Area schools begin sectional basketball play tonight

Russellville’s Kennedy Volkart goes up for a rebound during last week’s Class 2 District 8 Tournament in Russellville. The Lady Indians take on Sturgeon in a sectional game tonight at Fleming Fieldhouse.

Russellville’s Kennedy Volkart goes up for a rebound during last week’s Class 2 District 8 Tournament in Russellville. The Lady Indians take on Sturgeon in a sectional game tonight at Fleming Fieldhouse. Photo by Michelle Brooks.

Fresh off their first district title since 2008, the Blair Oaks Lady Falcons open up state tournament play at 7:45 p.m. tonight at Mexico High School with a sectional game against Palmyra.

Ranked second in the state in Class 3, the Lady Flacons (25-2) fought off California 47-45 Sunday to take the title.

Both of Blair Oaks’ losses this season came at the hands of St. James, as guard LeeAnn Polowy has been the team’s biggest offensive threat this season. She scored 12 points in the win against California.

Palmyra is receiving votes in the Class 3 poll and enters today’s game with a 23-5 record. The Lady Panthers also had to win a close game in the district final, defeating Bowling Green 54-52 in the championship game.

Palmyra suffered losses to Bowling Green (twice), Monroe City, Quincy-Notre Dame and Unity (Ill.). The Lady Panthers have won 12 games in a row and average 56.9 points per game.

Guard Katee Hinkle leads Palmyra in scoring averaging 12.4 points per game.

The winner of today’s game travels to Moberly Area Community College to take on either Hermann or North Tech at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday in a quarterfinal game.

III

The Fatima Comets haven’t lost to a Class 3 team all season. They’ll try to keep that streak going when they face Hartville in a state sectional matchup at 6 p.m. today at Missouri S&T in Rolla.

Fatima enters with a 26-1 record, the lone blemish coming against Class 5’s top team in the Hickman Kewpies.

The Comets are on a 16-game winning streak after tearing through the Class 3 District 9 Tournament. Top-seeded Fatima topped Dixon 85-66 and St. James 65-37 to capture the title.

Fatima is led by a senior trio of Patrick Schnieders, Chad Stegeman and Tanner Gentges.

Hartville (23-4) has losses to Class 3’s Clever (54-50) and Mountain View: Liberty (78-67), Class 4’s Republic (56-40) and Class 2’s Gainesville (70-62).

Hartville is on a three-game winning streak after topping Willow Springs (73-56), Alton (67-65) and Licking (53-50) to win the Class 3 District 10 Tournament as the second seed.

Fatima and Hartville have no common opponents.

Fatima scores 69.8 points per game while allowing 46.9. Hartville averages 65.5 points while allowing 50.4.

Tonight’s winner will take on the Strafford-Seneca winner in a state quarterfinal at 6 p.m. Saturday at Drury University in Springfield.

III

The Russellville Indians will square off against a tested postseason foe tonight at Fleming Fieldhouse.

The Salisbury Panthers (26-1) , who finished one win short of a Class 2 state title last year, will look to get back to Mizzou Arena starting with today’s 6 p.m. sectional contest against Russellville (21-7).

Zach Wyatt (6-3, sr.) does a little bit of everything for the Panthers. Wyatt averages 13.9 points, 5.5 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals.

He is one of three Panthers who averages in double figures. Austin Francis (6-5 sr.) tops the squad at 16.2 points per contest, while Austin Wyatt (6-2 sr.) is second at 15.4 and leads the team with 63 made 3-pointers.

Salisbury averages 70 points per game.

Brady Francis (6-2 soph.) leads the team in rebounds with 7 per contest to go along with 8.6 points and 3.9 assists.

Salisbury’s lone loss was a 53-52 decision against Southern Boone in the title game of the Centralia Tournament in early December.

The Indians, who dropped three of their last four games in the regular season, have shown the ability to win tight games this postseason.

The No. 4 seed in its district tournament, Russellville got past Belle 75-61 in its opener, then edged Cole Camp 69-66 in the semifinals before topping Tipton 54-53 to make it into the state bracket.

Brenden Jackson averaged just under 30 points per game for the Indians in their three district contests.

The Russellville-Salisbury winner advances to Saturday’s quarterfinal contest at Moberly Area Community College. That game is slated for a noon start.

III

In the second sectional game tonight at Fleming Fieldhouse, the Russellville Lady Indians will look to continue their winning ways in a contest against the Sturgeon Lady Bulldogs.

The Lady Indians (15-13) cruised to a district title last week as the No. 1 seed, winning their three games by an average score of 66-33.

The Lady Bulldogs (25-2) were the top seed in their district as well and advanced with wins against Harrisburg (63-45) and New Franklin (42-33).

Molly Gregory (5-4, sr.) is the lone Lady Bulldog to average in double figures at 15.0 points per contest. She has hit 125 3-pointers this season. Gregory also averages 2.7 steals.

Maddie Embree (5-8, sr.) is next in scoring at 9.6 per contest to go along with 6.2 rebounds.

Sturgeon, which is averaging 51 points per game, has lost to Macon (41-27 on Dec. 5) and Silex (58-46 on Jan. 19).

Game time is 7:45 p.m.

The Russellville-Sturgeon winner moves on to Saturday’s quarterfinal contest at Moberly Area Community College. Game time is 1:45 p.m.

III

After being postponed Tuesday night, the St. Elizabeth Lady Hornets will square off against the Walnut Grove Lady Tigers in a Class 1 sectional game at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar.

St. Elizabeth (21-7) has closed the season on a strong run, winning seven of its last eight games. In their three district tournament games, the Lady Hornets outscored their opponents by an average of 66-38.

Savannah Stiles (5-6, jr.) leads the team in scoring at 17.9 points per game. She has converted 90 3-pointers this season.

Allie Heckemeyer (5-11, jr.) is next at 14 points per contest, to go along 8 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 3.1 steals. Paige Otto (5-10, sr.) is totaling 8.2 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Lady Hornets, who average 51.2 points per game.

Walnut Grove (25-2), which finished second in the Class 1 state tournament last year, rolled through its district tournament as well, winning its three games by an average of 79-23.

Walnut Grove has lost to Crane 55-46 on Jan. 14 and 49-42 to Mount Vernon in the finals of the Aurora Tournament in the opening week of the season.

Game time is 7:45 p.m.

The St. Elizabeth-Walnut Grove winner will advance to Saturday’s quarterfinal contest at Clinton High School. That game will start at 2:45 p.m.

III

CHAMOIS AND MARION County met with a trip to the Final Four on the line last year. The two meet again in a Class 1 sectional game today at Macon High School. Tip is set for 7:45 p.m.

The Lady Pirates and Lady Mustangs played an epic quarterfinal game last year with the Lady Mustangs winning 58-52 in overtime. Marion County went on to take third in Class 1 after winning the state title in 2011.

Chamois (20-7) defeated Glascow 47-37 in its district final while Marion County (19-9) knocked off Atlanta 40-24.

Kae Spratt leads the Lady Mustangs on offense. She scored 18 in the district final.

Miranda Brandt is Chamois’ leader on offense.

The winner moves on to the quarterfinals to play either Meadville or Norborne at 2:45 p.m. Saturday at Truman State University in Kirksville.

Today’s game was originally scheduled for Sturgeon but was moved to Macon due to the weather.

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