Posted On: 02/19/18 3:00 PM
The Class 1 state playoffs begin this week with district tournaments going on around the state. Here are a few storylines to watch as the postseason unfolds.
Defending state champion Walnut Grove enters the postseason with nine losses, but don’t let that fool you. The xx have played a beefed up schedule with several losses coming to Class 3,4 and 5 schools. They have a battle-tested crew led by 2018 guard Logan Thomazin, who was made more 3-pointers than any high school player in the history of the state. Fellow 2018 guards Hunter Gilkey and Dawson Meinders have also been through the state-championship grind.
The Cardinals made a strong run to the Final Four last year, only to be stopped by Advance in the semifinals in a very entertaining high-scoring contest. North Andrew battled back to win the third-place game over Glasgow. The Cardinals feel like they have some unfinished business to complete this year and they will enter the postseason with an undefeated record. North Andrew has a veteran unit, led by 2018 guards Ryan Hughes, Jacob Powelson and 2018 forwards Caleb Patterson and Aiden Delong.
In last year’s state quarterfinals, the Redwings had a double-digit lead on Advance only to see the Hornets come back and take the victory en route to a state runner-up finish. Eminence has all of their key players back from that team and they have rolled to a 24-1 record entering districts. The Cardinals have an excellent big in 6’6″ 2019 forward Trent McBride and a strong perimeter group in 2018 Ethan Drake and 2019 twins Grant and Wade Dyer.
The Falcons have arguably the youngest group in the state of Missouri; in any class. Dora starts four freshmen, but they are very talented and they have put the rest of the state on notice that they are going to be around for awhile. The lead rook is 5’10” 2021 Isaac Haney, who has been scoring well over 20 points a game while playing with a lot of confidence. The other strong freshmen are the Luna triplets, Bryson, Mason and Auston, who are tough kids who can play.
Advance graduated several key players from last year’s second-place team, but they do return high-scoring 2018 guard Armani Vermillion. Advance is also the only team to defeat Eminence this season….Winston has been very strong in the last few years, including a state runner-up finish in 2016. Look for them to be a big factor in the Northwest region with its running and pressing style of play….St. Joe Christian is a new team on the scene that is close to 20 victories…..In the middle of the state, Jamestown is enjoying a tremendous year behind the 2018 duo of Trenton Barbour and Garrett Wolfe.
(Logan Thomazin photo courtesy of SWMO Basketball)