Senior guard Aaron Bedsworth tallied a game-high 21 points Tuesday night to help steer the No. 5 seed New Bloomfield Wildcats to a 55-49 victory over No. 4 Paris in the first round of the Class 2, District 5 Tournament.
New Bloomfield (9-16) maintained the lead throughout a tight contest. The Wildcats were up 18-13 after one quarter, 22-21 at halftime and 39-34 going into the fourth quarter.
Bedsworth - who hit four 3-pointers - was one of two players to score in double figures for the Wildcats. Senior guard Daniel Berry provided 16 points.
Cole Lockhart and Seth Nobis both finished with 12 points for Paris, which ended its season at 12-3.
"I hang my hat on defense, that's what I've been trying to instill and the players stepped up in a major way," New Bloomfield head coach Tyler Clark said. "We did a good job of contesting shots and making them work for every bucket."
The Wildcats move on to face either No. 1 Louisiana or No. 8 Wellsville in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Thursday.
"We have to execute a lot better offensively," Clark said. "We need to move the ball better and finish shots."
North Callaway basketball (VG).......41
CENTRALIA - The Ladybirds opened Class 3, District 8 play with a 41-33 first-round win over the Lady Wildcats late Monday night.
North Callaway (8-14) snapped a three-game losing streak and advanced to a semifinal matchup against Centralia at 7:30 tonight. The Lady Panthers advanced with a 56-20 romp over Winfield in first-round play earlier Monday night.
The Ladybirds dropped both of their regular-season matchups against Centralia.
"This game puts us one step closer to where we want to be," North Callaway head coach Jack Peace said after Monday night's victory.
Freshman guard Jaida Gray paced the Ladybirds with 15 points, while senior forward Morgan Brown Emmons supplied 13 points and collected a team-high eight rebounds. Senior guard Kelsey West also handed out five assists and came up with five steals.
New Bloomfield basketball (VG)......25
LOUISIANA - The No. 7 seed Lady Wildcats were unable to fully recover from a 15-4 halftime deficit in Monday night's first-round loss at the Class 2, District 5 Tournament.
"We had a tough time making baskets early on," New Bloomfield head coach Brett Craighead said. "(Community) is big and long, and their defense extended us out. We weren't aggressive enough in taking (the ball) to the hole."
Relying on its defensive pressure to energize their offense, the Lady Wildcats outscored the No. 2 Lady Trojans 17-8 in the third quarter to pull within 23-21. However, Community regained control by outscoring New Bloomfield 14-4 in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win.
"I don't know if (the third-quarter comeback) took our legs from us, but we couldn't make shots in the fourth quarter," Craighead said.
Senior guard Elizabeth Clark topped the Lady Wildcats with nine points and junior guard Kelsey Jaegers had eight.
"We fought back and made a game out of it," Craighead said. "I was pleased with that."
Brittani Brandweir paced the Lady Trojans with a game-high 13 points, while Ashley Curtis added 10.
New Bloomfield - after going 5-20 in 2009-10 - completed its season with an 11-15 record.
"We more than doubled our win total and I'm pleased with that," Craighead said. "I feel like we're on the right track; we have to keep improving and keep working."
The Lady Wildcats ended the regular season last Friday night with a 57-41 loss at Southern Boone. Clark tallied a team-high 14 points, followed by senior guard Sarah Moore with 11 and Jaegers with 10.
New Bloomfield's junior varsity squad finished its season with an 8-3 mark after a 36-32 victory. Freshman guards Mykayla Steele and Shelby Bailey paced the Lady Wildcats with 14 and 10 points, respectively.