Basketball Lady Hornets top-seeded at Lawson tourney after postponement

CHS girls did not get to play at Columbia last Saturday

Paul Sturm
Chillicothe News
  • Lady Hornets top seed for Lawson tourney; boys No. 2 behind Richmond
  • Both Chillicothe teams will face Lawson on road week prior to tourney, then begin MEC schedules

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor

Even though they didn’t know they were doing so, Chillicothe High School’s basketball Lady Hornets sent themselves into their unusually-extended 2020-21 holiday break on a very high note last Tuesday.

The Lady Hornets’ scintillating 48-40 home victory over Macon, a state-tournament semifinalist a season ago that returned 80% of its starting lineup from the team which bested CHS in the opening round of state play last year, turned out to be their swan song for 2020 when this past Saturday’s game at Columbia: Hickman was postponed.

With the “High School Holiday Hoops” event hosted by the North Central Missouri College Foundation canceled, due to COVID-19 worries, the Lady Hornets, like their CHS male counterparts, wind up with exactly three weeks between contests, and that assumes the Jan. 5 visit to Lawson comes off as scheduled.

Standing, somewhat unexpectedly, 5-1 entering the new year, the Lady Hornets will begin 2021 calling Lawson their new “home,” since the schedule calls for four of their first five contests in January to be played there.

Following the Jan. 5 varsity/junior-varsity doubleheaders there for both the girls and boys and a Jan. 8 visit to St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond for the Midland Empire Conference opener, both CHS teams are entered – for the first time – in Lawson’s 27th-annual tournament Jan. 11-16.

Not surprisingly given their early record and resumé, the Lady Hornets have been awarded the No. 1 seeding there (the boys are No. 2 behind Richmond). Other schools participating, beyond the hosts, are Hamilton: Penney, North Platte, Trenton, Gallatin, and West Platte. Lawson’s girls are the No. 2 seed.

The Chillicothe girls will open the tourney Tuesday, Jan. 12, with a 5:30 p.m. game against Richmond. That game will be played in the Barker Center (school’s new gym), adjacent to the former gym in which CHS played in recent years. A victory would match them against either Hamilton or West Platte in the championship semifinals.

CHS’ boys, who closed 2020 strong, as well, will take their 3-2 record into 2021, when they will follow the Tuesday, Jan. 5, visit to Lawson (site will be the former high school gym) with a Thursday home MEC opener against Bishop LeBlond.

The Hornets then will open the Lawson Invitational on Tuesday, Jan. 12, as well, by rematching with Hamilton. That contest will be in the Barker Center. In the semifinals, CHS will meet either No. 3 seed Gallatin or Lawson.

In an oddity, if both Chillicothe teams take their tourney openers, as is very likely, their second-round games will overlap. The boys’ championship semifinal would begin in the former high school gym at about 7 p.m. and the girls’ would be in the Barker Center, starting at about 7:30.

The tournament’s title games are set for the afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 16 – the girls’ at 2 p.m. and the boys’ at 4.