By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Golden City had a business trip on Saturday.
The Eagles took care of business, emphatically.
Golden City scored the game’s first 13 points, led by 14 at halftime and blew the game open in the second half on its way to a 72-42 win over Green Ridge in Saturday’s Class 1 boys’ quarterfinals at SBU in Bolivar.
Brothers Chain Parrill and Arlo Stump combined for 48 points to lead Golden City.
The outcome sends Golden City to the final four for the first time since 1997.
But you wouldn’t know it’s been that long from watching the Eagles celebrate in modest fashion after the final buzzer.
“I’m real excited, but our kids act like they’ve done this 20 years in a row now,” said Golden City coach Michael Reeves, laughing. “They weren’t that excited at all. For me, I’m ecstatic. I’m excited for the kids, for the community. This is neat.”
Golden City (27-2 overall) plays St. Elizabeth (24-5 overall) at 8:30 p.m. March 12 in the Class 1 semifinals at JQH Arena in Springfield.
“I think (our players) have higher goals right now,” Reeves said. “I think they’ve been changing as the season’s gone on. We’re on one heck of a ride.”
The Eagles have felt motivated all season after losing by 26 to Lakeland in the state sectional round a year ago.
“We all made a promise that we’d at least get to the final four this year,” said Stump, who had 21 points. “We treated this as a business trip, and that’s what we did.”
Golden City put the game away for good early in the second half. Parrill hit one of his five second-half 3-pointers to give the Eagles a 45-23 lead.
Golden City’s lead reached turbo-clock territory (30 points) in the fourth quarter.
Parrill led all players with 27 points. Junior Lane Dunlap added 16 points.
“We have a three-headed monster,” Reeves said. “It’s hard to stop three guys on one team in Class 1. We’re lucky to have all three and a good supporting cast around them that’s fine giving them the ball.”
The Eagles are in the midst of a basketball renaissance for their program. Golden City won just nine games over a four-season span (2014-17), including a winless campaign in 2015-16.
“It’s been a great turnaround,” Stump said. “All my teammates, we’ve been together since we were kids. So we have that team chemistry. As we got older, we added (younger players) and we’ve developed on that.”
Golden City has held its opponent under 50 points in all five postseason games.
“On offense, I told them they can do whatever they want as long as they do what I want on defense,” Reeves said. “They’re a great group. They’ll listen and do what we need to do to win.”
It took Green Ridge more than four minutes to make its first field goal.
“I’m sure we all had an adrenaline rush to start the game, but once we got up 13-0, we calmed a little bit and got settled down,” Stump said.
Golden City 72, Green Ridge 42
Golden City 19 18 21 14 — 72
Green Ridge 11 12 13 6 — 42
Golden City (27-2 overall) – Chain Parrill 27, Arlo Stump 21, Lane Dunlap 16, Seth Miller 6, Eliab Cifuentes 2
Green Ridge (19-9 overall) – Carson Brown 19, Aleksandr Rebikh 13, Mason Harding 8, Igor Taushanzhi 2