In rematch with Mercer, CLAA team 'wins' fourth quarter, game Thursday (Jan. 30, 2020). Host teams also to Meadville title games. Hamilton girls pull out thriller in own tourney. Tri-County girls, Brunswick, Keytesville boys also to tourney title contests. Southwest Livingston boys lose to host at Richmond event

Championship semifinals at multiple area high school basketball tournaments Thursday (Jan. 30 2020) delivered a surprise, a thriller, and a sensational long-range shooting display, as well as a healthy dose of expected results. As a consequence, Saturday championship games will involve eight C-T-area squads.

Thursday’s most-unexpected victory by an area team – the Hale/Bosworth boys’ 55-47 decision over Mercer in the Meadville semifinals – wasn’t a shocker for a couple of reasons.

Although Mercer had walloped Hale/Bosworth 65-38 at Hale way back on Nov. 25 in both teams’ season opener, three Hale/Bosworth veterans – only a few days removed from concluding their football season with the Southwest Livingston Wildcats in the 8-man state championship game – did not play. Thursday night, they started and supplied a combined 12 points.

Add that to the fact that the two Cardinals clubs were the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds – Mercer higher, in part because of that early win – and a much-tighter tilt figured to result, and it did. The teams were tied at 37-37 after three quarters before Hale/Bosworth seized an early lead in the fourth and eventually converted 11 of 16 free throws to win by eight.

Thursday’s thriller came at Hamilton in the finale, where the host girls’ 7-points halftime lead over Kansas City: Notre Dame de Sion segued into a 9-points deficit after three quarters before the home team rallied and, scoring the last three points of the game in the final minute, prevailed 56-55.

Also at Meadville, the host Eagles got seven treys and 36 points from Conner Fletcher as they shellacked Linn County, 67-34

Also head to tournament championship games on Saturday as the result of Thursday triumphs are the Meadville girls, Jamesport: Tri-County’s girls at Gilman City, and Brunswick’s and Keytesville’s boys at Keytesville, where Norborne’s girls already had earned a title-game ticket Wednesday.

Thursday tournament play saw Southwest Livingston’s boys, facing much-larger school Richmond on RHS’ court, sustain a 68-44 setback. Defeated by the hosts at Meadville were Linn County’s teams, while Polo’s girls fell at North Platte’s tourney.

(Due to space limitations in this edition, for coverage of Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games for area teams, visit our website at


(B) Hale/Bosworth 55, Mercer 47

(B) Meadville 67, Linn County 34

(G) Meadville 50, Linn County 27

With its full complement of players available, Hale/Bosworth (11-4) was able to balance the “battle of Cardinals” books for the season, avenging the November blowout.

While the addition of Jerren and Jaeden Sears and Ethan Hoerr to H/B coach Keith Berger’s “toolbox” for this one was very helpful, so was the upgrade in production the coach’s son Ty provided.

With Mercer able to focus more defenders on him in November, the younger Berger still produced 16 points, but with the fuller cast around him, he exploited his extra space for a game-high 28 points, having at least six tallies in every period.

After having 14 against Mercer the first go-around, Hale/Bosworth’s Colton Harris nearly equaled that with 12 this time.

As Mercer’s points totals for the two games starkly highlight, the availability of Hoerr and the Searses was felt most on defense.

Whereas Mercer had four double-digits scorers in the season season opener, the rematch saw only two do so. The pair who didn’t combined for 15 points Thursday after having 28 between them in the prior clash. Only Thursday’s top Mercer scorer – Joe Johnson, who had 14 – equaled or surpassed what he had in November.

The other two games played at Meadville Thursday – due to having only four available players, Mercer’s girls forfeited to Grundy County R-4/Newtown-Harris – were runaways for the top-seeded hosts.

Eagles junior guard Fletcher netted his 36 points in only three periods and was the winners’ only double-digits scorer. He hit three shots from outside the arc in each of the first two stanzas.

Linn County (3-8) had 11 points by Michael O’Kane and 10 by Gage Seals off the bench.

Krysta Meyers netted 17 points, Maggie McLain 15, and Kiera Holcer 12 as Meadville’s girls sailed to their 23-points victory. Madison Livingston topped LCHS’ Lady Mustangs (7-6) with seven points.

