CHS basketball teams prep for MEC openers, tourney

Late-week action against Bishop LeBlond to start league play

Paul Sturm
Chillicothe News
  • Gap between games is Hornets' longest since 21-days gap in 1956-57; girls' is longest in 22 years

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor

Presuming no interference from the weather or COVID-19 – possibly a high-risk presumption, Chillicothe High School’s basketball teams are set to return from their longest in-season layoffs in more than two decades Tuesday in preparation for the beginning of 2020-21 league play.

Both squads are slated to conclude a 21-days lapse between games – the girls’ longest since the 1998-99 season and the boys’ lengthiest in 64 years, according to the Chillicothe High School records/results website researched and maintained by local broadcaster Randy Dean – Tuesday at Lawson, a prelude to their participation in the Lawson Invitational Tournament the following week.

In between, the Hornets are to host St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond Thursday in both sides’ Midland Empire Conference openers and the Lady Hornets are to do the same against the Lady Golden Eagles at St. Joseph on Friday.

As they resume play, the Lady Hornets own a 5-1 record which unexpectedly has plopped them in the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association’s Class 4 rankings at No. 9.

The impetus for that largely was their stirring and impressive 48-40 home victory over Macon, a Class 3 state semifinalist last year, in their most-recent outing.

In Lawson, the Lady Hornets will encounter a foe with a 7-2 record, but having faced largely-mediocre or poor teams. The LHS girls’ last pre-holidays outing saw them obliterate feeble Class 1 Orrick 64-2.

As for the Bishop LeBlond girls, they stood 8-2 entering this past Thursday’s championship game of their own holiday tournament. They were to meet Savannah, a previous CHS victim, before opening 2021 play at home against Mid-Buchanan Tuesday.

Chillicothe’s boys stand 3-2 on the season after a solid home victory over a quick, aggressive Macon squad Dec. 15.

They’ll figure to have a fine chance of opening the new year successfully Tuesday.

The Lawson boys lost five of their first six games (results for the three most-recent games shown on their schedule, including a Dec. 29 contest against Richmond, are not shown on their Missouri State High School Activities Association schedule webpage).

As for the league opener Thursday, Bishop LeBlond’s boys stood 5-3 after competitively losing to Smithville in the semifinals of BLHS’ tourney this past Wednesday.

The Golden Eagles had another game Thursday and are due to host a good Mid-Buchanan squad this coming Tuesday before coming to Chillicothe, so they’ll be well-honed for their visit while the Hornets figure to be still working on regaining their sharpness.

As for the upcoming Lawson tournament, the Lady Hornets are the No. 1 seed with the CHS boys No. 2.

2021 Lawson Invitational Tournament