COLUMBIA – A state championship eluded Skyline for four years.
The fifth time was the right time. Skyline High School’s girls basketball team will bring a state championship trophy home to Urbana following a 69-42 defeat of Adrian in the Class 2 girls basketball state championship game in Columbia at Mizzou Arena.
Senior McKinsey Mountain led Skyline with 20 points and earned an elusive state championship medal in her last high school game.
“It’s the best feeling. It’s something that we’ve worked for since November, actually all of high school. We played basketball since we were in fourth grade. We played YMCA basketball, at the Courts, everything. It all has worked up to this moment,” Mountain said.
As good as Skyline’s teams were in the previous four seasons, the Tigers found themselves caught in a time loop of the Crane dynasty. On its run to four consecutive state champions, Crane served up déjà vu to Skyline by eliminating the Tigers’ chances in either the state final or state semifinals each year.
“We’ve worked so hard. All I can say about it really is it’s paid off,” Mountain said.
The title is the fourth in Cheek’s coaching tenure at Skyline, but what he wanted more than anything was to see seniors Mountain, Lauren Wouters and Sierra Retherford win a state championship after three years of disappointing finishes in Columbia.
“I lost sleep some nights because I wanted to make sure that they left with a first-place trophy,” Cheek said. “We tried to do everything we could to make sure it happened.”
Skyline used depth off the bench to build its lead on Adrian. A total of six players scored six or more points, including 10 from Savannah Owen.
“Those four kids came in, but they weren’t just eating up minutes. They were contributing minutes,” Cheek said. “Being able to play nine kids probably really affected the game.”
The game was a rematch of a game Dec. 19, 2016 which Skyline won 82-32. The Tigers were directly responsible for Adrian’s only two losses of the season.
High school girls basketball Class 1 state championship
Skyline 69, Adrian 42
At Mizzou Arena, Columbia
Skyline—McKinsey Mountain 20, Savannah Owen 10, Kaylee DaMitz 9, Sarah Cunningham 7, Chloe Cole 6, Lauren Wouters 6, Autumn Garrett 4, Sierra Retherford 3, Valen Logan 2, Kristen Miller 2
Adrian—Bailey Reed 12, Lauren Shipman 12, Jenna Shipley6, Sheldon Tallam 4, Camryn Pruitt 4, Anna Walley 3, Paige Wimsatt 1.
Crane boys fall to Oran in Class 2 championship game
A complete season turnaround ended just short of a championship for the Crane Pirates.
They put up a valiant effort but came up short and lost 70-63 to Oran for the Class 2 boys basketball championship.
Senior Dalton Hayes led Crane with 23 points.
“All I could do is just get everything I could to get a win, effort-wise. And it wasn’t only me. My teammates—they were there for me. I played for them, they played for me, we really did give it all we got,” Hayes said.
Crane played a stretch earlier in the season where it lost seven of eight games.
Hayes, along with seniors Deven White and Hunter Brantley, led a turnaround that saw the Pirates win 10 games in a row.
“It’s been a lot of fun, I will say that. Being a senior, honestly, I don’t mean to sound like this, but I didn’t think we’d make it this far as a team. We really stepped up,” Hayes said.
The win is Oran’s first state championship and just its third trip to the state semifinals. Coach Joe Shoemaker had a front-row seat to his sophomore son, Jacob Shoemaker, leading all scorers with 33 points.
“The team is so unselfish. Whoever is hot is who we get the ball to,” Joe Shoemaker said.
Max Priggel also turned in a solid performance for Oran with 19 points and eight rebounds.
Crane coach Craig Campbell believes physical play made the difference in the outcome of the championship final.
“(Oran) pushed us around, and that was one of my concerns, that they were all physical. If we didn’t match that, we would have some issues,” Campbell said.
High school boys basketball Class 2 state championship
Oran 70, Crane 63
At Mizzou Arena, Columbia
Crane—Dalton Hayes 23, Tyler Campbell 9, Wyatt Vaught 8, Brent Williams 7, Colton Elder 6, Deven White 5, Bryston Branstetter 3, Braydon Cook 2
Oran—Jacob Shoemaker 33, Max Priggel 19, Layne Johnson 10, Drew Reischmean 6, Cole Priggel 2.