The Waynesville boys' basketball team will look to avenge last year's district championship loss to Jefferson City on Thursday after taking care of business in the first round on Tuesday, as the Tigers defeated the Camdenton Lakers, 72-52, in the semifinals of the Missouri Class 5 District 10 tournament.
The win sets up a rematch between Waynesville and Jefferson City of last year's district championship game — although the dynamics might be a little different.
Last year, Waynesville's Juwan Morgan and Jefferson City's OG Anunoby squared off in the district championship game. This year, both those players are competing as freshmen for the Indiana Hoosiers.
But Waynesville head coach Chris Pilz said he expects this year's matchup could be just as good. Last year, the 'Jays won, 39-37.
"I like our guys and I think they'll give a heck of an effort," Pilz said. "We're going to remember this one for a long time because they have a lot of seniors, and we have a lot of seniors so they'll be some memories going out on the floor."
On Monday, the Tigers were tied with the Camdenton Lakers at the end of a high-scoring first quarter at 23, but Waynesville turned up the defensive intensity in the second quarter, holding Camdenton to just seven points in the frame and took a 37-30 lead to the half.
The Tigers then opened the second half on a 12-4 run to to take control of the game.
Waynesville (14-12) got 22 points and 12 rebounds from senior post player Cedric Williams, including 10 points in the fourth quarter as the Tigers pulled away for the win.
"He is just a tough kid to get position against and we struggled to keep him off the block and he finished well tonight and we really didn't have an answer for that," Camdenton head coach Jared O'Quinn said. "We tried some different things, we went zone a little bit and we still didn't have an answer for him. He played well."
Williams was one of four players in double figures for the Tigers as Joe Johnson scored 15, senior Trey Simpson added 13 and Reggie Walker scored 11.
Camdenton got 15 points from senior Brady Kempf and 13 from junior Hunter Glynn. The Lakers made eight 3-pointers in the contest, including two by senior Braden Demark. The game marked the final contest for six Camdenton seniors, including Demark, Kempf, Michael Hake, Hunter Hood, Riley Shriver and Kyle Snyder.
"I can't say enough about our seniors, we graduate six," O'Quinn said. "Their growth has been remarkable and it is a testament to how much hard work they have put in over the years."
High school boys' basketball
WAYNESVILLE 72, CAMDENTON 52
on Tuesday, at Lebanon High School
Camdenton 23 7 8 14 — 72
Waynesville 23 14 14 21 — 72
Camdenton (12-16) — Braden Demark 9, Hunter Glynn 13, Michael Hake 2, Brady Kempf 15, Dyllan Decker 8, Kyle Snyder 2, Riley Shriver 3.
Waynesville (13-12) — Reggie Walker 11, Dwayne Morton 9, Joe Johnson 15, Trey Simpson 13, Cedric Williams 22, Tahja Stewart 2.