With six weeks remaining in the regular season, high school boys basketball coaches from Springfield offered status updates as their teams prepare for the hearts of their schedules.
The Springfield Tipoff Club recently celebrated its largest turnout of the season, and dozens of fans gathered Monday to hear from the city’s coaches.
The Bulldogs took a recent 86-42 loss to Kickapoo as an opportunity to take a long, hard look within themselves.
Central didn’t have a game scheduled Friday, but coach Armando Johnson had his players in uniform competing in “the Pit” in an intrasquad scrimmage.
“We played as if it were a game night,” Johnson said. “Kids were realizing it’s going to take five of us to beat somebody — not D’Angelo Bedell, not Bradley Hardin, not Isaiah Holyfield, it’s going to take all of us and I saw a big improvement in us in that category.”
Parkview scored wins over Ozark and Camdenton with senior guard Autry Acord scoring 46 points in the Ozark game.
Acord, playing on a torn ACL in one of his knees, sat out against Camdenton on the road. The Vikings also played without senior Connor Ratcliff, who traveled to Tampa, Florida and scored the game-winning touchdown for a team of southern all-stars in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl.
No problem. Garrett Cunningham scored 20 and Jake Brown dropped 17 points in a win against the Lakers.
Parkview celebrates the 50th anniversary of its 1965 state champion “Jolly Green Giants” Tuesday, Jan. 20 at a home game against West Plains.
Eleven different Chiefs scored points in an 86-42 win over Central. Kickapoo struggled its way to a 60-54 win on the road at West Plains with 23 fourth-quarter points.
“We got a lot of good performances from a lot of guys,” Kickapoo coach Dick Rippee said. “Our depth has just been really good, we’ve got good balance and I really don’t think it’s a team that people are going to look out for and try to stop one guy.”
Kickapoo travels to Sedalia Thursday for a three-day tournament in which unranked Rock Bridge took the No. 1 seed over the Class 5 No. 6-ranked Chiefs.
The Hornets entered the past weekend’s Lindbergh Tournament seeking some experience and a sense of camaraderie. Coach Tomas Brock’s group got what they sought by spending three days on the road in St. Louis.
“One of the things that make our jobs a lot more enjoyable is when you have a group of guys that you enjoy being around and spending time with, and we certainly have that,” Brock said.
Hillcrest went 2-1 on the weekend with a loss to Jackson and wins over Rockwood Summit and Soldan International Studies. Senior guard Brady Petry scored totals of 34 and 30 points in the wins.
Point guard Jack Kerr is distributing the basketball well on his initial pass but, according to coach Tony Armstrong, the Irish struggle with committing turnovers on their second pass of most possessions.
“People are trying to keep the ball out of Jack’s hands,” Armstrong said.
Effort and improvement are still good for the Irish, Armstrong said, but wins are tough to come by. Catholic takes a four-game slide into a pair of upcoming games with Reeds Spring and Fair Grove.
A trip to Skiatook, Oklahoma for a three-day tournament proved to be a trip of mixed results for the Falcons. Glendale defeated Tulsa NOAH with four individuals scoring in double figures. Scoring tapered off in a 64-56 loss to Edmond North of Edmond, Oklahoma and a 58-57 loss to Bishop Kelley of Tulsa, in which the Falcons blew an 11-point halftime lead.
“We just went into shutdown mode. We started taking bad shots, stopped guarding and stopped rebounding,” Glendale coach Brian McTague said. “One of those deals where everything that could go wrong that needed to happen for us to lose happened.”
The Springfield Tipoff Club weekly luncheons offer fans the opportunity to hear from boys high school and college coaches from Springfield. The club meets at the Elks Lodge, 2223 East Bennett at noon on Mondays, cost is $10 for lunch. Due to Martin Luther King Day, the club will not meet Jan. 19 but resumes its schedule Jan. 26.