Fourth-period free throws key Wildcats’ semifinals win Tuesday. Braymer earns Thursday crack at top seed Norborne

While four other Missouri Class 1 or 2 2020 district tournaments were finishing their quarterfinals rounds with boys’ games Tuesday (Feb. 2), Southwest Livingston’s Wildcats, Braymer’s Lady ’Cats, and Norborne’s Lady Pirates were advancing to the championship games of the Class 1 District 13 high school basketball tournament.

Hitting 13 of 20 fourth-quarter free throws, Southwest’s boys fought off Alma: Santa Fe 38-29 in a game in which both teams effectively doubled their offensive outputs of the first 24 minutes in the last eight.

That puts the Wildcats (19-5) in Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. district-title game against second seed Orrick, led by former Chillicothe High boys’ coach Matt Brownsberger. Orrick (18-8) ended Tina-Avalon’s season Tuesday by a 44-28 count.

Thursday’s 6 p.m. District 14 championship girls’ game will pit the host NHS Lady Pirates (23-1) against No. 3 seed Braymer (18-6), which knocked off second seed Alma: Santa Fe 47-35.

Extending their 2019-20 seasons with quarterfinals triumphs Tuesday were the Meadville, Hale/Bosworth, Hamilton: Penney, and Brunswick boys.

Ringing the curtain down on their campaigns, in addition to T-A’s boys, were the Linn County, Mendon: Northwestern, Polo, Jamesport: Tri-County, and Keytesville boys and Hardin-Central girls.

Here’s a district-by-district recap of Tuesday’s area action:

CLASS 1 DISTRICT 14

NORBORNE, Mo. — With Santa Fe really concentrating its defense on Southwest Livingston’s top scoring tandem of center Mack Anderson and point guard Chase Neptune, SLHS’ Wildcats managed only three first-period points – all from Morgan Anderson. However, they not only defended well enough themselves in that segment to only trail 6-3 going to the second, they shut the Chiefs out completely in the second stanza to pull in front 12-6 at halftime.

Outscored by a point in the third frame, Southwest Livingston used early buckets by Owen Oesch and Patrick Warren and then one by Mo. Anderson about midway through the fourth period to maintain the multi-possessions margin before scoring its last 11 points one at a time at the foul line. Ma. Anderson hit seven of 10, Neptune four of six, and Warren two of four to keep Santa Fe at bay.

By game’s end, Southwest Livingston had made only 10 shots from the field – all deuces, but advanced on the strength of 18 free throws (in 28 total tries).

Ma. Anderson’s 17 points was the lone twin-figures total of the game.

Orrick topped Tina-Avalon (9-14) for a second time in as many meetings this season behind 19 Ethan Wilson markers and 16 by Dylan Comstock, son of former T-A coach Mitch Comstock.

The Dragons had 15 by Owen Bell in their finale.

Braymer’s girls staked out a 16-6 lead after one quarter and stayed solidly ahead the rest of the game behind a 3-pronged scoring attack.

Taylor Francis and Dallas Hall hit for 14 points apiece, Francis finding the range from 3-points distance four times and Hall twice. North Central Missouri College-bound forward Jasmine Taylor added 12.

Norborne’s marauding Lady Pirates might only have won over the western neighbor Hardin-Central by 10, but they held that approximate lead most of the last three quarters.

Kennadie Crowe’s 22 points for NHS led all scorers with Olivia Dooley providing 16 more. Hardin-Central (13-10) bowed out after Norborne’s defense limited top Lady Bulldog Carly Thacker to a mere one bucket and four points. Izabella Anderson, sinking nine of 10 free throws, led HCHS with 13 points.

CLASS 1 DISTRICT 12

MEADVILLE, Mo. — All four boys’ games Tuesday were blowouts with a 30-points spread the runt of the litter.

The top-seeded host Eagles (23-2) smeared Bucklin/Macon County R-4 65-26 as Dominik Gannan netted 24 points, Jace Jacobs 15, and Timber Hinnen and Trey Gannan 10 apiece.

Hale/Bosworth’s Cardinals (18-8) trashed Linn County (5-16), whose 2018-19 season ended in the state third-place game, by a 70-37 score.

The second-seeded Cardinals received 19 tallies each from Colton Harris and Ty Berger and 13 from Jaeden Sears. Mustang Michael O’Kane, the only holdover starter from last year’s LCHS squad, completed his career with a 12-points effort.

Hale/Bosworth’s foe in Thursday’s 8:15 p.m. semifinal game will be Brunswick, which doubled Mendon: Northwestern 60-30.

BHS’ Wildcats (15-9), who seem to have found their second wind after recent doldrums, got 20 tallies from Kobe Tatum and 18 from Amari Glasgow.

Northwestern’s Eagles (11-13), who upset Brunswick in the quarterfinals of the recent Carroll-Livingston Activity Association (CLAA) Tournament, were led by Isaac Zahner’s nine.

Meadville’s opponent at 5:45 p.m. Thursday will be Green City, which gave the Eagles a decent tussle at Meadville just last Friday.

The Gophers gobbled down Grundy County R-5/Newtown-Harris 88-56 Tuesday, putting six scorers in dual digits. Laydon Fields led the way with 26 points, followed by Aaron Peavler with 13, Grant O’Haver with 12, Chris Barto with 11, and Brody Lunsford and reserve Tristian Hershberger with 10 each.

Thursday’s District 12 girls’ semifinals pairings – set Monday – will have No. 1 seed Green City against Linn County at 4:30 p.m. and Meadville meeting Grundy County R-5/Newtown-Harris at about 7.

CLASS 2 DISTRICT 15

HAMILTON, Mo. — The host Penney High Hornets (6-17) earned another crack at top seed and fellow KCI Conference member Plattsburg by getting a huge night from senior Ryan Cook.

The Hamilton player hit a handful of treys, made eight deuces, and buried 10 of 15 free throws in a career-high 41-points performance that lifted the fourth-seeded Hornets past Wellington-Napoleon 72-63.

Hamilton’s boys will battle Plattsburg at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The No. 1 seed dispatched Kansas City: Northland Christian 69-42 Tuesday, getting 20 points apiece from Kaden Hodge and Austin Stevens.

Polo’s Panthers had their campaign conclude with a 67-51 defeat at the hands of third seed South Harrison.

Brayden Sunderman’s 23 points topped four Bulldogs scorers. Polo (7-18) was led, as it was most of the season, by Joe Beaver, who netted 16. Adding 13 was William Vaughn, who hit three trifectas, and Alex Pilger netted 10 points.

The other Tuesday game at Hamilton went to Gallatin over Maysville, 78-28.

Wednesday’s semifinals at Hamilton will include undefeated Wellington-Napoleon’s girls against Polo at 6 p.m., followed by the Hamilton: Penney ladies against Plattsburg.

CLASS 1 DISTRICT 14

EAGLEVILLE, Mo. — Although no details on their game were reported, the Jamesport: Tri-County’s Mustangs’ season was terminated by a 72-50 loss to second-seeded Mercer Tuesday.

The TCHS boys finished 6-17.

CLASS 1 DISTRICT 10

STURGEON, Mo. — Their late-season prospects undermined by the loss of a key player, Keytesville Tigers – regular-season co-champions of the CLAA with Southwest Livingston – finished the campaign on a 4-games losing streak when they fell to sixth seed Laddonia: Community R-6 65-47 Tuesday.

No details had been reported at the time of this story’s original posting early Wednesday morning.

The Tigers closed the year 17-7.