Two Springfield area teams are two wins away from being state champions.
Kickapoo and Bolivar test their might at Mizzou Arena in Columbia in the 2017 Show-Me Showdown. Kickapoo (25-4) is scheduled to play in the Class 5 semifinals Friday at 4:15 p.m. against Webster Groves (27-2).
Kickapoo all-time leading scorer Jared Ridder comes into the final two games of his high school career with 607 points this season and 1,585 for his career. His season scoring average stands at 20.9 points per game.
Ridder, a Xavier signee, and U.S. Naval Academy signee Cameron Davis will have the chance to compete against an AAU basketball teammate. Webster Groves junior Carte’are Gordon played with Ridder and Davis this past summer on MoKan Elite, winners of the 2016 Nike Peach Jam.
Gordon is the No. 2 scorer on Webster Groves with 19.1 points per game behind point guard Courtney Ramey’s 19.6 points per game. Both players are highly recruited juniors.
Ramey holds 15 NCAA Division I scholars and is committed to Louisville, while Gordon passed up nine offers to commit to St. Louis University.
Before the Friday showdown with Webster Groves, the Kickapoo Chiefs plan to travel to Columbia on Thursday to cheer on a fellow southwest Missouri team.
Bolivar (26-4) takes on Parkway Central (23-8) Thursday at 5:10 p.m. at Mizzou Arena in the Class 4 semifinals. A win would put Bolivar in Saturday’s championship game against Vashon (25-3) or Kearney (21-7) at 2:40 p.m.
Bolivar coach Robby Hoegh expects key performances from two senior leaders, Conley Garrison and Brandon Emmert.
“These two guys have just been awesome all the way through. You can throw the accolades and the stats out the window, it’s who they are as people,” Hoegh said.
Bolivar held an open practice for fans on Tuesday afternoon. The Liberators stuck around afterwards to sign autographs for kids.
“People from Bolivar just love to watch us play, they love the way we play, and the little kids are starting to really follow us now. That’s what this is about is getting them into it,” Emmert said.
High school basketball MSHSAA Show-Me Showdown schedule
All games at Mizzou Arena, Columbia
Thursday, March 16
3:30 p.m. Class 4 boys: Vashon (25-3) vs. Kearney (21-7)
5:10 p.m. Class 4 boys: Parkway Central (23-8) vs. Bolivar (26-4)
6:50 p.m. Class 4 girls: Dexter (22-8) vs. St. Pius X (Kansas City)(25-3)
8:30 p.m. Class 4 girls: Incarnate Word (26-4) vs. Carl Junction (27-2)
Friday, March 17
11 a.m. Class 4 boys third place game
12:45 p.m. Class 4 girls third place game
2:30 p.m. Class 5 boys: Chaminade (24-5) vs. Lee’s Summit West (25-2)
4:15 p.m. Class 5 boys: Webster Groves (27-2) vs. Kickapoo (25-4)
6 p.m. Class 5 girls: St. Joseph’s Academy (20-8) vs. Lee’s Summit (15-13)
7:45 p.m. Class 5 girls: Kirkwood (26-3) vs. Rock Bridge (25-5)
Saturday, March 17
11 a.m. Class 5 boys third place game
12:50 p.m. Class 5 girls third place game
2:40 p.m. Class 4 boys championship
4:30 p.m. Class 4 girls championship
6:20 p.m. Class 5 boys championship
8:10 p.m. Class 5 girls championship