Tri-County girls settle for second in HDC Tourney

As reported to C-T

With the bad weather mostly the cause, very little high school basketball was played by C-T-area teams the latter part of last week.

That largely was because of the postponement to this week of most of the Carroll-Livingston Activity Association Tournament.

That tourney then underwent further revision Monday when cold weather prompted another day’s postponement.

To deal with that situation, for the first time in memory – and perhaps ever, dual sites (Hale in addition to traditional host Tina-Avalon) were to be utilized last night to play all eight quarterfinal games. Tonight’s championship semifinals and tomorrow’s championship games are to be played at T-A, tournament director Travis Zahl disclosed early Monday afternoon.

Recapping the on-court action from last Thursday through Saturday:

SATURDAY

HDC TOURNAMENT

(G 1st) Mercer 58, Jamesport: Tri-County 40

JAMESPORT — Although they kept it somewhat closer, the host Tri-County girls couldn’t upset top seed Mercer in Saturday’s championship game.

Mercer’s Lady Cardinals had whipped  the Lady Mustangs 50-23 early this month and, while Tri-County cut a third off that margin, the eventual outcome of the rematch was obvious pretty early.

Carly Turner led TCHS' scoring with 14 points with Anissa Williams chipping in seven plus a team-high eight rebounds, according to Lady Mustangs coach Jeremy Slaughter.

Mercer had 18 points and 10 rebounds from top player Tori Meinecke, 13 points from Brea Shipley, and 10 points and seven assists from Rainey Michael.

Top-seeded Winston handily took the boys’ title over No. 2 seed Grundy County R-5/Newtown-Harris, 42-29.

Next on Tri-County’s schedule was a Monday visit from East Harrison for a make-up of a Jan. 22 postponement and a Tuesday trip to Galt to face Grundy County R-5/Newtown-Harris. Planned for tomorrow night is a make-up of a Dec. 1 boys’ only meeting at home with Breckenridge to wrap up the regular season.

It then will start the Class 1 District 14 Tournament with the second-seeded (again behind Mercer) Lady Mustangs hosting East Harrison this Saturday at 3 p.m. The TCHS boys will start Monday at 6 p.m., also against East Harrison, but on the road.

FRIDAY

(G) Meadville 67, Bucklin/Macon County R-4 22

(B) Meadville 74, Bucklin/Macon County R-4 36

MEADVILLE — Although no details were available when this story was sent for print, Meadville’s Lady Eagles made it official that, if they can ever get on the court against La Plata, they will be Tri-County Conference co-champions with La Plata, if they win that now-thrice-postponed contest.

Originally set for Jan. 15 and subsequently reset for Feb. 9 and 13 and unable to be played every time, the Meadville-La Plata games now are ticketed for this Friday night at Meadville.

Following their romps over Bucklin/Macon County R-4 last Friday, the MHS girls stand 18-3 overall and 6-1 in the TCC and the boys 16-5 overall and 5-2 in the league.

With the CLAA conference tournament, originally slated for last week, postponed to this one in some form or fashion, it means Tuesday’s scheduled Norborne visit to Meadville almost certainly won’t happen, preventing a meeting of Meadville’s 3-losses Lady Eagles and NHS’ 15-2 Lady Pirates.

Assuming that game is scrubbed for the scheduling conflict, Meadville still is slated to visit Grundy County R-5/Newtown-Harris at Galt tomorrow before host La Plata Friday before beginning the postseason Saturday at 4 p.m. with a Class 1 District 12 quarterfinal game at home against 1-win Keytesville.

Meadville’s boys will begin district play next Monday at 6 p.m. at home against either Hale/Bosworth or Bucklin/Macon County R-4.

THURSDAY

(G) Milan 45, Polo 43

(B) Milan 63, Polo 38

POLO — Facing a Class 2 state-ranked team led by a couple of seniors already signed to play in college – one at NCAA Division I Missouri State – next year, things scarcely could have gone any better for PHS’ Lady Panthers last Thursday.

The Polo girls not only blanked All-Stater and MSU-bound Cady Pauley in the first quarter, they shut out the entire Milan team in the Grand River Conference-East contest while, behind Mary Copeland’s nine points – including 4-for-4 free-throw shooting, establishing an 11-0 lead.

However, even though the Lady Panthers (17-5) scored at a consistent quarter-by-quarter pace all evening, they could not quite successfully protect their early advantage once the Lady Wildcats got out of neutral.

Led by Pauley’s 11 tallies and a pair of Jordyn Gray treys among her eight markers, Milan erupted for 21 points in the second stanza to be within a point, 22-21, at intermission.

The second half then turned into a battle at close quarters with Milan able to claw into a 30-30 tie after 24 minutes and then hammer out a 2-points advantage in the fourth quarter to win by that margin. A three-points play by unheralded reserve Anna Whitlock, who had scored only two points previously in the contest, proved to be the game-winning play for MHS.

Even after being blanked in the first frame, Pauley still posted a game-high 28 points, hitting nine deuces and three treys. Gray did almost all of her damage in that critical second-quarter recovery, sinking only one other bucket in the game to finish with 10 points.

Polo’s girls received 17 points from Copeland, but she was checked on only two after halftime. Chloe Gilbert’s seven points in the last quarter led the Lady Panthers’ ill-fated push for the upset and left her with 14 points. When Milan kept those down in the third quarter, it was four points apiece by Haley Aubrey and Lily Gentry which kept PHS in the thick of things.

Polo’s boys (4-18) also had a promising start they couldn’t sustain.

Five different Panthers found the mark from the floor to help stake out a 14-9 lead after one period, but Milan dominated each of the last three.

Trent Raby’s 14 points and Killian Roark’s eight led Polo’s offense. Dominic Dabney’s 20 for Milan led all scorers.

PHS’ Lady Panthers will start the Class 2 District 15 Tournament at home next Monday with a 6 p.m. game against Maysville. The Panthers (4-19) visit Plattsburg this Saturday at noon for their district opener.

(G) Linn County 46, Bevier 14

(B) Bevier 53, Linn County 48

PURDIN — The Linn County R-1 squads split previously-postponed Tri-County Conference home outings against Bevier. No details were reported.

The LCHS teams are to visit Green City in a conference make-up game tonight to conclude the regular season.

Its girls (7-6 as of Sunday) then will host Gilman City/North Daviess Saturday at 3 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the Class 1 District 14 Tournament, followed by the boys (2-10 as of Sunday) hosting Mercer next Monday at 6 p.m.

Both Linn County R-1 teams are the No. 4 seeds, meaning, if they win their quarterfinal games, they’ll visit top-seeded Mercer’s girls and Grundy County R-5/Newtown-Harris’ boys in the semifinals next Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.