(Updated Wed. 1/8 4 p.m. with new details, results) Junior's last-second putback of too-short shot from near midcourt gives Wildcats 36-34 road triumph over state-ranked Cardinals Tuesday (Jan. 7, 2020). Norborne girls stay unbeaten, hand Meadville its first loss in Salisbury Tournament. Meadville boys triumph.

Junior Morgan Anderson of the Southwest Livingston (Mo.) HS basketball Wildcats channeled the spirit of the late Lorenzo Charles Tuesday night to give his team a noteworthy regular-season road win. Wildcats coach Dana Hansen chose not to do the same with the spirit of the late Jim Valvano.

With the Wildcats’ low-scoring battle with Class 1 state-ranked, once-beaten Mercer deadlocked at 34 as the final seconds ticked off, the quiet, unsung Wildcat did more than just watch as teammate Chase Neptune fired the ball toward the Southwest basket from near midcourt, Hansen related to area media.

Just as Charles, who died in an accident at 47 in 2011, did when North Carolina State teammate Dereck Whittenberg’s shot from about 40 feet fell about a foot short of the rim in the fabled 1983 NCAA Tournament championship game upset of the “Phi Slama Jama” Houston Cougars, Mo. Anderson edged toward the basket with the ball in-flight and, as the long try missed the target, leaped to grab it and tossed it through the hoop just ahead of the final buzzer to give Southwest Livingston (7-2) a dramatic 36-34 triumph over the host Cardinals (8-2).

While Charles’ basket that gave the Cinderella Wolf Pack a national title and prompted the iconic video of the ill-fated Valvano – headed toward a cancer death (also at 47) 10 years later – running around the court seeking to find Whittenberg to give him what had become their customary post-game hug, given the closer timing of Mo. Anderson’s clutch bucket, Hansen made no such circuitous tour of the Mercer floor, despite his pleasure.

"No, I stood and waited for the referees to leave the court first to verify in my mind we had actually won," the Hale-area native shared with the C-T.

"I am glad that high school sports does not have instant replay. It would have been close."

Both teams were, in Hansen’s assessment, “very defensive minded and deliberate on offense” in the close-throughout game. That helped Mercer contain 6’6” Southwest senior star Mack Anderson, holding Mo. Anderson’s big brother to a season-low eight points.

However, the Cardinals’ focus on the Wildcats’ mainstay created opportunities for Neptune and the younger Anderson to net a team-lead-sharing 12 points apiece. Neptune netted 10 of his in the third period.

 

Beyond the game-winning follow shot, "Morgan really came through from the free throw line, as well," hitting four of six attempts, the Wildcats coach reported. "He had spent some extra time with me on his free-throw shooting of late, as well as on his own. It was time well-spent."

As a team, Southwest made seven of 10 at the stripe, while Mercer was four of seven.

Camden Hartley of Mercer led all scorers with 16, eclipsing the 1000-points career scoring mark early in the game, noted Hansen. Kaden Graham chipped in 10 points for Mercer, all after halftime.

Southwest’s boys lead 17-15 at halftime and 27-24 going to the fourth quarter.

Prior to the boys’ thriller, the host Lady Cardinals swamped SLHS’ Lady Wildcats 52-11.

Mercer, which leaned on Tori Meinecke for 21 points and Aubrey Wilson for 18, including four treys, had a 17-0 lead after one stanza.

The SLHS girls (4-6) was topped by Matney Waters’ five markers.

“We are struggling right now and hope we right the ship soon,” Julie Bothwell, Lady Wildcats head coach, commented.

Southwest Livingston will be back in action Thursday when it visits Mendon for Carroll-Livingston Activity Association contests against Northwestern.

 

   SALISBURY TOURNAMENT

 

(G) Norborne 58, Meadville 29

 

(B) Meadville 38, Carrollton 30

 

SALISBURY, Mo. — Tuesday’s opening-round clash of previously-undefeated area girls’ squads proved to be no contest as Norborne’s third-seeded Lady Pirates (9-0) doubled up MHS’ Lady Eagles (9-1).

 

NHS established control right away, doubling Meadville 14-7 in the opening quarter in a preview of the eventual result.

While the Lady Eagles improved their scoring production in the second quarter, they still lost ground as Norborne moved ahead 30-19 at intermission. The Lady Pirates then choked off the Meadville offense on only five tallies in each of the last two quarters as it pulled away.

Senior star Kennadie Crowe, a handful inside, flashed her versatility by making her first three field goals of the game from beyond the 3-points line. She ended the game with 16 points, two more than teammate Melanie Cheney. Olivia Dooley supplied another 11.

Meadville star Kiera Holcer popped in 12 points, but no other Lady Eagle netted more than seven.

In boys’ first-round action, third seed Meadville (9-1) handled Class 3 Carrollton to earn a championship-semifinals crack at the host Panthers, who turned back South Shelby 56-41.

 

No details on the MHS boys’ victory have been provided.

 

Before the Meadville boys’ battle with Salisbury in SHS’ dome gym at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the Norborne girls will tangle with larger neighbor Carrollton at 6 p.m. on the same court. Seventh-seeded Carrollton’s Lady Trojans surprised second-seeded Cairo’s Lady Bearcats 46-39 Tuesday.

 

Due to their losses, Meadville’s girls draw Cairo as their Thursday 6 p.m. foe in the south (old) gym at Salisbury. Due to the anticipated Friday night/Saturday snowstorm that prompted tournament managers to cancel each gender's seventh-place game and reset all six final-round contests to Friday night, the MHS-Cairo girls' loser will be finished for the week.

