‘Hoops’ wins Monday (Dec. 23) for T-A, Hamilton Girls, Hale boys at NCMC

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
TRENTON, Mo. — The post-Christmas portion of the 15th-annual “High School Holiday Hoops” shootout at North Central Missouri College’s Ketcham Community Center will resume early tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 27, 2019) and continue tomorrow and Monday prior to next Tuesday’s conclusion.
Area teams will remain involved in each day’s slate.

The “Holiday Hoops” event recommences with a 9-games Friday slate. Among those games will be the Chillicothe varsity girls tangling with Smithville at about 4 p.m. and CHS' junior-varsity girls lining up against Mercer’s varsity in the 8:30 p.m. final act. Hamilton’s boys will play Smithville at about 2:30 and Hardin-Central’s girls will go against Green City and All-State star Brooke Littrell, who had 46 points in a “Hoops” outing last Saturday, in the 1 p.m. contest.

Both Meadville teams (7:00, 8:30 p.m.) and Southwest Livingston’s girls (8:30 a.m.) are to play Saturday. Both Southwest Livingston and Jamesport: Tri-County troupes, as well as Polo’s boys, have games scheduled Monday and Southwest Livingston’s boys and Polo’s girls are to be part of Tuesday’s closing act.
Two-thirds of the contests on the final pre-Christmas slate of nine games in the “High School Holiday Hoops” shootoutlast Monday featured C-T coverage area squads and involved three schools.
Tina-Avalon, Hale/Bosworth, and Hamilton: Penney each had consecutive games for their girls’ and boys’ teams, beginning with the earliest (8:30 a.m.) contest and ending with the 8:30 p.m. finale.
When the last whistle had tweeted, T-A’s and Hamilton’s girls and Hale/Bosworth’s boys had prevailed, while their opposite-gender counterparts had fallen.
In the three games not involving area squads, St. Joseph: Lafayette also had experienced a split - its boys rolling Lawson 70-39 and its girls losing to Lawson, 37-24. Prior to the two Lafayette contests, Mercer’s boys had edged Sedalia: Sacred Heart, 49-44.
(G) Tina-Avalon 34, North Harrison 21  (B) North Harrison , Tina-Avalon 55
The Lady Dragons’ offense finally woke up at halftime of the 8:30 a.m. Monday opener, while North Harrison’s never could be roused.
Ahead 13-7 midway through, T-A started the fourth quarter up by seven before shackling the Lady Shamrocks on a single 3-pointer in the last eight minutes as it expanded the margin to double digits.
Providing more than half of the Lady Dragons’ points was 6’1” junior Samantha Rounkles. She rang up 18 points, seven each in the second and fourth frames.
The Dragons (1-5) were in their game at halftime, trailing only 35-30, but had a struggling third period at both ends of the court. By the time the final stanza began, T-A was down 59-35 and playing out the string.
The game was highlighted by eight 3-pointers – four in the first quarter – by senior Connor Jenkins of Tina-Avalon. He netted 27 total points with teammate Owen Bell contributing 14.
North Harrison’s Steven Willhite netted a game-best 29 points – 22 of them in the middle two quarters.
Tina-Avalon’s next action is to be at Jamesport: Tri-County Jan. 3.
(G) Mound City 53, Hale-Bosworth 38
Outstanding second-quarter free-throw shooting by Mound City left Hale/Bosworth’s Lady Cardinals behind 31-23 at the half and they never recovered, although they did climb within 44-38 midway through the last stanza on Karter Burnside’s steal and transition layup.
Averi Norris notched 16 points to pace the Lady Cardinals (3-6) with Burnside chipping in 10.
Mound City, which netted eight of 10 second-quarter charity tosses to start creating some daylight, was led in scoring by Elizabeth Laukemper’s 18 points and 14 from Cameron Laukemper.
(B) Hale-Bosworth 51, KC: Northland Christian 34
The victorious Cardinals (7-3) netted the midday contest’s first seven points and, with three twin-figures scorers leading the attack, never were caught.
Although it let some chances to solidify its lead further slip away through errant passes, Hale/Bosworth managed to improve its 17-7 lead after one period to a 12-points halftime spread when Jerren Sears’ hustling rebound of his brother Jaeden’s missed free throw with four seconds left in the second stanza was converted to an Ethan Hoerr trifecta just ahead of the horn.
Up 30-18 going to the last half, the Cardinals struggled to find an offensive rhythm in the first five minutes of the third quarter and, as a result, half of their lead disappeared. However, a flurry of 3-pointers in the last few minutes of the stanza, including one by Jaeden Sears with a second left, fueled a 14-2 finishing run to the frame and a comfortable 46-28 margin going to the last segment.
Despite foul trouble, Ty Berger utilized his restricted time on the floor to pop in a game-best 22 points for Hale/Bosworth, 19 of them in the middle two quarters. Hoerr’s 13 included 11 before halftime and Ja. Sears added 11.
The game’s top scorer was Christian Molway of Northland Christian with 23 points. However, no other Trailblazer had more than four.
Hale/Bosworth’s next games are due to be at home Jan. 7 against CLAA foe Mendon: Northwestern.
(G) Hamilton: Penney 58, Princeton 25  (B) Princeton 52, Hamilton: Penney 49
After the Lady Hornets (7-2) sped past Princeton’s girls from the start, the boys from Hamilton almost recovered from an offensively-off-kilter first half, but fell just short.
Led by senior stalwarts Nora Ford and Graycen Prothero, but buttressed by a half-dozen others contributing another 25 combined points, the Penney High girls had control throughout against the smaller school and smaller Lady Tigers.
Ford accelerated to a game-high 16 points with Prothero tossing in 13, including a couple of highlight-reel, driving scores in the second quarter.
The Hornets (1-5) fell behind 25-15 at halftime when they scored only six points – all by Ryan Cook – in the second period. They crept within seven entering the last period, but the rally ultimately fell a shot short.
Cook ended with a game-high 24 points and, after a scoreless first half, Kevin Williams netting 11. Preston Thomas led three double-digits Princeton scorers with 18 points.
The Hamilton boys next take the NCMC court again Friday at 2:30 p.m. against Smithville. The girls don’t play again until joining the Hornets in hosting KCI Conference foe East Buchanan Jan. 10.