By David Sharp
South Shelby (25-1, ranked first in Missouri Girls Class 3) overpowered St. Peters Lutheran by a 53-21 final score in the Hannibal quarterfinals and moved on the MSHSAA Show-Me Showdown, scheduled for March 13-15 at the Mizzou Arena at Columbia.
The Lady Birds kept the Cougars out of the lane, and blew the game open with a dominant effort on both ends of the court. South Shelby turned an 11-7 first quarter edge to a 32-9 halftime rout.
South Shelby powered to a 50-15 three quarter lead. The fourth quarter featured a running clock. The Lady Birds allowed only eight field goals defensively. Jenna Mueller scored a game high 15 South Shelby points.
Erin Mayes tossed in 13 points for the Lady Birds. Danielle Pierson led Lutheran with five points.
St. Louis Lutheran North used their speed and quickness to end Highland’s state tournament aspirations with a 62-47 victory. The Crusaders (20-11) bolted to a 9-1 first quarter lead with a full court attack.
Caleb Tasco capped a gritty 17-6 run with a three pointer for a 17-13 Cougar lead with 7:15 remaining in the second quarter. Tad Luebbehusen hammered home an offensive rebound, trimming a 30-25 Crusader lead to 30-27 at the half.
Highland could not get past the quick Crusader defense often enough, and settled for jump shots during the second half. Both sides sank 16 field goals and four three pointers each during the contest.
The difference in the final score came at the free throw line. Lutheran North got to the charity stripe 23 times to five for Highland. The Crusaders held an 18-3 advantage in made free throws.
Highland had six steals and Lutheran North two. Both sides took very good care of the ball, especially considering the game pace. Seventh ranked Highland (22-7) had only six turnovers and the Crusaders four. Lutheran North held a 32-27 unofficial rebound advantage.
Tyler Shaw scored a game high 18 points for the winners. Charles Dunbar had 15 points and eight rebounds from the point guard slot. Joshua Armstrong had a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards for Lutheran North.
John Mims led the Cougars with 15 points. Josh Mims sat out several minutes in foul trouble and scored 11 Highland points. Both Mims brothers had three steals each. Tad Luebbehusen scored eight points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Highland seniors Caleb Tasco, John Mims and Tad Luebbehusen played their final basketball games for the Cougars. "We had open looks, we just couldn’t knock them down," said Highland first year head coach Clyde Rosencrans.
"Shots would rattle out, we wouldn’t get back (on defense) they would go down to the other end and score. Things just didn’t go our way today," said Rosencrans. "We haven’t seen quickness like this all year. They would stretch you out and take us off the dribble."
"We couldn’t get to the (free throw) line. We couldn’t get calls. We couldn’t finish around the basket."
Lutheran North takes on Linn (27-3) at 9:30PM on Thursday, March 13 in the semi-final round. South Shelby challenges seventh ranked Hermann at 6:10PM Thursday night in their Class 3 girl’s semi. The Class 3 girls state title game tips off at 12:20PM on Saturday, March 15. The Class 3 boy’s championship game starts at 2PM.
Top ranked Meadville (29-0) moved on to the Class 1 girls’ semi-finals. The Lady Eagles start the Show-Me Showdown II in the dreaded 9AM slot. Second ranked Cairo takes on Mack’s Creek at 10:40AM in the remaining Class 1 girls’ semi-final game. The Class 1 girls’ state championship game begins at 12:20 PM on Friday, March 14.
Cairo bested Silex 43-35 in the Kirksville quarterfinal. Third ranked Glasgow topped sixth rated LaPlata (28-2) by a 63-44 margin at Kirksville. Defending state champion Jefferson knocked off Newtown-Harris 77-63 in the quarterfinals.
First ranked Westran made the semi-finals for the third straight season. The Lady Hornets will go for an undefeated state title starting at 6:10PM Friday evening with Crane as their opponent. Another Northeast Missouri state championship game could be in the offing.
Clopton takes on Penney in the other Class 2 girl’s semi. The Class 2 girl’s championship game is scheduled for 4:30PM on Saturday. Harrisburg beat Concordia 64-53 for the Bulldogs’ third straight less than 20 mile trip to Columbia.
The Class 2 boys’ championship game tips off at 6:10PM on Saturday evening.