Meadville Boys to Championship Semifinals of Own Roundball Tournament
Area events continue scrambling amid weather, pandemic
In the continued face of winter weather and the COVID-19 pandemic, high school basketball tournaments across north-central and northwest parts of the state continued scrambling Wednesday, some edging closer to a hoped-for Saturday conclusion, others marking time.
Able to get a couple games in, among those tourneys with C-T-area teams entered, were tourneys at Meadville and Hamilton. Waiting to return to competition were the Cameron and Keytesville tournaments.
At Cameron, where the availability of two gyms eased the pressure to try to play Wednesday after the previous night’s add-on snow, another reshuffling of the brackets leaves Chillicothe’s girls’ and boys’ teams to play simultaneously Thursday evening.
The third-seeded Lady Hornets, yet to compete in the 5-teams remains of the girls’ division, will meet second seed Smithville in the championship semifinals at 7 p.m. At the same time that contest is taking place in the high school gym, about 30 yards away in the middle school gym, Chillicothe’s boys and Kansas City: Northeast will tip off in a consolation semifinal.
Win or lose, both Chillicothe clubs will play again on Saturday. The Hornets will play either in the 10 o’clock seventh-place game or the 11:30 a.m. consolation contest in the middle school facility. The girls will be in either the 10 a.m. third-place tilt or 1 p.m. championship contest in the high school gym.
At Keytesville, after enough teams expressed concerns or an inability to play Wednesday after their schools were not in session and rural roads were potentially-treacherous, Thursday’s reset slate has Southwest Livingston’s second-seeded girls now set to face host Keytesville in a 5:45 p.m. quarterfinal.
All four of that event’s championship semifinals are reset for Friday. SLHS’ top-seeded boys, having had a quarterfinal bye all along, will meet Norborne at 5:45 p.m. with the Lady Wildcats, if they win Thursday, to follow at 7 p.m. against third-seed Brunswick. Norborne’s top-seeded girls, top-heavy favorites to win their division’s title, will go against Wellsville-Middletown at 4:30 p.m. that day.
(B) Meadville 66, Mercer 48
(B) Grundy County R-5/Newtown-Harris 68, Tina-Avalon 50
MEADVILLE — With not all teams scheduled to play on the second day of first-round action able to participate, the girls’ games were called as forfeits to the higher seeds (No. 2 Mercer, No. 3 Tina-Avalon), but the boys’ games took place, each producing an 18-points final separation.
Meadville’s Eagles (10-5) stormed to a 22-8 lead after one period and upped that advantage to 35-14 at halftime. Veterans Trey Gannan and Conner Fletcher netted 23 points each in the hosts’ victory, Fletcher burying five treys – three in the first frame. Timber Hinnen tacked on three triples and 11 points in the win.
Tina-Avalon’s Dragons (4-9) surrendered 25 points in the first quarter and 24 in the third to Grundy County R-5/Newtown-Harris’ Panthers.
GCR5/N-H was led offensively by Corbin Axtell’s 27 points and Caden Gann’s 20. T-A had 22 from Kylier Sturgeon and 10 by Kaden Sturgeon.
As at Keytesville, Meadville will play all of its championship semifinals Friday, beginning at 4:30 p.m. The sequence of matchups will be Tina-Avalon’s and Mercer’s girls first, then the Meadville and Hale/Bosworth boys. At approximately 7 p.m., the top-seeded Meadville girls will clash with Mendon: Northwestern, followed by Northwestern’s No. 1 seeded boys and GCR5/N-H.
Times for Saturday’s six games have not yet been set at last word.
(B) East Buchanan 81, Hamilton: Penney 51
(B) Higginsville 76, South Harrison 36
HAMILTON — After a sluggish start, the host Hornets (3-11) trailed only 31-22 at halftime and 52-39 through three quarters before “East Buck” ran off and hid in their “pool-play” meeting.
The triumphant Bulldogs were paced by Drew Thompson’s five triples and 20 points. He hit four of those 3s in the third period.
Game scoring honors were claimed by Hamilton’s red-hot Jared Potts, who ripped the cords seven times from 3-points land while tallying 24 points. Andrew Rich chipped in 14.
Having dropped both of its “pool” games, Penney High’s boys will play for consolation Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Thursday’s Trenton-vs.-Lathrop winner.
Because of the weather and other difficulties, top-seed East Atchison ends up not being able to participate as planned. As a solution, the girls’ champion will be decided by round-robin play between the host Lady Hornets, second seed East Buchanan, and third seed Lathrop.
East Buchanan and Lathrop will meet Thursday at 4:30 p.m., Hamilton and Lathrop Friday at 4:30, and Hamilton and favorite EBHS Saturday at 1 p.m.