Area’s last two undefeated teams bit dust the past week

Mendon: Northwestern boys took first loss, Norborne girls first two of season

As reported to C-T
Senior Patrick Warren of the Southwest Livingston High School Wildcats easily gets to the basket for an uncontested third-period layup which adds to his team's already-large lead over Northwestern as SLHS head coach Julie Bothwell (lower right) looks on from the bench. Warren made a half-dozen steals, grabbed nine rebounds, and netted a game-high 21 points as the Wildcats dominated Northwestern's injury-depleted Eagles 55-38 in a clash of teams previously unbeaten in Carroll-Livingston Activity Association basketball in 2020-21.

The C-T area’s last two undefeated 2020-21 teams surrendered that distinction last week.

After the Norborne Lady Pirates fell in their championship semifinal in the Salisbury Invitational Tournament last Wednesday (as reported in last Saturday’s print edition of the C-T), the Mendon: Northwestern Eagles tasted defeat for the first time this season Friday at Ludlow when, minus their top player, they were dominated by the Southwest Livingston Wildcats.

With senior post player Hunter Stockwell having suffered at Hale last Tuesday a recurrence of the right shoulder injury he first sustained last February, Southwest Livingston took full advantage of his absence to assert early command and rip Northwestern 55-38 in a meeting of teams previously without Carroll-Livingston Activity Association defeats.

That gave Southwest a sweep of its Courtwarming night contests. The Lady Wildcats edged the Lady Eagles 35-33 Friday.

After dropping its first decision of the season two nights before, on Friday, Norborne’s girls lost a second-straight contest, beaten for third place at Salisbury by Meadville, 50-40.

Meadville’s boys took consolation in that tourney Saturday with a stunningly-low-scoring 33-25 decision over Carrollton.

Last Friday saw Tina-Avalon sweep host Hardin-Central in CLAA competition and Polo’s girls improve to 10-1 overall and 3-1 in the Grand River Conference-East with a 22-points home verdict over Gallatin.

Scheduled Hale/Bosworth CLAA games at Brunswick Friday were postponed, due to COVID-19 difficulties at Brunswick, Hale Superintendent Clint Heussner reported.

No scores or information was received on the scheduled La Plata and Linn County girls’ and boys’ action and Cainsville/Ridgeway at Breckenridge boys’ games set for last Friday.

(G) Southwest Livingston 35, Mendon: Northwestern 33

(B) Southwest Livingston 55, Mendon: Northwestern 38

LUDLOW — Even had Northwestern been at full health, it likely would have been at least a slight underdog to Southwest Livingston’s veteran squad on the Wildcats’ floor, but minus H. Stockwell, the pickings were pretty easy for the hosts.

Behind 11 points from Patrick Warren and nine by Chase Neptune, they burst to a 21-6 lead after one period and were up by 25 after three before coasting downhill to the finish line.

“They were motivated and played great pressure ‘man’ defense,”  SLHS head coach Julie Bothwell commented for the C-T. “Then when 6’6” Remington Woodcock comes off the bench, we play a pretty good zone D.”

Warren just missed a double-double, according to statistics provided by Bothwell. He put up a game-best 21 points, snared nine rebounds, and added six steals.

Neptune nipped Northwestern for 18 points, while Morgan Anderson ripped down a team-most 13 rebounds to go with seven points. Wesley Hughes contributed eight points and five assists.

The home held Northwestern’s remaining major scoring threat, guard Clayton Gregory, to eight points, including no 3-pointers.

“I don’t want to take anything away from our guys because, the way they played defense and the desire to win they took out on the court, Northwestern would have had a tough contest on its hands even with Stockwell (playing),” Bothwell noted.

With both Hale/Bosworth and Northwestern having absorbed their first conference losses of the season last week, Southwest Livingston’s defending CLAA co-champions stand atop the loop with a 4-0 mark. They are 5-2 overall heading into Tuesday’s league game at Brunswick.

Kailey Hulett, Southwest Livingston High School basketball Lady Wildcats junior, goes up for a first-quarter layup which tied the Jan. 5 home game against Mercer. Although SLHS lost that game, it bounced back – with Hulett providing six points – to edge Mendon: Northwestern 35-33 at home last Friday night.

Friday’s girls’ game at Southwest Livingston saw the Lady Wildcats (3-3, 2-1 conf.) overcome a sluggish start and a tight finish to reach the .500 mark overall.

Down 9-6 after one quarter, the SLHS girls led by two at halftime and one after three stanzas before hanging on to prevail by two on the strength of Matney Waters’ go-ahead trey with 25 seconds remaining and then Lily Webb’s tiebreaking layup with about 12 seconds to go.

