‘Host’ Hornets will be on road for district hoops

Lady Hornets will host postseason opener Saturday afternoon

Paul Sturm
Chillicothe News

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor

Thanks to COVID-19 prevention measures, the Class 4 District 16 basketball tournament for which Chillicothe High School nominally will serve as host almost surely won’t provide the Hornets a chance to play any of their district-tourney games on their home floor.

With the Missouri State High School Activities Association having switched gears this year to prevent the gathering of multiple schools at any given site on any night, the Hornets’ late-season slump and the postponement of their Midland Empire Conference game against Savannah until this past Monday have conspired to relegate the CHS boys to the fifth seeding in the 6-teams District 16 tournament.

Even though their overall record at the time of last Saturday’s seeding meeting was several games better than Savannah’s, the Savages’ January victories over St. Joseph: Benton by 20 points and Maryville by 18 – results which those foes reversed to 11-points SHS losses this month – tipped the balance their way. Chillicothe’s boys have played Benton and Maryville once each and lost both, the contest with Benton going to overtime.

With Savannah thus getting the No. 4 seed, it gets to host the Hornets in their quarterfinal battle next Monday at 6 p.m., rather than vice versa. That survivor will go to top seed Richmond on Wednesday, March 3.

While Chillicothe’s boys would need to have both themselves and No. 6 Cameron upset their ways to the district finals to get a chance to play at home again, CHS’ Lady Hornets will have at least one more opportunity to do so.

Drawing the third seeding for district play, as expected, the Chillicothe girls will welcome a foe they previously overwhelmed – No. 6 seed Richmond – this coming Saturday at 1 p.m.

Should they prevail, as they’ll be an overwhelming favorite to do, the Lady Hornets will clash with No. 2 seed St. Joseph: Benton at St. Joseph next Tuesday (March 2). Benton nipped CHS by a point on a last-second basket in Chillicothe recently or the Lady Hornets probably would have received the No. 2 seed and hosted the rematch, as well.

Maryville’s girls are the clear-cut No. 1 seed in the division.