The Missouri 816 area high school spring sports playoff season concluded recently. Here are five things worth a second look:
1. The Rockhurst tennis dynasty is alive and well. The Hawklets made their path to a second straight Missouri Class 2 state championship look easy. They swept through the postseason without anyone in the singles lineup even dropping a match.
The individual accolades were plentiful, too. A year after sitting out the state singles tournament following an emergency appendectomy, Alex Koca was crowned the Class 2 state champion May 31. He didn't drop a set in any of his playoff matches.
In the doubles tournament, Rockhurst's tandem of Jack Evans and Joseph O'Connor came from behind to defeat teammates John Nogalski and Jacob Moore for the Class 2 title.
2. The Barstow School won the Missouri Class 2 boys golf state championship for the first time in school history. Pembroke Hill won the Class 3 golf title for the second time in four seasons.
Both teams won with the same formula. Depth.
Barstow compiled a team score of 659, but it didn't place any individuals in the top 10. Sophomore Tripp Walsworth was 14th to pace the team victory.
Pembroke Hill posted a team score of 637 to win by only three strokes. Junior Preston Fleenor was the team's top placer, finishing seventh.
3. Blue Springs rolled to the Class 4 boys track and field state championship. The Wildcats compiled 83 team points with second-place Lafayette totaling only 44.
Wildcats junior Carlos Davis certainly had a day to remember. He recorded the farthest discus throw in the nation this season — 212 feet, 5 inches — to win the state championship. His twin brother, Khalil, was second.
Blue Springs junior Jacob Peister was the first member of the team to win a state title. He triple jumped 47 feet, 2 inches to win the event.
4. Grandview extended its run of Class 3 boys track and field state championships to four, but just barely. Senior Harvey Kendall placed second in the high jump in the final event of the day to pull the Bulldogs even with Liberty North. Both teams were awarded state titles.
That was the end of a memorable weekend in Jefferson City for Kendall. He also won the triple jump, placed second in the 110-meter hurdles and took seventh in the 300 hurdles.
Bulldogs senior Jaymes Kelly won the 200 meters and placed second in the 100.
5. Blue Springs South reached the Missouri Class 5 state baseball tournament for the first time in school history and placed third.
The Jaguars lost six of eight games over one stretch late in the regular season, but a formidable one-two punch on the mound — Reece Eddins and Austin Simms — helped the team turn things around in the postseason. That's when the bats came alive, too, with the offense led by Colton Pogue, who batted .441 with 23 extra-base hits.
At the Class 4 tournament, Pembroke Hill placed second. The Raiders lost only five times all season. Senior Sam Frazen batted .469 with 15 extra-base hits.