The Lady Wildcats had outstanding scoring balance with Waters, Webb, and Makenna Campbell each netting eight points, Kailey Hulett six, and reserve Ilyce Peel five.

While the victors had no dual-digits scorers, they did get 11 steals from Webb – along with four assists – and 10 rebounds and four helpers from Waters, Bothwell reported. Hulett contributed seven boards.

Northwestern’s Lady Eagles (3-5, 1-3 conf.) had 11 points by Halie Smith and 10 by Alayna Adams.

Next for the Mendon school’s teams is Monday league play at home against Brunswick.

(G) Tina-Avalon 59, Hardin-Central 18

(B) Tina-Avalon 47, Hardin-Central 45

HARDIN — After T-A’s Lady Dragons barrelled past the Lady Bulldogs, the boys’ game was a barnburner, not settled until the final buzzer blared.

Tina-Avalon’s victory in it came despite the Dragons (2-5, 2-2 conf.) trailing 17-6 after one period. The visitors reversed course in the second, mainly behind Kayden Sturgeon’s two trifectas and eight tallies and had the game all square at 25-all by halftime.

T-A edged ahead by two after three periods and played the Bulldogs to a standoff in the last eight minutes to win by two.

Ka. Sturgeon finished with a game-high 23 points, including three triples. HCHS’ Bulldogs (1-6, 1-2 conf.) lost despite having three twin-figures scorers. Mason Freece tallied 14 points, Trevor Gibson 11, Korbin Pugh 10.

Tina-Avalon is to welcome Breckenridge for a CLAA boys’ contest Tuesday, while Hardin-Central makes the short trip to Norborne for league play Tuesday.

      SALISBURY TOURNAMENT

(G 3rd) Meadville 50, Norborne 40

(B cons.) Meadville 33, Carrollton 25

(B 7th) Paris 53, Norborne 28

SALISBURY — The Meadville Lady Eagles’ 14-of-18 free-throw shooting was a critical factor in them drawing away a bit down the stretch to beat Norborne by 10 Friday.

Up 23-21 at halftime and 31-26 going to the fourth quarter, the MHS girls (9-2) hit 10 of 14 tries from the foul line in the last stanza. Mallory Dennis and Maggie McLain each went four for six in the final frame as the Lady Pirates (4-2) tried to keep Meadville’s Holcer sisters off the line.

With three treys, Kiera Holcer still put up a game-most 15 points. Dennis had 13. For NHS, Olivia Dooley led with 14 points and Kate Brown had 13.

On Saturday, Meadville’s Eagles (7-4) had difficulty scoring, but made it even tougher on Carrollton.

MHS held the Trojans to only two first-period points and no more than eight in any frame to win by eight.

Trey Gannan’s 20 points accounted for the lion’s share of the MHS points. Cedar Metz had 12 for CHS.

In that same day’s seventh-place game, Norborne’s Pirates dropped to 1-6 with the decisive loss to Paris. Jonny Miller’s 12 points paced NHS.

Meadville hosts Hale/Bosworth Monday and Tri-County Conference foe Bevier Tuesday. Norborne will welcome Hardin-Central Tuesday.

(G) East Buchanan 55, Hamilton: Penney 30

(B) East Buchanan 63, Hamilton: Penney 40

GOWER — No details were reported on the pair of Hamilton KCI Conference defeats Friday.

The Lady Hornets (4-5, 0-2 conf.), seeded fourth, start play in the Lawson Invitational Tournament today at 5 p.m. in the high school gym against West Platte. The Hornets (2-6, 1-1 conf.) start it against Chillicothe Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Barker Center.

(G) Polo 49, Gallatin 27 

(B) Gallatin 67, Polo 35

POLO — Polo’s girls (10-1, 3-1 conf.) led only 19-16 at halftime, but then kicked their offense into a higher gear to win going away.

Mary Copeland’s 11 points and Lily Gentry’s nine led the Lady Panthers. 

The Panthers “hit another buzzsaw in a very strong, athletic and accurate-shooting Gallatin Bulldogs team,” PHS coach Morgan Dickson commented on the boys’ blowout.

Isaac Byrd’s 22 points for GHS led all scorers. Polo’s boys (0-11, 0-4 conf.) received 17 from Trent Raby and 10 from Cody Blackwell.

Next for Polo is action in this week’s Osborn Invitational Tournament. The No. 2 seed Lady Panthers take on Kansas City: Northland Christian at the OHS gym Monday at 6 p.m., followed by the PHS boys and DeKalb.