(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
POPLAR BLUFF -- Several local boys teams will be fighting to make it to the state semifinals this weekend in Classes 1, 2 and 3. Here is a breakdown of the games featuring local teams.
2:45 p.m. Saturday, Poplar Bluff High School
California (20-9) or Mt. Vernon (23-5)
Charleston is seeking their second consecutive trip to the state semifinals and 20th overall. The Bluejays started strong and held off a tough Liberty squad in the sectionals 74-64, behind 27 points from leading scorer Greg Tucker (6-2, sr.). Tucker, a University of Northern Colorado signee, is at 21 points per game and is 100 percent after missing some games at the end of the season with a thigh injury. Point guard Ryan Parham (5-11, jr.) scored 15 points against Liberty and averages 10 points a game and 5 assists. Aaron Cassell (5-7, sr.) is at 12 points per game while Darrion Carter (6-3, jr.) played a strong game against Liberty scoring nine points and grabbing nine rebounds off the bench... Crystal City is seeking their first-ever state semifinal appearance after easily defeating Scott City 71-52 in their sectional on Wednesday. Eli Sample (6-3, sr.) scorched the Rams for 27 points in the sectionals, including 21 in the second half. Sample averages a team-high 20 points. Stacey Thornton (5-8, sr.) relentlessly drove to the basket against Scott City and scored 16 points. The lightning quick point guard averages five points and six assists. Nicholas Rothweiler (6-1, sr.) scored his average of 10 points against Scott City while Bryan DeGeare (6-7, jr.) grabs a team-high seven rebounds per game.
2:45 p.m. Saturday, at Bearcat Event Center (Dexter)
Norwood (27-2) or Billings (26-3)
Hayti is living a charmed life, rallying to win the district semifinals on a last second shot and coming back to win their district championship game in overtime and sectional game in triple overtime. In the Indians' 67-55 triple OT win over Thayer in the sectional, Jerome Thomas (6-2, sr.) scored 23 points and grabbed a whopping 24 rebounds. For the season, Thomas leads the team in scoring with 9.4 points a game while grabbing 6 rebounds a contest. Hunter Turner (6-1, sr.), Demetrius Luster (6-1, so.) and Maurion Newbill (5-8, jr.) are all at nine points per game while Turner has hit a team-high 46 3-pointers and made 9 of 10 free throws in the third overtime to seal Hayti's sectional win. Luster grabs a team-high seven rebounds per game. Hayti hasn't made the state semifinals since 1983 when they won the Class 2A state championship... Oran is making their first quarterfinal appearance since 1969 when the Eagles finished second in the state. In their sectional win, Oran got 18 points from Alex Heuring (6-2, jr.) as the Eagles thrived inside in their 59-54 win over Crossroads College Prep. Heuring is at 13 points a game and is also the team's top rebounder. Kody Moore (5-10, jr.) is at 18 points a game and scored 14 against Crossroads while Seth Ressel (5-9, so.) scored his average of 16 on Wednesday. Oran is good at the free throw line, hitting 14 of 16 against Crossroads including 11 of 12 in the fourth quarter.
2:15 p.m. Saturday, at Three Rivers College
Glasgow (24-5) or Marion County (27-1)
Scott County Central advanced to its fifth consecutive quarterfinal game in easy fashion, blowing out Risco 100-76 on Tuesday. The Braves get a majority of their points from Dominique Porter (5-11, sr.), LaMarcus Steward (5-9, sr.) and Larandis Banks (5-10, so.). Porter scored 43 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against Risco on Tuesday and averages nearly 25 points and eight rebounds. Steward scored 25 points in the sectional and scores over 14 points per game while Banks is also over 14 points a game. Scott Central beat the Red Wings in the quarterfinals in 2009 87-58... Eminence is making its seventh appearance in the playoffs and have never made it past the quarterfinal round. The Red Wings defeated Hurley 61-58 in the sectionals and upset state-ranked South Iron to win their district championship 41-33. Eminence is led by a balanced attack. Cole Keeling (6-2, jr.) and Hunter Adams (5-11, jr.) both average just under 12 points a game. Keeling has hit a team-high 109 3-pointers and grabs four rebounds a game, second behind Allan Brewer (6-2, sr.) who is at nine points and five rebounds. Logan Dyer (6-0, fr.) scores 11 points and grabs four rebounds per game while Jesse Lacey (5-6, jr.) averages nine points.