Tigers’ 54-52 home win behind Austin McKinstry’s 29 points leaves four clubs with one league loss each

When the Southwest Livingston High School Wildcats walked onto the court at Keytesville Monday (Jan. 20, 2020), making up a game postponed from last Friday, they hoped to walk off – after what was expected to be a challenging assignment – as Carroll-Livingston Activity Association 2019-20 regular-season champions, assured of at least a share of this season’s CLAA boys’ title.
Instead, when the final horn blared, both they and the host Tigers were part of a 4-teams glut at the top of the title chase.
Having built a 9-points lead through three periods, Keytesville’s boys survived a pair of late Southwest possessions gained when the Tigers missed the first shot of bonus free-throw opportunities, gaining a 54-52 triumph which left both of those teams, along with Hale/Bosworth and Brunswick, owning 1-loss records in conference play.
While both Southwest Livingston and Keytesville have only one CLAA game remaining, Hale/Bosworth and Brunswick each have three, including one against each other. That means at most there could be a 3-ways tie, unless something crazy happens and both Southwest and Keytesville drop their last league outing.
Keytesville will get first crack at finishing 7-1 in the loop when it visits Norborne (2-10 overall) tomorrow night. Southwest will try to sew up a piece of the title when it hosts Hale/Bosworth Friday.
Monday’s girls game at Keytesville saw the host Lady Tigers kept winless on the season as SLHS rolled 68-32 behind a big night from guard Lily Webb.
The snow-and-ice storm which swept across northwest and north-central Missouri last Friday and left very cold temperatures in its wake extended its impact into another week.
While most of last week’s tournaments did get wrapped up Saturday, the Milan Tournament had to wait until Monday to get its championship and consolation games played. Still to be played are the third-place games, including the Linn County-vs.-Marceline girls’ contest.
The frigid weather, which has kept many rural roads icy in the aftermath of last week’s precipitation, continued to claim sports schedule victims Monday and Tuesday.
As of the time of this story’s initial posting, Monday’s would-be key KCI Conference girls’ battle between Hamilton: Penney and East Buchanan was postponed to an as-yet undecided date and Tuesday’s planned Courtwarming games for Braymer against St. Joseph Christian were pushed back 48 hours to Thursday.
(G) Southwest Livingston 68, Keytesville 32
(B) Keytesville 54, Southwest Livingston 52
KEYTESVILLE, Mo. — Early Monday evening, all looked well for Southwest Livingston’s boys (9-3, 6-1 conf.).
They started well, according to SLHS coach Dana Hansen, and, after a solid first quarter on both ends of the floor, led 17-6.
That double-digits advantage all disappeared by halftime, however, as Tigers guard Austin McKinstry pumped in 16 of his game-high 29 points in the second quarter and the visitors needed a late layup by Chase Neptune to be tied at halftime, Hansen recapped.
Keytesville’s flow carried over to the third quarter with Southwest turnovers leading to multiple easy KHS baskets. As a result, the hosts carried a 9-points lead into the fourth quarter.
Southwest Livingston stabilized itself at last and cut the KHS lead to two in the last minute.
After Keytesville (11-3, 6-1 conf.) missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Hansen recounted, the Wildcats rebounded and took a timeout in the forecourt with 7.6 seconds to play.
When Southwest in-bounded the ball to star Mack Anderson at the high post, as expected, he drew intense defensive coverage. Seeing a teammate close to the basket, rather than forcing trying to create his own shooting opportunity, he attempted a pass to that teammate, but the ball was deflected en route and ricocheted off the intended recipient and out of bounds, leaving Keytesville with possession with 3.1 seconds remaining.
As soon as Austin McKinstry caught the throw-in, he was fouled, giving him a chance in “the bonus” that could seal the win. He missed the first try, however, but, having snared the rebound, Ma. Anderson’s desperate heave off the dribble from beyond half-court fell short, the Wildcats coach related.
Austin McKinstry's 29 points were supported by Evan Craig with 11 points and Allen McKinstry’s 10.
Southwest was led by Ma. Anderson's 22 points and 18 rebounds, according to SLHS statistics. Chase Neptune scored 10.
The girls’ game tilted steeply Southwest Livingston’s way in the second quarter when it rifled in 24 points to boost a 14-6 advantage after one stanza to 38-14. The onslaught continued through the third frame, creating a “running-clock” scenario throughout the last eight minutes.
Junior Webb had the best game of her career to date, producing a double-double of 18 points and 12 steals, according to SLHS coach Julie Bothwell. The coach’s stats review also had Webb with seven rebounds and a team-high five assists.
Southwest’s top score on the night was Matney Waters, who rang the 3-points bell a handful of times during a 23-points showing. She also pulled down eight boards and dished off for four scores by teammates.
Joining those in double-digits points production was Makenna Campbell, who netted 12 for the Lady Wildcats (6-7, 4-3 conf.).
Keytesville’s Lady Tigers (0-12, 0-7 conf.) had 15 points from Dixie Dowell.