Wellington finishes third at state
COLUMBIA -- The Wellington-Napoleon boys' basketball teams split two games at the MSHSAA Class 2 Championships in Columbia to come home with the third-place plaque.
The I-70 Conference Tournament and regular season champions came into Thursday's semifinal round with a 20-game win streak -- the only loss being in the first round of the Lafayette Country Tournament by St. Paul, 51-48 -- but were defeated by Bernie in double overtime, 73-66.
The Mules (28-5) lost the title game Saturday to Crane (27-5), 77-63.
The Tigers returned to Mizzou Arena for the consolation game Friday, downing New Bloomfield, 90-67.
Senior Blake Seitz scored 25 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, while senior Taylor Bryant and sophomore Brandon Niendick each pumped in 20 points.
Wellington blew out to a 26-11 first-quarter lead on the Wildcats (13-18) as Bryant knocked down a pair of three-pointers. Bryant and Seitz combined for 30 points during a first half which saw the Tigers build a 51-30 cushion.
Wellington (27-2) got to the quarterfinals last year before losing a 66-61 tilt against eventual state champion Sturgeon and reached the Final Four for the first time 1991, when it lost the third-place game to New Bloomfield, 80-77.
That Tiger team was recognized during halftime of Saturday's title game in the MSHSAA Traditions program, which also noted the 20-year anniversary of the fourth-place showing of the girls' squad from Malta Bend -- where current Wellington head coach Todd Shannon began his career.