(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
DEXTER -- Several local teams will be taking part in playoff basketball this week, beginning with sectionals in Class 1 today and Class 2 and 3 Wednesday. Here is a breakdown of the games featuring local teams.
7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Bearcat Event Center (Dexter)
Eminence (22-6) or Hurley (17-15)
Risco is making their third-straight appearance in the playoffs but have been eliminated by Scott Central the last two years by big margins, losing 100-53 in the 2010 quarterfinals and 108-41 last year in a sectional game. The Tigers average 85 points per game and have five players average double figures, led by Luke Bixler and Chris Pavy. Bixler averages 19.8 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals, and Pavy is at 18.6 points, 6 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 5 steals. Austin White averages 12.4 points and a team-high 5 rebounds while Jeremey Fowler is at 12 points and Jordon Pavy 11 points... Scott Central is a staple in the playoffs, making their 28th appearance, ninth in-a-row, with 15 state titles. Dominique Porter (5-11, sr.) averages a team-high 23.8 points with 7 rebounds and 2 steals. LaMarcus Steward (5-9, sr.) is at 13.8 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals while Larandis Banks (5-10, so.) scores at a 14.4 clip with 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals a game.
7:45 p.m. Wednesday, West Plains Civic Center
Scott City (20-8) or Crystal City (23-5)
Charleston is back in the quarterfinals for the second year in-a-row, placing third in state last year. Northern Colorado signee Greg Tucker (6-2, sr.) leads the team in scoring (20.2 ppg) and has scored 31 points in two games since returning from a leg injury. Michael Hull (6-0, jr.) has come on strong as of late, scoring 22 points in the Bluejays' district championship win over Kennett. Point guard Ryan Parham (5-11, jr.) handles the ball well while scoring 9.9 ppg and dishing 5 assists per game while Aaron Cassell (5-7, jr.) averages 12.2 ppg... Liberty, coached by former Twin Rivers coach Rob Brown, defeated Ava 63-54 in the district championship game after being seeded fourth in the tournament and is making their first playoff appearance since 2009. Jaelon Acklin (5-10, so.) leads the Eagles, averaging 17.2 points and 3.2 assists. Jordan Pruett (6-1, sr.) grabs six rebounds a contest while scoring 10.4 points a game.
7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jefferson College (Hillsboro)
Charleston (27-2) or Liberty-Mountain View (17-12)
Scott City came on strong at the end of the season, extending their winning streak to six with a 48-35 win over Saxony Lutheran in the district championship. The regular season Scott-Miss Conference champs will make their first appearance in the state playoffs since 2000. The Rams are led by Zach Cotner (6-0, sr.) averaging a team-high 20 points. Point guard Jesse Sanders (5-11, jr.) and Landon Robert (6-0, sr.) both average just over 10 points per game. Ryan Brock (6-4, jr.) leads the team in rebounding... Crystal City is making their 18th playoff appearance in school history but first since 2008. Eli Sample (6-3, sr.) averages a team-high 19.4 points while Bryan DeGeare (6-7, jr.) scores 10.9 points and grabs 6.9 rebounds. Point guard Stacey Thornton (5-8, sr.) averages 6 assists per game while Dane Russell (5-11, sr.) has hit a team-high 43 3-pointers.
7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Poplar Bluff High School
Oran (18-10) or Crossroads College Prep (16-11)
After starting out 4-6, Hayti finished the season winning 15 of their last 18, including two thrillers in the district tournament. The Indians defeated Bernie on a 3-pointer at the buzzer and then outlasted Holcomb in the overtime championship. The Indians are balanced with no player averaging double figures. Demetrius Luster (6-1, so.) and Hunter Turner (6-1, sr.) both average 9 points as Luster has a team-high 7 rebounds and Turner 45 3-pointers. Jerome Thomas (6-2, sr.) also is at 9 points and 5 rebounds while Maurion Newbill (5-8, jr.) scored 8.5 points per game... Thayer has won 11 of their last 12 games and is making their second-straight playoff appearance and 16th overall. Austin Henry (6-1, sr.) and Ricky Smith (6-3, sr.) each average 14 points for the Bobcats. Henry has hit a team-high 58 3-pointers while Smith is second on the team with 7 rebounds. Levi Hargrove (6-1, so.) is at 11.3 points and 6 rebounds while Dylan Dennis (6-2, sr.) averages a team-high 8 rebounds while scoring 9 points per game.
7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Park Hills Central High School
Hayti (19-9) or Thayer (23-6)
Oran is making their second-straight appearance in the state playoffs after defeating Advance 58-54 in the district championship game. Kody Moore (5-10, jr.) is the top scorer for the Eagles at 18 points per game while Seth Ressel (5-9, so.) scores 16 per game. Alex Heuring (6-2, jr.) is the team's top rebounder and averages 13 points per game. Crossroads was seeded fourth in their district and took out top seeded New Haven (47-44) and second seeded Bismarck (73-54) to win their first-ever district title. The Current are led by Milton Spaulding (5-10, jr.) and Trevor Clay (6-1, so.). Spaulding averages 17.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, and Clay is at 16.7 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Andrew Witherspoon (6-1, so.) also grabs 5 rebounds per game.