MOKANE - The lapse wasn't lengthy, but it was too much for the North Callaway Thunderbirds to survive.
State-ranked and top-seeded Montgomery County outscored No. 5 North Callaway by a combined 20-4 over two stretches spanning the back end of the second quarter and the start of the third in Wednesday night's semifinals at the South Callaway Invitational Tournament. That was ultimately the difference as the unbeaten Wildcats turned away the Thunderbirds 83-68 in a showdown between the Eastern Missouri Conference teams.
The game was a 20-all standoff after the first quarter, but Montgomery County outscored North Callaway 26-19 in the second period - including a closing 9-4 run - to carry a 46-39 edge into halftime. The Wildcats maintained that momentum by outscoring the Thunderbirds 11-0 at the outset of the third quarter and widened their lead to 68-51 going into the final 8 minutes.
South Callaway 73
MOKANE - The fourth-seeded Bulldogs trampled the No. 8 Indians on Wednesday night in the consolation-bracket semifinals of the South Callaway Invitational Tournament. Further details were not available at press time.
South Callaway (8-3) bounced back from Monday night's 51-41 first-round loss to No. 5 seed North Callaway to win for the fifth time in six games.
CALIFORNIA - The fifth-seeded Lady Hornets rallied by outscoring the No. 8 Lady Spartans 15-6 in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's win in the consolation semifinals of the California Tournament.
Fulton took a 24-21 lead into halftime, but had to overcome a 40-35 deficit after being outscored by North Central Missouri Conference foe Moberly 19-11 in the third quarter.
"We set out a goal and it didn't have anything to do with statistics or even basketball - it was about our attitude," Lady Hornets head coach TJ Quick said. "We had to be pumped up and we had to pick each other up. I felt like that kept our composure in the fourth quarter.
"We did an outstanding job of being upbeat and we were a different team, attitude-wise. We played a lot more loose."
Junior guard Verdis Lee Jr. tallied a team-high 16 points and the host Blue Jays ended a three-game losing streak with Tuesday night's SLIAC romp over the Griffins.
Lee - a Fulton graduate who was 6-of-12 from the field - delivered 10 points in the second half and was one of three players in double figures as Westminster College shot 52 percent (28-of-54) overall and overcame 18 turnovers. The Blue Jays, who had lost two in a row in conference play, improved to 7-6 on the season and 4-2 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
William Woods 75
The Owls wasted a 15-point lead over the Bulldogs early in the second half and dropped their third AMC contest in the last four games Tuesday night at Anderson Arena.
William Woods University went into halftime with a 10-point lead and proceeded to score the first five points of the second half. Junior forward Nate Bitner's basket with 18 minutes, 42 seconds left in the game put the Owls on top 46-31.
William Woods still owned a 12-point advantage at 59-47 after Bitner knocked down a 3-pointer at the 12:14 mark. However, Benedictine University-Springfield (Ill.) countered with a 20-7 run to jolt the Owls and take the lead.