Surrounded by all eight of her seniors, basketball coach Tonya Mirts stood at a trophy case near the concession stand south of the Hickman High gymnasium.
As she ran her fingers across the glass, Mirts smiled and helped the Kewpies envision a trophy in the empty spot beside a second-place district track trophy.
Coaches don’t like to talk about “must win” games, but for Missouri and coach Quin Snyder, that is what it has come to.
This afternoon’s game might be a must win for a different reason, though. With the Tigers’ game against UNLV at 2:30 p.m. at Hearnes Center being the second of three straight at home, it presents a good opportunity for the Tigers to earn consecutive wins for the first time since early December.
Saturday’s women’s basketball game between Columbia College and Harris-Stowe State featured the American Midwest Conference’s top three scorers, but the competition outplayed the conference leader.
The Cougars beat the Hornets 99-59 at The Arena of Southwell Complex for their 11th consecutive win. The Cougars (19-7, 10-0 AMC) held Laniya Stevens, the AMC’s leading scorer with 19.8 points per game, to nine on 2-of-9 shooting as the Cougars’ Charliss Ridley and Lisa Kowalewski alternated dominant scoring halves.
JEFFERSON CITY — After the fifth installment of the Zach Arnold-Jeremy Hudson series, Arnold hasn’t found an ending he likes.
Arnold, a Hickman wrestler, lost to Jefferson City’s Hudson in the 171-pound finals of the Class 3 Sectional 3 Tournament at Jefferson City High on Saturday. Hudson’s 2-1 victory was his fifth win against Arnold this season.
Normally Kyle Smith and his Hickman teammates shoot at halftime of the junior varsity game. Before Saturday’s varsity game against the University City Lions there was no shootaround.
“We were trying to save all of our shots for the game,” Smith said.
Rock Bridge’s Ashley Dressler looks like a senior, plays like a senior and composes herself like a senior.
She is only a freshman.
JEFFERSON CITY -- Three Rock Bridge wrestlers have another grueling week of practice ahead.
They earned it.
The game was a milestone for a man and a program.
In front of their home crowd at Smithton Middle School on Friday, the Douglass Bulldogs defeated Tipton 71-62. It was the Bulldogs’ 100th win since the school reinstated basketball in 1997 after a 37-year hiatus.
Missouri knew it would be difficult to follow last week’s record-setting Cat Classic, the best gymnastics performance in school history. It was ready for another challenge this week, though.
Breaking the school uneven bars record and tying the school vault record in the process, No. 10 Missouri defeated No. 15 Arkansas 196.600-195.925 at Hearnes Center on Friday.
Missouri coach Rob Drass can’t remember the last meet in which his squad did not break a record.
The Tigers gymnastics team broke its uneven bars record again Friday against No. 15 Arkansas at Hearnes Center. The Tigers’ 49.325 was more impressive considering the struggles of one of the squad’s top performers in the event.
After Linas Kleiza dislocated his right shoulder Jan. 28 at Colorado, the initial prognosis was that he would miss two weeks and could return Sunday.
Two days before his potential return, the situation has changed dramatically. Kleiza, a freshman and Missouri’s leading rebounder, will have surgery and will miss the rest of the season.
He isn’t blind, and he isn’t deaf.
Although Missouri coach Quin Snyder said he doesn’t pay attention to the fans falling off the Tigers’ bandwagon or the critics assessing blame, he knows they are out there.
Nearly all coaches stress the importance of senior leadership but only the lucky ones see its benefits firsthand. Bob Burchard, the Columbia College men’s basketball coach, certainly falls into that category.
Senior guards Andre Amos and Khamari Ballard led the Cougars on both ends of the court, helping Columbia College beat Hannibal-LaGrange 98-88 on Thursday at The Arena of Southwell Complex.
KANSAS CITY — There he is, off to the side, in the shadows and away from the glare of the spotlight.
When Tony Temple is your cousin, best friend and teammate, getting lost in the glow isn’t difficult. Steve Redmond is used to it, and it doesn’t bother him much.
Even if Missouri loses all of its meets this season, the Tigers can be national champions.
Every gymnast on the MU squad knows that though it’s nice to defeat opponents, high scoring is what will propel the Tigers to bigger victories.
Carl Edwards sits patiently behind the wheel. His right foot is lightly pressed against the gas pedal. His right hand is carefully cradling the clutch.
He is waiting for the green flag to wave. He is prepared to compete. He is ready to win. Above all else, he is focused.
Cam Purcell, Will Martin and Erin Slate have their team behind them. Not only is it behind them, but it also is underneath them, around them and next to them.
The season goes on for only three wrestlers, but the Rock Bridge wrestling team practices every day. Purcell (152), Martin (160) and Slate (171) placed third in the Class 3 District 5 Tournament last week in St. Charles to advance to the Sectional 3 Tournament on Saturday in Jefferson City. If they place in the top four at the sectional tournament, they qualify for the state championships Feb. 19-21 at Hearnes Center.
Jefferson City wrestler Jeremy Hudson has owned Hickman’s Zach Arnold.
Although Arnold has kept every match between the 171 pounders within three points, he is 0-4 against Hudson this season.
Hickman junior John Willett knows what he is up against at the state meet.
Willett, along with six other Kewpies and seven Rock Bridge swimmers, will travel to the Rec-Plex in St. Peters for the state swimming and diving meet today and Saturday.
As troubling and disappointing as the dismissal of former point guard Randy Pulley might be, Pulley’s departure has opened the door for Jason Conley.
Conley, a 6-foot-5 junior, has taken advantage of this situation and again become a viable, offensive threat off the Missouri bench. After several weeks of struggles, Conley looked more like the player who led the nation in scoring two years ago at Virginia Military Institute.