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PARK HILLS — The Potosi boys basketball team executed its defensive game plan much better than before in a second clash with Farmington on Friday night.
The Trojans ultimately coaxed the Knights into attempting a majority of their shots from beyond the arc, and stayed determined to attack whenever they had possession.
Carter Whitley finished with 26 points, and Potosi made an impressive 18-of-20 free throws to earn a 69-58 triumph in the semifinal round of the MAAA Tournament.
Gabe Brawley added 19 points, and center Zeke Sisk provided a key presence near the goal with 10 points and multiple blocks. The Trojans will face Central for the title on Saturday evening.
Potosi (17-4) delivered crucial scoring plays after its lead was reduced to a single possession on three separate occasions during the fourth quarter.
The last such instance followed a steal and transition floater by Knights guard Logan Schaupert that made the margin 51-49 with 3:15 remaining.
Brawley dished to a cutting Luke Brabham for a key layup, and Whitley earned three straight trips to the line as a clinching 9-0 run developed late.
Farmington (14-6) knocked down six 3-pointers in the first half, but began missing with regularity to unofficially finish 7-of-26 overall.
Schaupert splashed in four triples before intermission, and tallied a game-high 27 points after hitting four closer shots from the field in the final stanza.
Cannon Roth sank 8-of-10 free throws while scoring 19 overall, and netted the first seven points for his team while operating from the low post.
But the Knights were unable to find much balance elsewhere, and squandered an early 22-11 lead after Schaupert buried two 3-pointers and cashed in a transition layup.
Potosi answered with a 14-0 surge. Brawley and Whitley landed jumpers with a putback from Sisk in between, and E.J. Sansegraw nailed a corner triple for a 25-22 edge.
Schaupert struck twice more from long range for Farmington, but the Trojans moved ahead 31-28 at halftime after Brawley made free throws and Sisk turned to score along the low block.
Tatem Tinsley was the only other player beside Roth or Schaupert with multiple baskets for the Knights, who went 9-of-12 from the stripe.
Central 74, Kingston 50
PARK HILLS — Central generated an 18-0 scoring run in the third quarter, and returned to the boys final of the MAAA Tournament as defending champion.
Jobe Bryant scored 12 of his 24 points after picking up three first-half fouls, and the top-seeded Rebels handled first-time semifinalist Kingston 74-50 on Friday night.
Braydon Berry produced 15 of his 21 points before intermission, and Central (18-3) earned a chance to avenge its regular-season loss to Potosi in the title game on Saturday.
Cody Yates netted a game-high 29 points for Kingston (14-6), which had no defensive answers for the aggressive Rebels once three players collected three personal fouls by halftime.
Central entered the break leading 39-28 after Caden Casey answered six quick points by Yates, and Bryant sparked a decisive outburst to pull away.
Bryant matched long-range shots with Yates, stepped through a crowd of defenders for a conventional 3-point play, and zipped a nifty pass to Berry for an eventual 64-31 separation.
The Rebels were an excellent 18-of-22 from the line. Casey provided 11 points, and Zack Boyd ended with nine in the victory.
The Cougars faced their most daunting challenge of the season, and steadied for a while after some backcourt turnovers placed them in an immediate 13-2 hole.
Yates began a 7-0 push in response with a slashing layup. Mason Nelson sank his first of three triples moments later, and Brenden Luna forced in an off-balanced shot from the baseline.
Berry concluded the first quarter with a pull-up jumper just ahead of the buzzer, and netted the first field goal of the second as Central rebuilt a 25-12 cushion.
Bismarck 33, Fredericktown 30
PARK HILLS — Sophomore guard Halie Dickey shined with 24 points, including nine in the first quarter, and helped eighth-seeded Bismarck upset Fredericktown 33-30 on Friday.
The Lady Indians increased a 19-18 halftime lead to 27-24 through three quarters, and will face Ste. Genevieve for fifth place in the MAAA Tournament on Saturday.
Bismarck (15-6) prevailed with only three players in the scoring column as forwards Alyssa Brake and Ashley Hawkins combined for the remaining nine points.
Fredericktown (10-13) was paced by Amelia Miller and Keira Francis with eight points each, but made only 4-of-10 free throws with the Lady Indians slightly better at 5-of-8.
Ste. Genevieve 47, Valle Catholic 35
PARK HILLS — Kayden Huck drilled five 3-pointers, and scored a game-high 20 to lead Ste. Genevieve past Valle Catholic 47-35 in the MAAA Tournament fifth-place bracket on Friday evening.
The Dragons carried a 14-0 scoring run into the third quarter, and advanced to face Bismarck on Saturday at Valley High School.
Ste. Genevieve (10-10) capped the first half with a layup by Sadie Greminger and 3-pointer by Huck to restore a 23-14 lead, the opened the third quarter with nine straight points.
Bri Abt equaled Greminger with nine points each, and the Dragons never trailed after splitting two previous meetings with the Lady Warriors this season.
Valle Catholic (14-9) trimmed a 38-20 deficit to 42-31 with 2:27 remaining on consecutive steals and layups by Madelyn Griffard and Ade Weiler.
But the Lady Warriors struggled to make just 1-of-12 free throws. Mara Hoog and Hayden Vaeth notched their only 3-point baskets during the first quarter.
Griffard netted 10 points and Weiler added eight for Valle Catholic, which was assessed a technical foul prior to tip-off after both teams entered the court wearing white jerseys.