CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. – The Bismarck girls basketball team has an opportunity to stamp its turnaround season with a championship plaque.
The third-seeded Lady Indians avenged a road loss from last month by topping Class 2, District 4 tournament host Crystal City 54-43 on Thursday night.
Morgan Randazzo stepped up to share team-high honors with 19 points, and Bismarck (17-11) booked its spot in the title contest against New Haven on Saturday at 6 p.m.
The Lady Indians have more than doubled their win total after going 8-20 last winter, thanks to a boost from their talented freshman class.
Forward Ashley Hawkins also produced 19 points, and guard Halie Dickey added 11 in the victory.
New Haven eliminated Valley 80-19 in the earlier semifinal game.
West County 55, Jefferson 17
LEADWOOD – Senior guard Lilly James sank three 3-point shots in the first half, and top-seed West County eased through the semifinal round of the Class 3, District 3 tournament.
The Lady Bulldogs surrendered only seven field goals to Jefferson in a strong defensive effort, and secured a 55-17 victory on Thursday evening.
James scored a game-high 15 points, and Bailey Skiles provided 11 more. West County (21-5) will face St. Pius (23-3) for the championship Saturday at 1 p.m.
Alivia Simily and Alexis Hedgcorth added eight points each to the win. The Lady Bulldogs surged into halftime leading 34-7 after a putback by Morgan Simily beat the buzzer.
Freshman Halayna Loyd tallied seven points for Jefferson (14-13), which drastically improved from a total of four victories last season.
Fredericktown 68, Dexter 37
DEXTER, Mo. – The Fredericktown girls will carry a five-game win streak into the postseason following an impressive 68-37 triumph at Dexter on Thursday.
Sophomore center Amelia Miller starred inside with 19 points and 15 rebounds. The Lady Blackcats took a dominant 33-14 lead into halftime.
P.J. Reutzel finished with 18 points and nine rebounds while Ava Penuel contributed 14 points and five assists in the victory.
Fredericktown (15-10) will face Kennett in a Class 4, District 1 first-round game on Tuesday in Dexter.
Owensville 65, North County 38
BONNE TERRE – Junior guard Emma Daniels compiled 29 points and five steals as Owensville spoiled the home finale for North County with a 65-38 victory on Thursday night.
Daniels drained five 3-pointers prior to halftime, and the Dutchgirls stretched an 18-14 lead through one quarter to 36-23 by halftime.
Owensville (17-8) picked up 11 more points from Cam Nowack, and coaxed the Lady Raiders into 15 second-half turnovers.
Paris Larkin netted 13 points, and senior classmate Lainey Calkins totaled 11 points and 10 rebounds for North County (12-14).
South Iron 73, St. Paul 26
LESTERVILLE, Mo. – Top seed South Iron steamrolled past St. Paul 73-26 in the semifinal round of the Class 1, District 2 tournament on Thursday night.
Anna Parker scored a game-high 23 points for South Iron (24-2), which led 48-11 at halftime and moved forward to face Bunker in the title game on Saturday.
Brylee Durbin netted 13 points in her final varsity game for a career total of 2,035 while Pippa Detring chipped in six points for St. Paul (14-14).
Madison Ayers netted 19 points, and Allecia Cornell had 10 in the victory.
The Lady Raiders will face Hillsboro in the Class 5, District 1 opening round next Thursday in Farmington.
Central 96, Poplar Bluff 81
PARK HILLS – Jobe Bryant surged past 1,700 career points as a junior with the postseason still remaining, and Central defeated Poplar Bluff 96-81 in its home finale on Thursday night.
The fourth-ranked Rebels committed only four turnovers before building a 54-39 halftime margin that reached a maximum of 82-57 when Bryant rattled in a long 3-pointer as the third quarter expired.
Bryant drove and slashed his way to 22 first-half points and 35 overall while adding nine rebounds, eight assists and six steals. He went 12-of-15 at the free-throw line.
Mason Williams followed his strong offensive effort against top-ranked Cape Central with 22 points, four assists and seven rebounds, and ignited the home crowd by slamming a 2-on-1 lob pass from Bryant.
Caden Casey added 11 points, and Triston Stewart totaled 10 points with eight rebounds inside. Kendall Horton and Zack Boyd scored seven each.
Bryant converted an offensive rebound into a 3-point play just before halftime, and later beat three defenders with a slick behind-the-back dribble, cross-over move and left-handed finish.
Central (23-3) will begin its Class 4, District 2 title defense on Wednesday against either Herculaneum or Affton at Ste. Genevieve High School.
Gavin Rivers paced four players in double figures for Poplar Bluff (9-14) with 15 points. Isaiah Nevel and Darius Graham netted 13 points each, and Preston Moore provided 10 off the bench.
Ste. Genevieve 76, Perryville 44
STE. GENEVIEVE – Kaden Flye scored 16 of his 26 points during the first half, and Ste. Genevieve rolled past Perryville 76-44 on Thursday night.
Ricky Hunter finished with 18 points after driving for a conventional 3-point play and drilling an ensuing perimeter shot as the third quarter expired for a 67-33 lead.
The Dragons were safely ahead 26-10 through one quarter and 47-20 at halftime, picking up 10 points from Tucker Reed and seven from Alex Basler along the way.
Ste. Genevieve (19-7) will host the Class 4, District 2 tournament next week as the No. 2 seed, awaiting either Potosi or Bayless in the semifinal round on Wednesday.
Herculaneum 67, Fredericktown 49
HERCULANEUM, Mo. – Herculaneum senior Gabe Watkins surpassed 1,000 career points, and steered the host Blackcats past Fredericktown 67-49 on Thursday night.
Watkins scored 20 of his 23 points during the second half, including three jumpers from the lane over a short span while finding seams in the defense.
Herculaneum (17-9) created a 47-31 advantage with a 23-7 run spanning seven minutes after the game was tied 24-24 at halftime.
Dylan Jarvis combined with Watkins to sink 15-of-19 free throws in the last 14 minutes. Ethan Hoskins added 17 points to the winning cause after sinking five 3-pointers in the first half.
Senior guard Andrew Starkey powered Fredericktown (11-15) by netting 26 points. He struck twice from long range early on, and put his team ahead 19-13 with a driving layup and subsequent runner.
Mark Heine tossed in 13 points while Riley Fraire compiled 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocks for the visiting Blackcats.
Watkins attacked the basket in the final five seconds with the outcome already settled, and drew an intentional foul from forward Jordan Collier.