Coming off a disappointing end to title hopes in the semifinals, it’s always tough to forecast how a team is going to respond in the third-place game.
Mount Vernon and West Plains demonstrated both ends of the spectrum Saturday afternoon in the Blue Division third-place game at JQH Arena.
The Mountaineers were energized and scorching hot and were never really threatened in their 76-44 victory over West Plains.
Mount Vernon (9-4) opened with a 20-2 run and never looked back. West Plains (7-4) looked like the four games in four days had taken its toll, as several shots were short and it succumbed easily to Mount Vernon’s onslaught.
“It’s hard to come off a loss and we just had to get refocused this morning during shootaround and we did,” Mount Vernon’s Shane Williams said. “We knew we had to fix the things we did wrong yesterday and we did very well today.”
Mount Vernon sophomore Chandler Myers scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half as the Mountaineers built a 33-9 lead. The Zizzers scored the first bucket of the game, but didn’t score again until the 7:31 mark of the second quarter.
No. 6 Branson 71,
No. 4 Bolivar 60
Branson also felt like it gave away a chance to play for a title with a loss Friday to Republic.
But despite a lethargic start to the game, the Pirates had enough energy late to bounce back for a win over Bolivar (7-3).
Junior Da’Quan Ervin finished off his week with a game-high 23 points, totaling 71 points in four games.
“He did things the first couple weeks of practice that I didn’t know he could do,” Branson coach Brian McTague said. “I told him then that, in my opinion, he’s the best junior in the area that people have never heard of.
“And now, people are starting to talk about him.”
Ervin scored 10 points in the second quarter as the Pirates (7-4) extended to a 35-25 lead after an 11-11 first quarter.
But for as good of a week as Ervin had, he said the semifinal loss to Republic will sting. Ervin had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer but misfired on a 3-pointer.
“The loss was on me,” he said. “Taking that last-second shot and missing it. That’s what I’ll remember.”
Senior guard Eric Bowman had three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including two in the final minute as Spokane rallied from a 26-21 deficit after three quarters in the Gold consolation final.
He finished with four 3-pointers and 14 points, and Hunter Bishop scored a game-high 18 for Spokane.
Camdenton 33, Morrisville 22
Kullen Carlock scored 18 points for Camdenton in a Blue consolation final that was 14-14 headed into the fourth quarter.
Josh Devine had 11 points for Morrisville.