The second weekend of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Show-Me Showdown got underway Thursday with the Class four boys’ and girls’ teams taking center stage while the rest of the semifinals will take place Friday and Saturday. There is plenty of local representation in the semis this year in all three classes.
The Class 4 boys’ semifinals opened up Thursday afternoon as Park Hills Central advanced to the title game Friday with an 82-57 win over Lafayette out of St. Joseph. The Rebels exploded in the first quarter as they outscored Lafayette 29-12 in the period and added to the lead in the second quarter as they took a 47-23 lead at the break. Central shot 56 percent in the half to gain the lead and continued the shooting pace in the second half as they were 15-of-23 from the field to finish the game shooting 60 percent en route to the victory. The Rebels put three players in double figures as Jobe Bryant led the way with 20 points while Mason Williams had 16 points with Caden Casey chilling in with 15 markers as Central will now vie for their first-ever state basketball championship Friday at 2 p.m.
While in the other Class 4 semi, Vashon needed a late push to defeat Father Tolton 49-45 to move on to the state final. The Wolverines raced out to a 20-10 lead after the first period only to see Tolton cut the advantage to 30-27 at the break. The second half went back and forth until the Wolverines took control of the final period to get the win. Kennard Davis led the way for Vashon with 20 points while Cameron Stovall added 11 markers in the win.
Vashon and Park Hills Central will play for the Class 4 title at 2 p.m. Friday inside Great Southern Bank Arena.
In the Class 4 girls’ semifinals, Vashon defeated Southern Boone 55-40 to move on to the title game against Benton, who knocked off Park Hills Central 55-48 In overtime. The Wolverines took an 11-8 lead after the first quarter and extended the advantage to 26-18 at the break. Vashon outscored Southern Boone 19-13 in the third stanza to extend the lead to 45-32 and hung on in the fourth quarter to garner the win. Jayla Bush led Vashon in double digits with 16 points while Chantrel Clayton added 15 points.
Vashon will take on Benton in the Class 4 title game Friday at 4 p.m. at the Great Southern Bank Arena.
The Class 5 boys’ will get underway Friday afternoon with Cardinal Ritter making their fourth straight appearance in the semifinals as the Lions will take on Pembroke Hill at 2 p.m. inside the Hammons Student Center. Head Coach Ryan Johnson brings Ritter back to Springfield after placing third last year in Class 5. Ritter won the Class 5 title two years ago while winning the Class 3 championship in the 2020 COVID shorten championships. The Lions are currently 24-4 on the year and are led by Clayton Jackson, scoring 14 points a game. Nashawn Davis is second on the team in scoring with 11.8 points per game and is grabbing seven boards per game.
In the other Class 5 boys’ semifinal, Ladue returns to the state final four for the first time since 2019 after winning a pair of nail-biters in the district final and the state quarterfinals. They will face Jefferson City Friday at 4 p.m. at Hammons Student Center. This is the second time that the Rams have advanced to the semifinals, and they are by Jack Steinbach, scoring 14 points per game. Jaylen Swinney is second on the team in scoring with 9.6 points per game and he also leads the Rams by grabbing six boards per game. The Class 5 title game will be Saturday at 6 p.m. inside the Great Southern Bank Arena.
In Class 5 girls’ action, Lutheran St. Charles will take on defending Class 5 state champion West Plains Friday at 8 p.m. at Hammons. The Cougars are making their fourth appearance in the state semifinals and are looking to win their second state championship with the first coming in 2013. Jordan Speiser paces the Cougars’ offense with 16.5 points per game while Megan Aulbert is adding 13 markers per game and is grabbing 8.5 boards per game.
The Lutheran St. Charles and West Plains matchup winner will take on either Cape Notre Dame or Carl Junction Saturday at 8 p.m. inside Great Southern Bank Arena.
Class 6 action will start Friday at Great Southern Bank Arena with Troy making their first appearance in the state semifinals since 2011 taking on Kickapoo out of Springfield. The Trojans advanced to the semis with a 74-62 victory over Chaminade in the quarterfinals and looking for their first state championship after finishing second on two occasions. The Trojans are led by Jack Fessenden who is averaging 15.4 points per game while Andrew Moore is adding 13 markers per contest. Keegan Linebaugh leads Troy in rebounding with seven caroms per contest while Charlie Nett runs the point and is handing out 3.5 assists per game.
The winner of the Troy and Kickapoo game will face either Jackson or Staley at 2 p.m. Saturday at Great Southern Bank Arena.
The girls of Class 6 take the court at Great Southern Bank Arena Friday evening as Eureka opens semifinal action against Rock Bridge with the tip set for 6 p.m. The Wildcats are making their fourth appearance in the final four and are looking to claim their second state title after winning the crown in 2000. Eureka joins the semifinals after defeating Jackson 54-39 in the quarterfinals and will be led by Bailey Boulay who is averaging 12.3 points per game. Natalie Harty is second on the squad in scoring with an average of 10.8 points per contest while Maison Smith is adding 9.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest.
In the other semifinal, Incarnate Word will take on Raytown and will look to extend a few streaks this weekend. The Red Knights enter the semifinals on a 98-game winning streak and have won the last five state titles. IWA moved on to the semifinals by defeating Troy 68-26 and is led by Natalie Potts who is averaging 18.8 points per game and has a team-high 7.4 rebounds per contest. Brooke Coffey is second on the team in scoring and rebounding with 13.6 points per game and five boards per contest. Peyton Hill runs the Red Knight offense as she has 3.5 assists per game.
The winners of the two semifinals will face off Saturday at 4 p.m. inside the Great Southern Bank Arena.
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