With 15 minutes left in the third quarter, Centralia led 54-38 and Panthers coach David Meyers was ready to celebrate.
“I thought there was a chance we might go ahead and run away,” Meyers said.
Charleston (26-4) closed the quarter on a 15-4 run, though, and went on to force overtime when Marcus Biles’ 3-point basket at the end of the fourth quarter tied it at 69.
The Panthers, though, prevailed in overtime, beating Charleston 82-80 in the Class 3 semifinal at Hearnes Center on Thursday.
Meyer said the Blue Jays’ speed and pressure, which forced 12 second-half turnovers, led to their comeback.
The teams traded baskets in overtime before two free throws from Adam Hinspeter with 10 seconds left gave the Panthers an 82-78 lead.
Chad Thall led Centralia with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Centralia (28-2) will face Maryville in the championship game at 2 p.m. today at Hearnes Center.
— Will Hall
MARYVILLE 44, MOUNTAIN GROVE 42: As Maryville’s Nate Morley came off of a screen with the game tied 42-42 late in the fourth quarter, his defender tripped and left nothing between him and the basket.
“I couldn’t really believe it,” Morley said.
Morley hit a jump shot with four seconds left and stole the resulting inbounds pass to secure a spot in the state championship game for the Spoofhounds.
Mountain Grove (26-4) led 37-28 with 6:44 left in the fourth quarter until Morley hit a 3-pointer. That shot started a 14-5 Spoofhound run that tied the game at 42 with 46 seconds left.
Maryville (25-6) led 20-14 at halftime, mainly because Mountain Grove shot 11 percent.
“A lot of it was nerves,” Mountain Grove coach Duane Hiler said. “A lot of it was the fact they played good defense.”
— Will Hall
METRO 49, HANCOCK 25: Talk about bad timing. Hancock’s biggest game of the year was the worst for Sonya Daugherty, its leading scorer.
Metro’s Rhyan Robinson and Asha Hughes limited Daugherty to a season-low seven points to lead the Panthers to a 49-25 victory against Hancoock in the Class 3 semifinals. Deidra Dace scored 20 for Metro (29-2), which will play Stockton at 12:25 p.m. today for the state championship.
“(Daugherty) can carry a team on her back, and we expected her to do that today,” Robinson.
Daugherty came into the game averaging 32.5 points, but shot 3-of-11 from the field and committed four of Hancock’s 23 turnovers.
Hancock (26-3) will play California (26-4) at 9:15 a.m. in the consolation game.
STOCKTON 67, CALIFORNIA 46: Stockton’s seniors didn’t have any problems adjusting to Hearnes Center. After all, they have played in the state championships there since they were freshmen.
The Tigers made four 3-pointers in the first three minutes and used them to jump out to a 24-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Stockton (29-1) will play Metro at 12:25 p.m. today for the state championship.
Stockton’s Kyla Burns scored 13 and Kiana Bock added 12 to lead a balanced attack.
“I don’t think anyone has played a team like them,” California coach Shane Meyer said. “All five of their starters can post up, all five can penetrate and all five can hit 3-point shots.”
— Trevor Taylor
CLOPTON 64, STOUTLAND 62: Sophomore Alicia Wheeler makes them when it counts.
Wheeler made a pair of free throws with 1.8 seconds left to secure Clopton’s second consecutive championship game appearance.
“You know you just have to concentrate and do it,” Wheeler said. “I concentrated and just imagined it going in.”
The free throws capped a fourth quarter rally for Clopton (30-0). The Hawks had trailed by as many as 56-46 in the third quarter, when foul trouble sidelined center Brandi Tipton, Clopton’s leading scorer.
Despite spending most of the third quarter on the bench, Tipton led the Hawks with 15 points.
“We had lots of adversity and big time foul trouble in this game,” Clopton coach Edgar Lindsay said. “I’m proud of the way our kids fought back.”
— Sean McDonnell
SKYLINE 58, ST. JOSEPH 49: Sometimes falling down can win a game. Ask Skyline’s Kara Tipton.
Tipton led the Tigers with 18 points, but it was her fourth quarter spill that may have sealed the victory.
After pulling to within 50-45, St. Joseph (30-1) seemed to have the momentum with 2:49 left. Forward Lauren Williams was called with a foul for charging Tipton on a layup. The foul, which sent both players to the floor, was Williams fifth. She left the game with 12 points and nine rebounds.
“It was a huge sigh of relief when I saw them come up and (the referee) called it the other way,” Skyline coach Kevin Cheek said. “I think that was the first charge (Tipton) has taken all year.”
The defending champion Tigers (29-2) will play Clopton on Saturday in the championship game.
— Sean McDonnell
VAN FAR 73, SENATH-HORNERSVILLE 52: Mike Smith missed his first layup. He did not miss much after that.
Smith scored 29 to lead Van Far the state semifinals Thursday at Hearnes Center.
The Indians will face Marionville in the championship game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Hearnes Center.
Smith shot 13-19, pulled down nine rebounds, had five steals and blocked three shots.
The Indians (27-3) fell behind 7-4 with 5:22 left in the first quarter after a Ryan Skelton 3-pointer but scored the next 14 points. Smith had nine points during the run including a huge putback dunk off of Joe Basinger’s missed layup.
The Lions (20-7) didn’t score for five minutes and had nine turnovers during the drought.
MARIONVILLE 49 LONE JACK 43 (OT)
Nick Smart finally made his free throws.
After missing two with 1:04 left in overtime, he made four free throws in the last 18 seconds to lead Marionville in the state semifinals at Hearnes Center.
This was Lone Jack’s first loss of the season.
Kevin Born had a chance to win the game for Lone Jack at the end of regulation but missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Smart led the Comets (26-4) with 22 points.