Orrick's 21-points third quarter key to OHS' 60-57 victory in district finals. Norborne girls easily return to state

NORBORNE, Mo. — A tight title game from start to finish Thursday (Feb. 27, 2020) saw the efforts of the 2019-20 Southwest Livingston High School Wildcats to terminate their school’s 61-years absence from state tournament qualification fall just short.

With both top-seeded SLHS and second-seeded Orrick having the better of two periods each, it was OHS’ 21-14 advantage in the third frame – creating a 45-40 lead – which proved decisive.

Although the Wildcats (19-6) drew within a point and had possession of the ball in the final stanza, SLHS coach Dana Hansen reports, they never regained the lead or tied things up in the late going.

In a final grasp at snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, Patrick Warren’s 3-pointer with five seconds left pulled the Wildcats within 59-57. However, by the time they could stop the clock with a foul, just less than a second remained, according to the coach.

Even though Orrick made only the first of the two free throws, there was insufficient time for Southwest Livingston to launch a desperation, length-of-the-floor shot as the rebound of the second attempt came off.

Moderate first-half foul trouble for Warren and Wildcats senior All-State center Mack Anderson – two apiece – threatened to give Orrick an opening to get some separation before intermission, but Southwest sophomore guard Owen Oesch delivered a pair of 3-pointers and reserves Matthew Kelchen and Hunter Woodcock came in to score a basket each to not only keep their team close, but send SLHS to the locker room with a 26-24 lead.

However, even with Ma. Anderson pumping in 11 points in the third quarter, Orrick combined nine Dylan Comstock markers with a dozen from four other sources to outscore the Wildcats by seven.

Although Anderson’s younger brother Morgan stepped up to hit three shots from the floor to go with Mack’s four in the last stanza, the only other Southwest scoring was Warren’s final-seconds triple.

Meanwhile, OHS’ Bearcats – coached by former Chillicothe boys’ head coach Matt Brownsberger – again was getting more players involved in its scoring, allowing it to hang on.

Ma. Anderson’s final prep career game saw him produce a game-most 29 points, but the SLHS scoring dropped off from there to Chase Neptune’s nine.

Orrick’s Comstock, son of early 2000s Tina-Avalon coach Mitch Comstock, topped the winners with 19 points. Ethan Wilson provided 15 more and, most critically, three other Bearcats netted either seven or eight.

(G) Norborne 49, Braymer 23

The top-seeded hosts turned out the lights early on Braymer (18-7), bolting to a 20-4 lead after one quarter. The Lady Pirates (26-1) upped the ant to 34-10 at halftime before largely going through the motions the last 16 minutes.

Olivia Dooley’s 16 points led the champions, who have become regular state-tournament participants the past decade. Freshman Regan Crowe came off the bench to score 14 points and senior sister Kennadie settled for 11.

Dallas Hall’s 10 points paced BHS’ Lady ’Cats.