One of the two state-ranked Class 2 teams in the field was nearly tripped up Monday, No. 7 Santa Fe needing a 26-point fourth quarter to overcome Fayette, 55-51, in a first-round clash between the fourth and fifth seeds. The Chiefs' survival sets up Wednesday's semifinal against No. 10 Sacred Heart, which hadn't been beaten until Kaysinger Conference rival Cole Camp upended the Gremlins last week.
The Falcons turned to their big guns, seniors Ryan Sherman and Xavien Crump, right away. Each had four buckets during the first quarter to put Fayette in front, 17-8. Santa Fe chipped away, but could only narrow the deficit to six points going into the final frame.
That's when the Chiefs' potent weapons stepped forward.
Senior Taylor Wesley hit four shots and seniors Ben Catlett and Brett Case nailed the team's first three-pointers of the game. Santa Fe clung to the slim lead, Case making three of four free throws down the stretch.
Sherman finished with 19 points and Crump had 14 for the Falcons (9-5).
Wesley led four players in double figures for the Chiefs (14-1) with 15 points, with senior Bryan Sander providing 14 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
SLATER -- Even in defeat, Slater head coach Mike Arnold considered Monday's 54-32 loss to 10th-ranked Sacred Heart in the first round of the 28th Wildcat Classic "the best game we've played."
Maybe that's because of the quality of the opponent, and that it wasn't a runaway. The Gremlins led 28-14 at halftime, but they've beaten other similar opponents worse.
Junior Dylan Young scored 21 points for Sacred Heart (12-1), but was matched by senior Zach Calhoun's 21 points for the Wildcats.
Slater (3-10) will face Lewis and Clark Conference rival Fayette in the consolation semifinals Wednesday.
HIGBEE -- After having played four days earlier, the Malta Bend and Jamestown boys met again Monday to begin the CCAA Tournament at Higbee, with the result once again a win for the Tigers, 55-51.
This one was close the whole way, the largest lead for Malta Bend at the end of any period being five points heading into the final frame -- which saw both teams score at least 20 points.
The Eagles (5-11) rallied behind sophomore Andrew Flippin, who tallied 19 of his game-high 29 points down the stretch, but senior Ryan Armstrong sank a pair of three-pointers and two more from the foul line to keep the Tigers in front.
Armstrong finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, but junior Tyler Armstrong topped Malta Bend with 19 points. Junior Tim Trelow contributed 10 points and seven boards.
The fifth-seeded Tigers (4-9) take a three-game win streak into Thursday's pool clash with No. 1 Otterville.
WINDSOR -- Senior Stephanie Krause scored a career-high 28 points Monday as Sweet Springs disposed of Green Ridge, 55-29, in the first round of the Windsor Tournament.
Krause wasted little time getting to work, racking up 11 points during the Lady Greyounds' 16-3 first-quarter spree. She also had 14 points during the third period, in which Sweet Springs doubled-up the Lady Tigers, 16-8, after taking a 20-point lead into halftime.
The game was a foul-fest, with the two clubs shooting 69 free throws between them -- Krause going 10 of 17 from the line.
Senior Emmaly Harrison led Green Ridge (4-9) with 13 points.
Junior Rachel Thornton contributed eight points and seven rebounds to the win for the Lady 'Hounds, who only committed eight turnovers. Third seed Sweet Springs (7-8) will take on No. 2 Tipton in Thursday's semifinal round.
HIGBEE -- Bunceton broke open a tight game with a 13-2 second-quarter surge to beat Malta Bend, 38-16, in pool play at the CCAA Tournament.
The Lady Dragons went into halftime leading by 13 points, then made it safe with an 11-4 third period. Junior April Fountain led all scorers with nine points for Bunceton (8-6).
The Lady Tigers (0-13), who will play Prairie Home on Thursday, got eight points and 12 rebounds from senior Emily Warner.