Mother Nature threw the prep sports scene a mini curveball this past week, but that did not stop the action as the Circle 7 Tournament played their first two rounds to set up the finals Friday evening while one of two area undefeated teams on the girls’ side suffered their first loss of the season.
Time to get caught up on all the action in this week’s edition of the Friday Fast Break.
The Circle 7 Tournament at Parkway West played their semifinals Thursday evening. After those games, a collision between two top teams in the metro area will occur in the championship contest Friday at 8:30 p.m.
In one of the semifinals, De Smet needed to rally in the final stanza to earn a 47-44 victory over the host Longhorns. The game was tight throughout as Parkway West held a 14-13 lead after the first quarter, but the Spartans took a 25-24 advantage into the halftime locker room. The Longhorns regained the lead in the third quarter 37-35 before De Smet outscored the Longhorns 12-7 in the fourth quarter to earn the victory. Owen and Justin Duff paced the Spartans with 14 points each while Riley Massey added 12 markers in the win to help De Smet improve to 12-4 on the year. Tyler King led the Longhorn attack with 14 points.
In the second semifinal, Kirkwood raced out to an early lead and cruised to a 55-43 win over Lafayette to remain undefeated at 16-0 on the year. Ayden Trawick and Christian Hughes paced the Pioneers’ attack with 14 points each while Trawick grabbed eight rebounds to help Kirkwood remain undefeated on the year.
Kirkwood and De Smet will meet up in the championship game Friday at 8:30 p.m. while Parkway West and Lafayette will meet up in the third-place contest at 7 p.m.
In another heavyweight battle earlier this week, Triad traveled to Ladue and took home a 50-46 victory over the Rams Tuesday night. Triad grabbed an early 13-9 lead at the end of the first quarter before the teams played on even terms in the second quarter as the Knights held a 25-21 advantage at the break. Triad extended the lead to 34-29 after three-quarters of play and held off a Ladue rally in the final quarter to earn the win and improve to 19-5 on the year. Tyler Thompson and Drew Winslow each scored 13 points to lead the Knights offense while Thompson grabbed six rebounds in the victory. Jack Steinbach tossed in 20 points to pace the Rams’ attack while Jaylen Swinney grabbed five boards as Ladue fell to 14-4 on the year.
On the girls’ side of hoops action, O’Fallon handed Alton their first loss of the year Thursday evening 51-38 draw even with the Red Birds at the top of the Southwestern Conference on the Illinois side. Alton took an early 10-6 lead over the Panthers at the end of the first quarter only to see O’Fallon draw even with them at 22-22 at the half. The Panthers’ offense exploded in the second half by outscoring the Red Birds 29-16 in the final 16 minutes to improve to 23-4 on the year. Shannon Dowell led the way for the Panthers with 12 points while Jailah Pelly added 10 markers in the win. Both squads are now tied for the top of the SWC with identical 8-1 records as they head to the final few weeks of the season.
It will be a busy weekend on the courts and the wrestling mats as many tournaments will feature many of the top teams in the area.
On the mats, the Kyle Thrasher Invite kicks off Friday evening with many of the top wrestling teams taking part in the tournament while the Bob Georger Invite will see many teams from the area looking to get ready for the upcoming districts in a few weeks.
On the court at Vashon Saturday, it will be another opportunity to see some of the top talents in the Midwest as Miller Career will take on Webster Groves at 1:30 p.m. while Chaminade will play Whitney Young out of Chicago at 4:30 p.m. In the nightcap, the top two teams in Class 6 and Class 4 will battle as Class 6 No.1 Staley will go against the hosts and top team in Class 4, Vashon at 7 p.m.
Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at email@example.com. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan