Sectional preview

After a great week of District play, with great games, upsets and buzzer beaters that would make for instant classics, the Sectionals in Class 4 and 5 tip-off on Wednesday night across the state with some incredible match-ups.

Here is a look at the Class 5 sectional games coming up this week.

Cape Central will look to continue their postseason run as they take on CBC down at the Farmington Civic Center. The Tigers come into the Sweet 16 with a 21-6 mark and are led by 6-foot-6 forward T.J. Tisdale. Tisdale scored 13 points in the Tigers win over Poplar Bluff. Central is going to need to stop a very quick CBC team who upset Webster Groves in the final. The Cadets (18-10) have played one of the toughest schedules in the state this season and will need their big man in the middle, Jordan Barnett to remain hot to advance to the quarters. Barnett is averaging 14 ppg and can get it done both inside and outside.

In the sectional at UMSL, there is a match-up between two teams that were not expected to be here. Marquette came into the district as a No. 5 seed and was able to play some great defense and knock off the No. 1 Seed Parkway South in the semi and then No. 2 Lafayette in a slugfest in the district final. The Mustangs are going to need Mizzou recruit Ryan Rosberg to have another big night to advance. Rosberg is pouring in 20.2 ppg and grabbing just over 10 rebounds a night to pace the Mustangs. For the Vikings, they got to the sectional by knocking off top seed DeSmet last Friday night. Their offense will start and stop with their force in the middle, Darrell Johnson. Johnson has shown that he is one of the top big men in the St. Louis area by scoring 16 ppg and 4.7 blocks a game.  

In Central Missouri, Rock Bridge is again in the sectional round after defeating their cross town rival Hickman. Guard Travis Jorgenson is one of the best guards in the state as a junior and continues to lead a Bruin lineup that is getting better as the year has rolled on. Rolla is making the sectional round for the first time since 1994 after beating Waynesville and will need a huge night from Keenan Garner. Garner does a nice job in the paint for the Bulldogs and will need to get some help from his guards to keep the Rolla season alive.

The No. 1 team in state according to the coaches is Nixa. The Eagles are riding a 27-game winning streak and have many weapons to look for. Drury recruit Kameron Bundy teams up in the back court with Austin Ruder to give the Eagles a great guard combo. They will play a team that they know very well, Webb City. The Cardinals are looking to avenge a double-digit loss to the Eagles on the last night of the regular season and will look to a couple of players that we heard a lot about during their state football championship run. Pheonix Johnson and Breckin Williams are just as good on the court as they were on the football field and will need their speed a quickness to help slow the high powered offense of Nixa.

Vianney survived a tough district test against Lindbergh to advance and keep their magical season alive. The Golden Griffins are ranked No. 2 in the state coach’s poll and No. 24 in the latest USA Today rankings. Tony Cochran is the go-to-guy for Vianney. He is averaging over 16 ppg and has knocked down over 70 three point shots this season. Watch for George Suggs in this matchup to have a big night. The 6-8 forward is a force inside and has great touch around the basket. Troy advanced to the State Championship game last year before losing to McCluer North. They return Derek Deters from last year’s team and he is a great guard in the St. Louis Area. Deters is putting up 16 ppg and the matchup between him and Cochran should be a good one.

The defending State Champions are again rolling into the Sweet 16. McCluer North made it through the toughest district in the state and took out Suburban North running mate McCluer over the weekend. University of Auburn recruit Jordan Granger is leading the way for the Stars as they look to return to Mizzou Arena. Granger is putting up 15 ppg and is solid in the paint. This team has the experience to make the run to the Final Four. Ft. Zumwalt South is a soild team that will need to continue to play solid defense if they look to advance. Guard George Cater is the floor general for South as he is averaging 14 ppg for a team that won the GAC North.

Blue Springs South has been a force all year in Kansas City and was able to know off a team that placed 3rd in the State last year, Lee’s Summit North. The Jags will look to their guard play and DJ Booker to keep the run going. Booker is very quick and can not only drive to the hoop, but knock down the jumper. Fort Osage was the No. 4 seed out west and took out both Winnetonka and Kearney to move on to the sectional round. Ft. Osage lost to the Jags earlier this season and will need to find a way to stop the high powered Blue Springs South offense.

In the final sectional match-up, St. Joe’s Central is seeking revenge as they lost to Lee’s Summit West twice during the regular season. The Indians are counting on forward Shun Williams to control the paint and keep the Titans off the boards and Dre Irvin will look to run the show for the Indians. Lee’s Summit West has been atop the rankings in Kansas City all year with aspirations of getting the Final Four. Dale Brown has been solid all year in the paint for the Titans and he will need a huge night at the Independence Center for West to advance to the Elite 8.

In girl’s action in Class 5, we will see the usual suspects in the Sweet 16 as Incarnate Word looks for their third straight State Champioship. The Red Knights are led by Purdue recruit Taylor Manuel, who is averaging 15ppg and can do it all from hitting the boards to passing. St. Joseph’s Academy is looking to return to the Final Four and will look to a set of twins that have committed to Missouri to get them back there. Maddie and Morgan Stock are again having great seasons. Maddie is leading the way with 17 ppg while knocking down over 80 treys on the year while Morgan is a solid defender who can pass the ball. Rock Bridge is the state’s No. 1 team in the Coaches poll and has beaten both IWA and St. Joe’s in the regular season. The Bruins will look to Lyndsey Cunningham to pace a Bruin squad that is loaded with great players. Cunningham, another player that has committed to Missouri, is tossing in over 10 ppg and is a solid defender. Ft. Zumwalt West is looking to make it back to the Final Four and they have the players to get there. Marina Laramie is the key for the Lady Jags success. Laramie is scoring 16 ppg and is a force in the paint. They will get tested by a Kirkwood team that is led by yet another Missouri recruit, Lianna Doty. Doty is one of the best guards in the area and can do so many things well, including defense. She is going to be a stopper for the Lady Pioneers. Blue Springs is no stranger to Mizzou Arena. But, they are looking to finally get that state crown that has eluded them over the past 3 years. Senior guard Tyonna Snow wants to forget about the past three years and get a state championship. Snow is a great ballhandler and will look to score anytime she gets the chance.

Great games at great venues all over the state on Wednesday night. The Sweet 16 is as good as it gets in both the boy’s and girl’s side and we will have all of the results for you as the road to Mizzou Arena continues.