Round two brings more excitement

Smaller high schools are playing for state titles this weekend.
Thursday, March 17, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:03 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

It will not be easy to top the first weekend of the high school state basketball championships, but 24 teams from around Missouri are in Columbia to give it a shot.

The Missouri State High School Activities Association breaks up the basketball championships into two weekends of hard-court excitement. Last weekend was for the larger Class 4 and 5 schools, and this weekend welcomes eight more schools from the other three classes.

The invasion of Missourians will mean little hotel space, long lines at restaurants and plenty of do-or-die basketball games for people to watch.

The MSHSAA will be hosting the event at Mizzou Arena, where about 29,000 fans attended games in the Class 4 and 5 tournaments.

To accommodate the increased number of teams, games will begin Thursday morning and be spread out through Friday and Saturday.

While the lower classes might not have as high-profile matchups as this past Saturday’s Class 5 boys’ final between Vashon and Poplar Bluff, there are intriguing teams.

Class 2 boasts two undefeated teams, one boys’ team and one girls’ team.

The Clopton High School girls’ team (30-0) will play Gainesville (26-3) in the semifinals Friday at 9:15 p.m. The boys’ team from Salisbury (30-0) will play Marionville (25-3) at 6:05 p.m. Friday.

Both schools are ranked No. 1 in the state in their respective class.

Three of the top four teams in the state made it to the girls’ Class 3 semifinals. No.1 St. Peter’s Lutheran (27-3) plays Springfield Catholic (18-11) at 9:15 p.m. Thursday; No. 2 Hancock (26-2) and No. 4 Pembroke Hill (25-3) clash at 7:40 Thursday night.

The Class 1 boys’ tournament is setting up for a No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup in Friday’s final.

Jefferson and North Shelby play semifinal games Thursday. Each team is 29-1 and is ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the state, respectively.

Jefferson will play defending champion Bell City (21-9), and North Shelby plays last year’s runner-up, St. Elizabeth (22-8).

Each day is broken into two sessions featuring games from one class.

Thursday will be the semifinals of Class 1 and Class 3. Friday will have the semifinal games for Class 2 and the finals for Class 1. Saturday’s games are the finals in Class 2 and Class 3.

Admission for each session is $6 and parking at the arena is free.

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