Posted On: 03/14/19 10:00 AM
Prep Hoops Missouri takes a look at the Final Four of the Class 4 state tournament, which will be held at the JQH Arena on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield. Here is a look at the matchups along with my fearless predictions.
Semifinals, Friday, March 15
St. Mary’s (17-12) vs.Ladue (20-8), noon
Both teams are making their first appearance in the Final Four in their respective school’s history. St. Mary’s run to the Final Four seemed improbable after losing a stellar seven-man graduating class from last year’s state quarterfinals teams. However, senior guard Yuri Collins has put the Dragons on his back and taken them to the Final Four. The SLU recruit is averaging more than 30 points in the postseason while averaging nearly 10 assists a game. Junior wing Sofara Rasas has emerged as a big second option while 6’6″ senior Donovan Parker has been tremendous on the defensive end. He had nine blocks in the state quarterfinals victory over Cape Girardeau Central.
Speaking of excellent defense, few teams have played championship level defense like the Ladue Rams have throughout the season. If a team can score 50 points against Ladue’s stout defense, it is a big accomplishment. They gave up 40 points in the quarterfinals victory over St. Charles West. Junior guard Henry McIntosh knocked down four 3-pointers to really get the perimeter game going for the Rams. Big forwards Evan Schneider and Moses Okpala lock down the post on defense Jaylen Boyd is at the controls from the point guard with Bryce Bussard also knocking down 3-pointers. Tempo will be a big key to this game as a smaller St. Mary’s team will try to pressure the bigger Rams at every opportunity. Also, will St. Mary’s be able to shoot the ball from the perimeter against Ladue’s defense that protects the paint.
Prediction: St Mary’s
Logan Rogersville (20-8) vs. Grandview (27-2), 1:45 p.m.
These two teams met in the state quarterfinals last season with Grandview taking an impressive victory en route to the state championships. This season’s rematch is even bigger as a berth in Saturday’s state championship game is on the line in this one. Defending state champion Grandview survived a big effort against conference rival Raytown South in the sectionals and a battle with a top five ranked Southeast in the quarterfinals. Senior guard Dre Sorrells scored a game high 19 points vs. Southeast while 6’6″ freshman Tahj Manning added 16 points. The Bulldogs are not as deep as their state championship team from last season, but they have good size up front and a battle tested backcourt with Sorrells and 6’2″ junior Reggie Morris.
Logan Rogersville battled its way to the Final Four by withstanding a big comeback from Webb City in the sectionals and rallying to defeat Sullivan in the quarterfinals. The Wildcats have solid size up front to match up with Grandview as top player Luke Vandersnick is 6’5″ and excels in multiple facets of the game. Rogersville also has 6’4″ junior Cade Blevins and 6’3″ senior Ryker Strong in the fold, who have been solid all season. The play of the Wildcats’ guards will be a big key on Friday, especially against Grandview’s talented backcourt.
Saturday, March 16
Third Place, 11 a.m.
Ladue defeats Logan-Rogersville for third place
Championship, 2:40 p.m. Grandview defeats st Mary’s to repeat as state champions