They didn't squander their second chances Saturday, the Greyhounds sweeping a pair of games from I-70 Conference rival Crest Ridge for their first championships in several years.
The Sweet Springs boys had a relatively easy time of it in a rematch of last year's final, won by the Cougars, 75-61. Crest Ridge lost three seniors from that squad, one on of the two returning starters wasn't available during their 69-49 loss to the 'Hounds.
It's hard to believe that would have mattered much, since Sweet Springs had its shooting stroke from the start -- senior Matt Harris and juniors Jeffery Hall and Jacob Schowengerdt each burying three-pointers during an 18-8 first quarter. For the game, the 'Hounds made 52.0 percent of their field-goal attempts, including six of 12 from outside the arc.
Hall rang up 11 more points during the second period to send Sweet Springs into the break with a 23-point lead. That margin grew to 59-31 heading into the fourth quarter and the 'Hounds sat their starters for the final six minutes.
Senior Taylor Nagel led Crest Ridge (8-10) with 14 points and junior Austin Bestgen added 13.
Hall finished with 22 points, Schowengerdt contributed 14 points, five rebounds and a pair of steals, and junior Nathan Vogelsmeier led Sweet Springs' (13-6) bench with 10 points.
The Lady 'Hounds, who lost to Smithton a year ago, 51-40, found themselves down by 10 points at halftime before rallying to beat Crest Ridge, 53-45.
Senior Mel Branscum scored 10 points during the first half to stake the Lady Cougars to a 27-17 lead at the break.
Sweet Springs sliced a net of six points off their deficit during the third period, sophomore Nicole Bright making three shots from the floor.
The Lady 'Hounds completed the comeback during the final frame behind junior Christina Higgins' 14 points. Higgins made 10 of 12 free throws during the period, while Bright and senior Mikalah Vogelsmeier each made a pair down the stretch.
Branscum had 20 points for Crest Ridge (10-7), which won the semifinal clash between the teams in the I-70 Conference Tournament by 14 points in early December.
Higgins also had 20 points, while Bright provided 15 points and 11 rebounds and Vogelsmeier tallied a dozen for the Lady 'Hounds (12-7).
Sweet Springs only gets once day off before hitting the road again today for a non-conference twinbill at Kingsville.