Tournament of Champions, Jan 17-19 at JQH Arena
VOTE FOR PIC OF THE WEEK
(Last week in parenthesis)
- Billings, 13-1 (1) – The Wildcats’ 28 point win over Exeter was nice, but Friday’s 31 point pouncing of rival Crane went a long way toward proving they are a legit state champion contender once again. Essick and Chastain have been great, but junior Dawson Meyer is that extra x-factor that’s kept Coach Tilley’s boys atop all of class two.
- Nixa, 12-1 (2) – The Eagles are looking great, including a 51 point clobbering of Neosho last week and a quality win over upstart St. Louis Christian Academy. But the true test comes this week when the Eagles learn what it’s like to be the “underdog”. Nixa embarks upon the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions field featuring six nationally ranked teams, and the possible rematch against local power Hillcrest.
- Republic, 13-1 (3) – The Tigers are a step behind our top two, but are also a couple steps ahead of the rest of the area, and they’ve proved it so far. RepMo blasted Carthage by 40 last week and picked up a quality win over conference rival Marshfield by 11. Just a Monday night trip to Carl Junction is on the menu for the orange and black kitties this week.
- Strafford, 11-2 (5) – Despite playing without junior center Jacob Wade (team reasons) the Indians dominated in wins over Spokane and Blue Eye. Circle the calendar for January 18th at Ash Grove as they visit suddenly red hot Ash Grove in Mid-Lakes Conference action.
- Parkview, 14-2 (4) – The Vikings rolled past Southwest Early then snuck past Moberly to advance to the Sedalia Tournament championship. There, they fell short 58-55 to Columbia Rock Bridge. Ozark Conference play continues this week, hosting West Plains Tuesday. The Vikings’ slow it down style should give teams fits.
- Mt Vernon, 9-4 (6) – Skip Brock and the ‘Neers keep on rolling with wins over Cassville and East Newton by an average of 28.5 points per game. With wins in 10 of their last 11 games, Mount Vernon hosts Aurora and visits Clever this week.
- Clever, 13-2 (8) – If not for a couple Blue and Gold losses the Jays would likely be a few spots higher. They’ve bounced back nicely from the holidays with 46 and 37 point wins over Pleasant Hope and Galena respectively. Big one coming at Crane this week before hosting Mount Vernon in non-conference play Friday.
- Hillcrest, 10-3 (9) – The Hornets have heated up at this time of year the past few seasons, and we may be seeing it again in 2013. After dispatching Rolla last Monday, HHS rolled through the Lindbergh Tournament with wins over Jeff City Helias, O’Fallon, Il., and Jackson. Next up, the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions, and win or lose it should be noted that Hillcrest has reached the state championship game each of the past two times they’ve been a part of the T of C field.
- Fair Play, 11-1 (10) – Fair Play gets the award for most lopsided victory of the week. The Hornets were relentless in a 92-18 win over Kingsville in the Lakeland Tournament (that’s a 74 point margin in case you don’t want to do the math). They then blasted the host Lakeland in the semifinals, but will had Saturday’s championship against Osceola postponed due to the inclement weather. That game is expected to be made up on February 2nd.
- Crane, 10-3 (7) – After a couple of weeks off the Pirates showed some rust in an 84-53 setback at top ranked Billings. They’ll return to action Tuesday with a key SWCL matchup against Clever.
- Hartville, 13-2 (12) – The Eagles had a productive week winning the Gainesville Tournament in runaway fashion, including a 58 point win over Koshkonong, 34 point win over Forsyth, and an 18 point championship victory over host Gainesville. The Eagles will be tested this week with trips to Mansfield and Norwood.
- Webb City, 10-3 (13) – The Cardinals have established themselves as third in the COC Large pecking order with a 14 point win over Ozark last week. Third for now that is, but the upcoming schedule features some tough matchups against Republic, Willard, Branson, and of course Nixa. How will the Cardinals come out looking after that murders row of class 4 and 5 powers?
- Ash Grove, 12-4 (15) – The Pirates remain one of the hottest teams in the Ozarks, now winning nine straight after taking down rival Fair Grove 64-61 last week at home. Coach Nicholson’s squad gets a full week off before visiting Skyline in a key matchup Tuesday night.
- Eminence, 11-3 (NR) – The Redwings are having a nice season, while we don’t know a lot about Coach McBride’s club we do know they beat Thayer and lost to Winona last week. In fact, if you have scores from Eminence games we would love you to report them to firstname.lastname@example.org, (417) 268-3055 or twitter @OzarksOzone.
- Branson, 11-5 (14) – The Pirates had a busy week, opening with a comeback overtime win at Willard (2nd win over the Tigers this season) before going 2 and 1 at the Sedalia Tournament. They blasted Sedalia Smith-Cotton, lost to Rock Bridge by six, then beat Moberly by 32.