BONNE TERRE – Reagan Rapert accelerated quickly off the dribble, and drew a multitude of fouls as the North County defense struggled to stay in front of her.
The junior guard compiled 27 points, five assists and four steals while making 8-of-9 free throws on Monday night, and Union seized control for a 59-40 victory over the Lady Raiders.
Emily Gaebe added 19 points for the Wildcats (18-4), including 11 during the second quarter as they surged to a 37-24 advantage at halftime.
North County (17-6) honored five seniors before the game, but were hampered by 20 turnovers and a perplexing 4-of-19 performance at the free-throw line.
Kayleigh Winch totaled 17 points and five rebounds, and fellow senior Julia Christopher notched eight points and four assists for the Lady Raiders.
Rapert opened the contest by sinking a 3-pointer and racing end to end for a layup for Union. North County responded by finding its forwards near the basket.
Winch converted an early 3-point play while splitting two defenders, and forged a 13-13 tie with her fourth field goal after catching a perimeter lob from Christopher.
Lauren Forrester also scored off an interior feed by Ashley Thomas. Juli Farr hit a baseline jumper while returning from injury, but North County generated just six bench points.
Christopher knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to open the second quarter for 19-15 lead, but Union countered with a pivotal 13-0 run that saw Gaebe break ahead of the pack for two easy layups.
North County junior guard Ella Gant picked up her third and fourth fouls less than a minute into the low-scoring third quarter, and the Wildcats maintained a 45-29 separation.
Rapert made it 50-31 with a slashing layup, and Union made 20-of-28 free throws as a team. Gant and Winch combined on a 6-0 spurt, but Gaebe came back with a 3-point play.
Kamryn Winch claimed nine rebounds for North County, which hosted Ste. Genevieve on Thursday with a chance to shard the MAAA Large-School regular season title.
Farmington 59, Poplar Bluff 54
FARMINGTON – Freshman forward Jade Roth finished with 19 points, and sparked a favorable start to the fourth quarter as Farmington defeated Poplar Bluff 59-54 on Monday night.
Farmington (11-12) converted 10-of-14 free throws, and carried a four-point advantage into the final period after the contest was even 34-34 at halftime.
St. Louis University signee Kiley Bess powered Poplar Bluff (15-9) with a game-high 26.
Ste. Genevieve 65, Perryville 31
STE. GENEVIEVE – Maci Reynolds scored 16 of her game-high 20 points before intermission, and state-ranked Ste. Genevieve cruised past Perryville 65-31 on Monday night.
Sydney Bumgardaner finished with 13 points, and Abby Moore matched Marysa Flieg with nine each for the Dragons, who established leads of 21-9 through one quarter and 37-16 at halftime.
Ste. Genevieve (23-1) established a new single-season record for wins, and hopes to repeat as outright MAAA Large-School champion against North County on Thursday.
Ella Reed, who was honored as the lone senior before her final home game, chipped in seven points to equal the total by Megan Aubuchon.
Katie Winchel netted seven points, and Adrienne Weibrecht added six for Perryville (11-12), which will host North County on Wednesday.
Cape Central 64, Potosi 40
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Taylor Horton shared game-high scoring honors with 20 points on Monday night to help Cape Central handle visiting Potosi 64-40.
Ella Vogel added 16 points for the Tigers, who prevailed in their regular season finale after building a 34-20 halftime lead.
Olivia Coleman netted 20 points to highlight Potosi (12-14). Kaydence Gibson scored 12 more.
Eminence 72, St. Paul 68
ANNAPOLIS, Mo. – The best season for the St. Paul girls basketball program ended with a much stronger showing in a rematch against Eminence on Monday night.
Payton Shelton and Brynne Spurgin scored 21 points each as the Redwings reached the Class 1, District 3 championship round with a 72-68 triumph.
Savannah Victor netted nine consecutive points after the game was tied 30-30 at halftime, and Shelton capped a 19-8 run by Eminence (20-7) with one of her five 3-pointers for a 49-38 advantage.
