Host Boys, Meadville Girls Snare TItles of 65th-annual Northwestern Invitational High School Basketball Tournament Saturday

Paul Sturm
Chillicothe News

MENDON, Mo. — Following two blowouts to begin the final evening, the 65th-annual Northwestern Invitational Tournament closed on a competitive note Saturday when the fourth-seeded hosts outscored third seed Hale/Bosworth 16-6 in the final 7-plus minutes to secure the crown by a 47-37 count.

Northwestern’s Eagles didn’t flinch after their 6-points lead inside the final 10 seconds of the third period had vanished by the time the fourth stanza was a half-minute old.

With Clayton Gregory finally heating up, head coach Michael Kahn’s club responded with a 9-3 spurt and led by at least two possessions the rest of the way. Its double-digits margin at the final horn was the game’s largest.

Prior to the boys’ title game, top-seeded Meadville overwhelmed No. 2 seed Green City, doubling the Lady Gophers 62-31 to capture the girls’ title.

Saturday began at Mendon with No. 1 seed Green City unexpectedly swamping No. 2 Meadville 63-22 as MHS continued to be without multiple players.

Northwestern’s boys (4-0) also were minus two squad members, but not for health reasons, Kahn confirmed, but won anyway.

On the heels of allowing deuces by Tristan Crose and, on a steal of the in-bounds pass, Ethan Hoerr in the last eight seconds of the third quarter to shrink its advantage to 31-29 and then Jaeden Sears’ tying basket on the opening possession of the fourth, NHS’ Eagles (4-0) regained the advantage when Gregory hit from deep.

Baskets by Trey Stockwell, Gregory, and Hunter Stockwell re-established a 6-points lead, 40-34, and this time the opposing Cardinals did not mount a response.

Scoring-wise, the triumphant home team was paced by 13 points each from H. Stockwell and Gregory. Hale/Bosworth’s Jaeden Sears had a game-most 21 of his side’s 37 markers.

The girls’ championship game’s outcome was pretty much what was expected.

Meadville (4-0) senior sniper Kiera Holcer rifled in 20 points, Mallory Dennis 17, and Maggie McLain 13 Dennis did all of her scoring in less than three quarters.

The boys’ third-place contest included 15 Green City points each by Aaron Peavler and Fields and 14 from Grant O’Haver. Meadville (2-2) was paced by Conner Fletcher’s eight.