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Class 5 girls Final Four team capsules

Class 5 girls Final Four team capsules

March 15th, 2019 by Tom Rackers in Sports Prep
Kara Daly of the Jefferson City Lady Jays grabs a rebound between Hazelwood Central teammates McKenzie Jones (left) and Denae Howard during last Saturday's Class 5 quarterfinal game at Hyland Arena in St. Charles.

Kara Daly of the Jefferson City Lady Jays...

Photo by Jason Strickland /News Tribune.

Here are capsule looks at the Class 5 girls semifinal teams:

Jefferson City (28-1)

Coach: Brad Conway (519-240 overall, 95-17 at Jefferson City).

Final Regular Season Ranking: No. 1.

Team Notes: This is the fourth Final Four appearance for the Lady Jays. Jefferson City is 3-3 in the Final Four, finishing second to St. Joseph's Academy in 1991 and 1992 and finishing third in 2006. Conway led St. James to three Final Fours earlier in his career, finishing third twice and fourth once. Assistant coach Andrea' Salmon was an assistant on the Jefferson City boys staff when it won the state title in 1992, while assistant Rebecca Tuley played on a Final Four team at South Shelby. Senior guard Caitlin Anderson is the lone player in the Class 5 girls Final Four to reach triple digits in assists (135) and rebounds (142) this season. Jefferson City played two teams that advanced to the Class 4 Final Four, beating Miller Career Academy (58-24) and losing to Incarnate Word (52-42). The Lady Jays won their first 23 games before falling to Incarnate Word in the next to last regular-season game.

Parkway Central (23-6)

Coach: Brian Guifoyle (156-85 overall and at school).

Final Regular Season Ranking: No. 9.

Team Notes: This is the first time the Parkway Central girls program has advanced to a Final Four. The Colts advanced to the state bracket for the first time since winning a district title in 2013. The Colts lost to Parkway South in the sectional that season. Parkway Central played just one team not from the St. Louis area this season, losing 51-42 to Rock Bridge in the Webster Winter Challenge. Its other losses were to Francis Howell Central (48-14), Lafayette: Wildwood (48-36), Ladue (47-41) and Incarnate Word (59-30 and 73-28). The losses to Incarnate Word came Dec. 28 in the Visitation Holiday Tournament title game and Jan. 5 in the regular season. The Colts have won their last 10 games, winning by double-digits seven times. Senior guard Olivia Stephens has made 82 percent of her free throws (70-of-86) this season. She also has hit 37 of the Colts' 71 made 3-pointers.

North Kansas City (27-2)

Coach: Jeffery Lacy (173-49 overall and at school).

Final Regular Season Ranking: No. 2.

Team Notes: The Hornets will bring a five-game winning streak into their first-ever trip to a Final Four. North Kansas City's losses came Dec. 20 to Bentonville, Ark., (46-35) and Feb. 11 to William Chrisman (55-45). North Kansas City was the No. 1 seed in the District 15 tourney, beating Liberty North (29-22) and Liberty (31-29) to take the title. The Hornets beat Park Hill South (40-31) and Lee's Summit West (45-40) to advance to the Final Four. The Hornets average 47.5 points per game while allowing 31.7. North Kansas City starts three seniors, one junior and one sophomore. Chandler Prater (5-9, sr.) leads the team at 15.6 points and is second in rebounds at 6.8. Prater, who has signed with Kansas, won the DiRenna Award as the top girls player in the Kansas City area as a junior. Ja'mya Powell-Smith (5-4, soph.) is also in double figures at 12.9 points, while LaJahda Boyland (5-11, sr.) tops the Hornets with 7.7 rebounds per game. North Kansas City has been ranked No. 2 all season. The Hornets were behind Kickapoo in the preseason poll, then behind Jefferson City the remainder of the season.

Republic (22-8)

Coach: Kris Flood (422-139 overall and at school).

Final Regular Season Ranking: Not ranked.

Team Notes: The Tigers have crashed the Class 5 Final Four party, never making an appearance in the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association's rankings during the regular season. Flood has led Republic to two of its three state titles in program history, winning Class 4 in 2004 and 2012. The Tigers also won the Class 3A crown in 1994 and were second in Class 3A in 1993. Republic started the season at 5-5. Republic had an eight-game winning streak snapped in its regular-season finale, a 46-33 loss to Logan-Rogersville. The Tigers then won the District 12 title as the No. 1 seed with victories against Carthage (65-25) and Willard (39-35) before upending Kickapoo (55-46) and Rock Bridge (43-40) to advance to the Final Four. The Tigers start two seniors, two juniors and one sophomore. Republic averages 47.4 points per game and allow 41. Halli Bartelsmeyer (5-5, sr.) is the lone Republic player to average in double figures, totaling 13.3 points per game. Avylina Powell-Qualo (5-8, sr.) is next at 9.5, while Clara Fronabarger (5-6, soph.) totals 9.3 points and a team-high 5.5 rebounds.

— Tom Rackers