Sophomore forward Riley Petty provided 16 of her game-high 22 points in the first half for St. Paul (16-11) as both teams placed four players in double digits.
Giants freshman Brylee Durbin generated her 17 points exclusively after the break, while Paige Ames added 11 and fellow senior Izzie Carroll pitched in 10.
Perfect pairs of free throws by Ames and Carroll trimmed the margin to 65-59, but Shelton answered with a momentous triple down the stetch.
Tristan Weaver compiled 17 points and Victor had 13 for the Redwings, who will face tournament host and top seed South Iron on Thursday.
Petty gave St. Paul a 7-2 start with three baskets in the paint following an initial free throw. A 3-pointer by Olivia Ayers off the bench restored a 19-14 edge before the first quarter ended.
St. Vincent 40, Valle Catholic 26
BLOOMFIELD, Mo. – St. Vincent eliminated Valle Catholic 40-26 from the Class 2, District 3 tournament after splitting two previous battles this season.
Mary Schwartz scored 13 points for St. Vincent (13-13), which will face Oran for the championship on Thursday night.
Valle Catholic (12-14) was led by Hannah Fowler with 10 points.
Kelly 57, Fredericktown 51
FREDERICKTOWN – Sophomore Gavin Jansen poured in 27 points, and second-seeded Kelly withstood a comeback threat by Fredericktown to reach the boys Class 3, District 2 title game.
Bryce Morgan and Devin Heuring added 10 points each as the Hawks prevailed 57-51 amid a resurgence following a nine-win season.
Kelly (19-9) headed into halftime leading 25-18 after Jansen capped a deliberate second quarter with a 3-pointer as time expired.
He added a putback through contact late in the third, and restored the largest separation of the game at 46-32 on a baseline drive early in the fourth.
Fredericktown (12-14) struggled mightily from the perimeter, but rallied by forcing turnovers and hitting 8-of-8 free throws in the final stanza.
Alex Sikes knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to make the deficit 54-51 with just 26 seconds remaining, but the Blackcats missed three shots on their next possession after Heuring split two from the line.
Nate Miller paced Fredericktown for a second straight district contest with 16 points, and Seth Laut had 14 from the post as four players dented the scoring column.
Sikes finished with 12 points and Grant Shankle chipped in nine on a frustrating shooting performance. Andrew Starkey appeared only briefly after suffering a stress fracture in his hand on Saturday.
Kelly opened the game on a quick 7-0 run, but Fredericktown countered with a 9-0 spurt that Miller punctuated with a steal and layup.
Jefferson 56, Kingston 24
HERCULANEUM, Mo. – Kingston ended its boys basketball season with an offensive thud as No. 3 seed Jefferson rolled 56-24 in the opening round of the Class 3, District 3 tournament.
Reserve guard Nolan Roth dropped in seven 3-pointers and scored a game-high 24 for the Blue Jays (14-11), who will battle rival St. Pius next.
Kyle Vandergriff paced Kingston (9-16) with 10 points.
Valley 58, Crossroads 40
CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. – Colby Maxwell scored 18 points off the bench Monday night, as third-seeded Valley downed Crossroads 58-40 in the Class 2, District 4 first round.
Skylar DeClue powered in 15 points while Stetson McCoy added 11 and Tyler Courtway chipped in seven for the Vikings (9-16), who advanced to face Crystal City on Wednesday.
Valley closed the third quarter with a 41-34 lead as Jacob Gaston faked a defender and hit a shot from the post just before the buzzer sounded.
DeClue and Maxwell posted two field goals each while outscoring the sixth-seeded Current 17-6 during the fourth. The Vikings sank 9-of-11 free throws over the final three minutes.
Jordan Bogan and Jordan Carradine made back-to-back driving layups out of halftime to trim a 26-20 halftime spread to two, and tallied 17 and 12 points, respectively, for Crossroads (1-19).