Webster Groves basketball coach Jay Blossom said his team saved its best game for last. Lee’s Summit West couldn’t argue with that.
The Titans got an up-close look at Webster Groves on Saturday night in the Missouri Class 5 state championship game. Down double digits by the first quarter, Lee’s Summit West never made a game of it in a 70-35 beating at Mizzou Arena.
Webster Groves, 29-2, overwhelmed LS West with the combination of sharpshooting guard Courtney Ramey and 6-foot-9 center Carte’Are Gordon. Ramey, who has committed to play in college with Louisville, scored 25 points on 7-for-14 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds. Gordon, who has committed to play at St. Louis University, punished the Titans inside for 21 points on 8-for-8 shooting and grabbed seven boards.
“Ramey is a really good player,” LS West coach Michael Schieber said. “We talked about keeping him away from the rim, but there are some nights when guys are hitting shots and they’re just plain unguardable.”
Ramey had seven points in the first quarter as Webster Groves raced to a 20-8 lead. The Statesmen’s lead would grow to 36-15 before the Titans ended the first half with a 9-2 run.
But Ramey and Gordon would dominate the second half as foul trouble added to the Titans’ frustrations. West forward Elijah Childs had three fouls by halftime as he battled Gordon under the basket. Childs led the Titans with 13 points, but they had little else.
Webster Groves pushed ahead 46-30 midway through the third quarter and a flurry had the Statesmen up 55-33 going into what would become a running-clock fourth quarter.
“We fought back at the half, but we could never get over the hump,” Schieber said. “They were really, really good tonight and we certainly were not.”
Christian Bishop scored 10 points for LS West, which was playing in its first championship game in three trips to state.
Kirkwood girls 43, Lee’s Summit 36
Lee’s Summit’s charmed postseason run ended just short of happy ending.
If not for one sluggish quarter, Lee’s Summit may have ended its season with another amazing upset. But when the Tigers fell behind early, they couldn’t muster enough offense to comeback and fell to Kirkwood 43-36 in the Class 5 girls final.
Lee’s Summit, 16-14, trailed 15-6 after the first quarter, but the Tigers lane-clogging defense made it hard for the Pioneers to pull away. The Tigers pulled within 34-31 with just over five minutes to play, but Kirkwood controlled the ball for almost three minutes to keep the Tigers from closing the gap.
“We had a rough first quarter,” Lee’s Summit coach Jessica Crawford said. “We played them pretty straight up the rest of the time.”
Claire Lock, who led Lee’s Summit with 19 points, hit a three-pointer with 45 seconds left that cut the deficit to 37-34, but Kirkwood went 6 for 6 from the line to secure the win.
Lee’s Summit, which started the postseason with a sub-.500 record, also got 12 points from Paige Elston. The Tigers were in the final for the first time since 2005 and seeking their first state title since 1990.
Incarnate Word girls 59, St. Pius X 37
The kind of withering pressure Incarnate Word applies isn’t easy to handle even with plenty of preparation. Facing it on short notice makes it all the more daunting.
Such was the case for St. Pius X on Saturday.
St. Pius X wilted against the pressure and Incarnate Word pulled away for the victory in the Missouri Class 4 girls state championship game at Mizzou Arena.
St. Pius X, 26-3, committed 16 turnovers and shot 29 percent from the field as it struggled to find any offensive rhythm. When Incarnate Word pressed even more in the second half, Pius made only 5 of 23 field goals and was swamped 37-16 over the final two quarters.
“It took us out of our offensive sets,” St. Pius X coach Bob Fenzel said. “We had one day to prepare for it, and it just wasn’t enough.
St. Pius X, which was seeking its first-ever state girls basketball title, still made a game of it of it, trailing 22-21 at halftime and staying within 34-29 late in the third quarter. But when Incarnate Word’s Marisa Warren buried a halfcourt three at the buzzer after a missed Pius layup, the tide quickly turned.
“To me the turning point was that three,” Fenzel said. “That took the wind out of us right there.”
Incarnate Word, 27-4, went on a 12-0 run to start the fourth quarter and secured its eighth state title, the most of any girls basketball team in the state.
Abby Hipp scored 13 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as she ended her Pius career with two straight final-four appearances. Antoinette Mussorici had 12 points for the Warriors.