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Posted On: 03/6/18 10:00 AM
The field is set for the Final Four of the Class 1 state tournament, which will be held at the John Q. Hammons Arena in Springfield on the campus of Missouri State University.
Here are the matchups and my fearless predictions:
Semifinals: Friday, March 9
Eminence (30-1) vs. Chamois (21-9), 6:20 p.m. – Eminence has powered its way to the Final Four with one impressive victory after another. The Redwings have a dominant post in 6’6″ 2019 Trent McBride and a host of talented perimeter players around him in 2018 guard Ethan Drake and 2019 twins Grant and Wade Dyer. Chamois is making its first Final Four appearance and they have an excellent big of their own in 6’6″ 2019 Aaron Brandt, who has more than 2,000 career points. He can really play. (Prediction: Eminence).
Walnut Grove (21-10) vs. North Andrew (28-0), 8:10 p.m. – A very intriguing matchup featuring two teams who were in the Final Four last season. Walnut Grove is the defending state champions while North Andrew finished in third place. Walnut Grove may have 10 losses, but the Tigers played a beefed up schedule and now they have been rolling through the postseason behind 2018 guards Logan Thomazin and Hunter Gilkey. North Andrew is on a mission to complete its unfinished business from a year ago after falling short of their goal to win a state title. The Cardinals have size, experience and many talented players who can put the ball in the basket. (Prediction: Walnut Grove)
Third Place: Saturday, March 10, 12:50 p.m.
North Andrew defeats Chamois to take third place.
Championship Game, Saturday, March 10, 4:30 p.m.
Much like last year’s Walnut Grove-Advance final, this year’s Walnut Grove-Eminence game could be a real classic. (Prediction: Walnut Grove goes back to back).
(Logan Thomazin photo courtesy of SWMO Basketball).