(G) Mendon: Northwestern 52, Hale/Bosworth 49

(B) Hale/Bosworth 69, Mendon: Northwestern 46

HALE, Mo. — Powered by a huge night from Ty Berger, Hale/Bosworth’s Cardinals (8-3, 3-1 conf.) maintained their position just off the lead in the CLAA with a surprisingly-strong victory, but the visiting Lady Eagles (8-2, 4-1 conf.) of Northwestern needed s second-half rally to do the same.

Hale/Bosworth’s girls (3-7, 1-3 conf.) used a 21-points second quarter to secure a 32-23 intermission advantage, but they couldn’t figure out a way to keep NHS’ Georgeanne Zahner off the foul line in the last two quarters.

Already with 14 first-half points in her “account,” Zahner hit eight of 10 free throws, along two two treys and two deuces, in the last half to power her team’s recovery.

By the end of the third stanza, the Lady Cardinals’ margin was down to 43-39 and they were limited to only a half-dozen tallies in the last eight minutes to let the Lady Eagles slip away.

G. Zahner’s game-high 32 points almost were offset by Averi Norris’ 19 and four other home teamers having between five and nine. Karter Burnside had nine points on three trifectas for Hale/Bosworth.

Getting 36 points from Berger, the finale saw the hosts “win” every quarter to keep extending their 17-12 lead after one period.

Berger buried eight deuces, five 3-pointers, and five of six foul shots to generate his scoring. He had at least six points in every frame.

Adding 17 to the winning cause was Jaeden Sears. The Northwestern boys (6-4, 3-2 conf.) had 14 from Isaac Zahner.

Hale/Bosworth has more home action Friday, welcoming Brunswick for CLAA play. Northwestern gets a visit from Southwest Livingston Thursday.

(G) King City 46, Braymer 41  (B) Braymer 37, King City 24

KING CITY, Mo. — One night after letting a great, home-floor chance to snag their initial victory of 2019-20 deteriorate in the fourth quarter into a potentially-discouraging loss, the Braymer Bobcats on Tuesday shrugged that off and posted their first triumph of the season by 13 over the host Wildkats.

Not only did the BHS boys nab a victory, but did it over a Grand River Conference-West Division foe to simultaneously assure their final year in the league – Braymer recently informed the GRC it would be withdrawing after the 2019-20 school year – would not include a winless league record.

No specifics on the Bobcats’ victory had been reported at the time of this story’s initial posting.

The boys’ result made the evening’s proceedings a split as the host Lady Wildkats rallied from a 34-30 deficit after three stanzas to win by five.

Victoria Washburn’s 15 points led a trio of double-digits scorers for King City. Braymer’s Lady ’Cats (5-3, 0-2 conf.) had 13 points from Jasmine Taylor and nine by Dallas Hall.

Braymer’s next games will be Friday at home against league opponent Worth County.

(G) Tina-Avalon 67, Keytesville 31 (B) Keytesville 61, Tina-Avalon 26

KEYTESVILLE, Mo. — Three Tina-Avalon Lady Dragons tallied at least 15 points as they pulled away from winless Keytesville to win handily Tuesday.

KHS’ Lady Tigers (0-10, 0-5 conf.) started well enough, being within 16-11 after one quarter, but T-A’s girls (3-6, 1-3 conf.) kept up their scoring pace and Keytesville didn’t.

By halftime, the Lady Dragons were ahead 33-17 and a 24-points T-A third segment made it a “running clock” situation at the start of the last frame with a 57-26 margin.

Samantha Rounkles’ 18 points led T-A with freshman Kadie Rounkles ringing up 16 and Haley Rucker 15. Madison Brashear had 12 and Dixie Dowell 10 for KHS.

The boys’ runaway saw Austin McKinstry's 25 points pace the Tigers (9-2, 4-1 conf.). Evan Craig had an additional 15. No individual scoring information for the Dragons (2-7, 0-4 conf.) was available.

T-A will host Hardin-Central in more CLAA action Friday. Keytesville will have Bosworth come calling the night before.

(G) Jamesport: Tri-County 69, Gilman City/North Daviess 47

(B) Jamesport: Tri-County 69, Gilman City/North Daviess 46

GILMAN CITY, Mo. — Tuesday’s Harrison-Caviess Conference road sweep meant three wins in a row for the Mustangs (4-7, 1-4 conf.) and three in the last four tries for the Lady Mustangs (7-4, 4-1 conf.).

No specifics on either game had been reported at the time of this story’s original posting Wednesday morning.

TCHS now moves on to next week’s South Harrison Invitational Tournament. The third-seeded Tri-County girls will debut Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. against the hosts, followed by the boys taking on top seed Mercer at 6 p.m.

(G) Polo 39, Maysville 22  (B) Polo 41, Maysville 28

POLO, Mo. — The home crowd was treated to a clear-cut Grand River Conference-East sweep Tuesday, putting both PHS squads in the “wins” column in the loop for the first time this season.

The Lady Panthers (5-5, 1-2 conf.) didn’t allow a basket until the second quarter, yet were in front only 16-11 at halftime. The Polo girls’ attack picked up a bit in the last half, while their defense remained stalwart, allowing for an eventually-comfy win.

Mary Copeland again led the PHS scoring with 14 points. Kelly Baldon also was in dual figures with 11. No Maysville girls registered more than six.

Joe Beaver’s 21 points provided the biggest thrust in the Panthers’ victory. Trent Raby chipped in three treys and 11 points for Polo’s boys (3-7, 1-2 conf.) and coach Morgan Dickson noted Alex Pilger managed to play some and hit all four free throws he attempted despite becoming nauseated twice before the game.

Polo will host Orrick in non-league play Thursday.