Both Meadville teams now stand 13-2.

Saturday’s girls’ championship game between Meadville and Grundy County R-5/Newtown-Harris is set for 5 p.m., followed at 6:30 by the Meadville and Hale/Bosworth boys.


(G) Hamilton: Penney 56, KC: Notre Dame de Sion 55

(B) Lathrop 72, Hamilton: Penney 34

Penney’s Lady Hornets (12-2), the No. 2 seed, led the Class 4 Kansas City school by seven at halftime, but collapsed in the third stanza, being outscored 20-4 to fall behind by nine going to the last segment.

Whatever ailed the Lady Hornets, they and coach Jordan Richman came up with the cure at both ends of the court.

Hitting a couple of early treys to carve into the KC team’s lead, Hamilton was within 50-48 by the mid-point of the quarter. Finally, inside the final minute, Somers Finch’s deuce squared things and a Lady Hornets free throw, apparently by either Jessica Richman or Nora Ford.

Ford fired in a game-high 26 points with Graycen Prothero adding 10 to the winning cause. All eight Lady Hornets who played scored at least two points. NDdS’ Shannon Karlin led her team with 20 points.

Awaiting the Hamilton girls in Saturday’s 5:30 p.m. first-place duel is East Buchanan, the No. 1 seed. The Lady Bulldogs used 21 points by Lilly Schilling and 13 from freshman Gracie Kelsey to dispatch Trenton, 56-37. THS’ Maci Moore netted 20.

Hamilton’s boys (3-9)  will play Gallatin for third place Saturday at about 4:15 p.m. after being ripped 72-31 by top seed Lathrop. Ryan Cook scored 15 for PHS’ club.

East Buchanan fended off Gallatin 75-68 in the other boys’ semifinal, mostly thanks to senior star Ethan Kilgore’s 43 points.


(B) Richmond 68, Southwest Livingston 44

Southwest Livingston’s Wildcats didn’t have an effective answer for Richmond’s outside shooting. The Spartans knocked down 11 3-pointers, five by guard Dionte Marquez.

The Wildcats were within 29-21 at intermission, but, coach Dana Hansen reports, never able to mount much of a threat in the second half before running out of gas in the fourth quarter, when Richmond outscored them 21-10.

Chase Neptune was a bright spot for Southwest Livingston, by scoring 12 of his team-high 19 points in the second half. Big man Mack Anderson was held to 12.

Richmond was led by Marquez’s 27 tallies with Layne Cavanah adding 19, including three 3s of his own.

Southwest’s boys (10-4) will play St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond for third place Saturday at approximately 2:30 p.m. BLHS’ Golden Eagles finished second in their 3-teams pool with a loss to title-game-qualifier Kansas City: Kauffman.


(B) Brunswick 73, KC: Northland Christian 51

(B) Keytesville 68, Higbee 25

It will be a boys’ championship-game battle between the neighboring schools and long-time hoops rivals Saturday night at about 7:30 after top-seeded Brunswick and No. 2 seed Keytesville both won with ease Thursday.

BHS’ Wildcats (11-4) put four scorers in dual digits, led by Kobe Tatum’s 19 tallies. Right behind him was Amari Glasgow with 18, while J.T. Collier had 13 and Damon McCall 11 off the bench. Gus Kussman also had nine.

No details were reported on the KHS Tigers’ triumph. The win lifted Keytesville’s record to 12-3.


(G) Jamesport: Tri-County 62, Pattonsburg 57

Tri-County’s second-seeded Lady Mustangs (11-5) battled past the No. 3 seed in a tight contest to get a crack at No. 1 seed Princeton at about 3 p.m. Saturday.

No specifics on the game were reported in time for inclusion in this story.


(G) Mid-Buchanan 70, Polo 41

PHS’ Lady Panthers (9-8) proved to be no match for Mid-Buchanan Thursday, relegating them to Friday’s 7:30 p.m. third-place contest against North Andrew.

A strong 1-2 punch of 25 points from Kelsy Stout and 19 by Cali Bailey carried “Mid-Buck” to the win.

Polo, which was behind by only 15 after three quarters, was paced by Kelly Baldon’s 17 points. Mary Copeland added 12.