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Class 5 boys basketball Final Four team capsules

by Trevor Hahn | March 17, 2023 at 12:37 a.m.
Jefferson City's Rowen Buffington looks to move the ball during a Class 5 District 5 Tournament first-round game earlier this month against Capital City at Capital City High School. (Josh Cobb/News Tribune)

Here are capsule looks at the teams in the Class 5 boys Final Four:

Cardinal Ritter

Record: 26-4.

Head coach: Ryan Johnson (113-33, all at Cardinal Ritter).

Final regular season ranking: No. 2.

Notes: The Lions entered the season ranked second in the preseason rankings, held the No. 2 spot until late January when they moved up to the top spot and stayed at the No. 1 ranking until the final ranking bumped them back down to second. … Cardinal Ritter dropped its first two games of the season in the Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament (74-70 in overtime to Joliet West (Ill.) on Nov. 22 and 72-63 against Sugar Hill Lanier (Ga.) on Nov. 23). The Lions dropped another overtime contest 62-59 on Dec. 2 to iSchool of Lewisville (Tex.) and have only lost one game since (a 62-61 defeat to C.B.C. on Feb. 16). … Cardinal Ritter entered the District 2 Tournament as the No. 1 seed and cruised to the championship, beating Lutheran South 74-38 in the first round, Saint Mary’s: St. Louis 69-55 in the semifinals and Vianney 68-47 in the title game. Cardinal Ritter punched its ticket to the Final Four with a 62-45 victory against Sikeston in the quarterfinals. … Three players average in double figures for the Lions, led by 6-foot-1 junior guard Clayton Jackson with 14.1 points per game. Nashawn Davis (6-5 junior guard) is next at 11.8 points per game with 7.0 rebounds per contest, and Derrick Rivers (6-0 junior guard) averages 11.3 points per game while shooting 45 percent from 3. … This marks the 11th Final Four appearance for Cardinal Ritter and fourth straight. The Lions have won nine state titles as a program -- the last coming in 2021.

Jefferson City

Record: 23-7

Head coach: Josh Buffington (277-166, 37-22 at Jefferson City).

Final regular season ranking: No. 8.

Notes: The Jays began the season unranked and did not debut in the state rankings until late January at No. 10. Jefferson City dropped to receiving votes in the following rankings. The Jays have been inside the Top 10 ever since and are currently ranked the highest it has been all season at No. 8. … The Jays won the Great 8 Classic on their home floor by defeating Rogers (Ark.) 58-48 in the first round, The Webb School (Tenn.) 73-66 in the semifinals and Fatima 69-57 in the championship. Jefferson City finished the season 10-0 at Fleming Fieldhouse. … The Jays won the District 5 title as the No. 1 seed with wins against Capital City (79-37), Helias (52-38) and Borgia (69-65). Jefferson City is making its first trip to the Final Four since 2004 after defeating Hillcrest 60-56 in overtime in the quarterfinals. The Jays are making their ninth trip to the Final Four in program history and won their only state title in 1993. … 6-foot-5 sophomore forward Jordan Martin leads Jefferson City in scoring and rebounding, averaging 20.2 points per game on 66 percent shooting while hauling in 6.3 rebounds per contest. Steven Samuels (5-11 senior guard) is next in scoring at 16.8 points per game. … The Jays enter on a five-game win streak and have won 10 of the past 11 games -- the lone loss coming at Battle on Feb. 21. … It will mark the sixth Final Four appearance for Jefferson City coach Josh Buffington -- two as a player at New Bloomfield and three as the coach of Helias -- but he is still searching for his first state championship game appearance.


Record: 25-5

Head coach: Chad Anderson (261-144, all at Ladue).

Final regular season ranking: No. 6.

Notes: The Rams were unranked to start the season and first broke into the rankings in Mid-January at the No. 7 spot. Ladue has been ranked ever since and is currently tied for its highest ranking in the sixth spot. … The Rams are making their second Final Four appearance in program history with the other coming in 2019 with a third-place finish. Ladue opened the season by winning the Pattonville Tournament with victories against Fort Zumwalt West (75-41), Ritenour (61-38) and Pattonville (69-59). … The Rams made their way to the state semifinals by winning the District 4 Tournament as the No. 2 seed with wins against Parkway North 47-42 in the opening round, McCluer North 60-41 in the semifinals and upset top-seeded and fifth-ranked De Smet 48-47 in the title game before defeating third-ranked Westminister Christian 42-41 in the quarterfinals. … 6-foot senior guard Jack Steinbach is the lone Ladue player to average double figures in points with 14.6 per game, while Dwayne Foley Jr. (6-0 junior guard) and Jaylen Swinney (6-6 senior forward) are just shy at 9.6 points per contest. Swinney leads the team in rebounds at 6.0 per game.

Pembroke Hill

Record: 23-5.

Head coach: Chad Anderson (58-12, 26-5 at Pembroke Hill).

Final regular season ranking: T-No.10.

Notes: The Raiders entered the year outside the Top 10 in the Class 5 rankings but made their way into the rankings in the second edition in the ninth spot and peaked at No. 6 in the middle of January. … Pembroke Hill is making its eighth trip in program history to the Final Four and second straight -- the Raiders took fourth last year -- and won its only two state championships in 1956 and 1957. Pembroke Hill will be looking for its first state semifinal victory since 2007. … The Raiders won the District 8 title as the top seed with wins against Kansas City East (77-42), Van Horn (49-36) and Smithville (70-54) before winning their quarterfinal game 70-42 against Ruskin. … Pembroke Hill enters on a six-game winning streak and has won 11 of the past 12 games — the lone loss coming in the Missouri Hall of Fame Classic in a 57-53 decision to Father Tolton. … The Raiders fell just short of winning the William Jewell Holiday Tournament after losing 58-48 against Class 6 No. 3 Oak Park in the title game. Pembroke Hill defeated Rockhurst (63-44) and Park Hill South (72-53) in the first two rounds of the tournament. … The Raiders are led on offense by 6-foot-2 senior guard Devin Conley, who averages 14.9 points per game, and Darin Conley (6-5 senior forward) -- who averages a double-double of 12.3 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per contest.


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