CHS returns to Class 4 for postseason basketball, as projected

State activities association announces changes to state play for hoops, wrestling

Paul Sturm
Chillicothe News
  • Chillicothe HS basketball teams will compete in Class 4, as expected after a sixth class was created
  • Sectional tournaments have been reinstated in the wrestling postseason
  • To allow each class' state wrestling tournament to be completed in one day, only 12 will qualify

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The postseason path to potential state high school basketball or wrestling glory will look different in Missouri this season, the Missouri State High School Activities Association confirmed late last week as it both announced classification and district assignments in those sports for its schools and outlined what postseason play will look like, in accommodation of the hopefully-then-fading COVID-19 pandemic.

There are significant changes for Chillicothe in wrestling, both in terms of district assignment and state-qualifying prospects, and an unsurprising, less-so one in basketball.

In wrestling, Chillicothe remains Class 2, but is being shifted east and south, where it will compete in a seemingly-killer District 7 with Oak Grove, Odessa, Marshall, Boonville, Moberly, and Kirksville.

In terms of the process of determining state champions on the mat, each classification’s state competition will be held and completed on a single day with each  class on a separate day. The site(s) and dates are to be announced.

Because of that, in order not to exceed National Federation of High School Associations rules for a maximum number of bouts a wrestler can participate in on a single day, only 12 wrestlers, rather than the customary 16, in each weight division will qualify for state in each class.

To limit the number of athletes at any given location during the postseason, a sectional tournament has been reinstated.

The top four finishers in each weight at the smaller district tourneys will go on to a sectional tournament the following week. Each of the four sectionals then will advance their top three competitors to state.

As for basketball, with the addition of a sixth classification, Chillicothe bumps back up to Class 4, where it figures to stay semi-permanently.

It has been placed in District 16 with fellow Midland Empire Conference members Maryville, Cameron, Savannah, and St. Joseph: Benton. Rounding out the 6-schools district is Richmond.

As for the postseason adjustments, while there is no change in the number of districts or state-tournament rounds, all postseason play prior to the state semifinals and finals will occur at high school sites. Many post-district games often are played on college courts.

In addition, state sectional- and quarterfinal-round games will have boys play one night or day and girls the next. Boys’ sectional games will be the Tuesday after district and their quarterfinals the Friday following; girls’ action in those rounds will be on Wednesday and Saturday. Presumably sites for the two genders’ games in each round will be the same, but that was not specified in last week’s MSHSAA announcement.

State semifinals and finals play in all classifications again will occur in Missouri State University’s JQH Arena and Hammons Student Center at Springfield March 11-13 (Classes 1-3) and March 18-20 (Classes 4-6).

Around the C-T coverage area, the roundball district assignments are:

Class 1

District 13 – Southwest Livingston, Braymer, Norborne, Hardin-Central, Orrick, Alma: Santa Fe

District 14 – Linn County, Grundy County R-5 (Galt), Jamesport: Tri-County, Mercer, Cainsville, Gilman City, and North Harrison.

District 12 – Meadville, Hale/Bosworth, Mendon: Northwestern, Bucklin/Macon County R-4, Tina-Avalon, Brunswick, and Keytesville.

Class 2

District 15 – Polo, Gallatin, Maysville, Mid-Buchanan, North  Platte, Osborn/Stewartsville, and Plattsburg.

Class 3

District 16 – Hamilton: Penney, Brookfield, Trenton, South Harrison, Milan, and Putnam County.

No district tournament sites have been selected – or at least announced yet.