuesday. Northwestern is to travel to Tina-Avalon for CLAA play Thursday, having had Breckenridge in as its CLAA-opener guest Tuesday.
Capturing third place in the boys’ division at Mendon was Hale/Bosworth, 55-46 over Brunswick, Saturday. Jaeden Sears scored 21 points, Colton Harris 18, and Ty Berger 14 for the Cardinals. J.T. Collier netted 14 and Kobe Tatum 11 for the Wildcats.
On the girls’ side Friday, third went to Linn County, 72-54 over Higbee. Jenna Hoerrman’s 19 points powered the Lady Mustangs, who also had 14 from Jaden Lester and 11 apiece from Morgan and Madison Livingston.
Keytesville’s Tigers took consolation, 66-50 over Higbee, Friday. Allen and Austin McKinstry’s 25 tallies and 20, respectively, fueled the Tigers’ explosion. Evan Craig chipped in 12.
The Brunswick girls blew out Bucklin/Macon County R-4 60-28 in their fifth-place contest. Abby Dobbins netted 20 points and Addi Riley 19 for the triumphant Lady Wildcats.
Hale/Bosworth will host Bevier Thursday after welcoming Bucklin/Macon County R-4 Tuesday.
Linn County’s next action at home against Atlanta Friday after facing another Tri-County Conference club, Brashear, Tuesday.
Keytesville will go back to Mendon Friday after facing Brunswick at home Tuesday. Brunswick will visit Bucklin Friday.