The Southern Boone Eagles get ready for District play today at 7 pm in Westphalia (Fatima High School) after a tough 5 game stretch to end the regular season. The Eagles won 3 of 5 after claiming the Southern Boone Classic Championship. The first game after the Classic was a third game against a tough Fulton Hornets team. The Eagles defeated Fulton in the Championship game of the California Tournament (66-47) and in the Semifinals of the Southern Boone Classic (69-46) before going to Fulton. This game was a dogfight from the get-go as the Hornets jumped out to the lead and led 14-9 after the 1st quarter. The Eagles fight back in the 2nd quarter and get it back to within 1 point, with Fulton claiming a 21-20 halftime lead. The 3rd quarter kept with the theme as it was a tough, defensive battle. Fulton extended their lead to 31-27 going into the 4th quarter. The game went back and forth and Fulton led 40-36 with 3 minutes to go and that would be as close as the Eagles would get. Fulton hit their shots and Southern Boone could not and Fulton closed out the game and won 50-36. Rece Gilmore and Sam Stichnote led the Eagles with 14 points each.
The Eagles had no time to rest and contemplate their loss as they came back the next night to host the ranked Hallsville Indians. Another tough opponent that the Eagles had already played twice this year. Hallsville beat Southern Boone in the Tri-County Tournament 59-64 in the Semi-Finals and Southern Boone got the Indians in the 2nd game (Southern Boone Classic Championship) 68-57. The Eagles didn't come out quite as hot as they did in the Southern Boone Classic Championship game but was able to grab an 8 point lead going into halftime, 25-17 as they kept Hallsville's shooters in check. The teams fought back and forth with the Eagles maintaining their 8 point lead 37-29. Hallsville pushed the tempo and pressure in the 4th quarter trying to fight back. The Eagles hit their free throws (18-24 for the game) and all the shots they needed to as they scored 28 points in the last quarter to win 65-47. Sam led the Eagles with 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists. Rece added 19 points and 6 rebounds and Brady Trammell scored 12 points.
Southern Boone traveled to Helias next for another tough game. The Eagles came out ready to go and took a 10-8 1st quarter lead. Helias and Southern Boone fought back and forth and Helias hit a late shot to take an 18-17 lead into halftime. The experienced and talented Crusader team came out in the 2nd half ready to play. Helias got after the Eagles and outscored them 25-5 in the 3rd quarter to take a 43-22 lead. The Eagles fought back and scored the first 10 points of the 4th quarter to pull within 11 (43-32). Helias was able to maintain and held on to win 56-41. Rece led the Eagles with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Brady was the only other Eagle in double-digits with 12 points.
The Eagles came back the next night to make up their canceled conference game with the Osage Indians. Southern Boone defeated Osage in the Tri-County Conference Tournament 68-66 to claim 3rd place with a wild comeback in the 4th quarter. In the rematch, the Eagles took a 5 point lead after the 1st and pushed it to 12 points at the half, 32-20. The Eagles kept on the attack and outscored Osage 19-16 in the 3rd quarter to take a 51-36 lead into the last quarter. Osage made a small run in the 4th quarter but the Eagles held on to a 69-59 win. Rece led the Eagles with 24 points and Sam added 19 points and 11 rebounds.
The last game of the regular season came against Warsaw. Warsaw will be leaving the Tri-County Conference after this year so it was the last trip to Warsaw for the Eagles. Southern Boone came out quick and put the game away early. The Eagles led 23-8 after the 1st quarter and outscored Warsaw 32-18 in the 2nd quarter for a 55-26 lead. The 32 2nd quarter points were the 4th most points by a Boys team in a 2nd quarter and the 55 points were the 6th most in a first half for a Southern Boone Boys team. During the 1st half, Sam Stichnote passed 1,000 career points, the 13th Eagle to do so and only the 3rd to do it as a Junior. The starters sat for the 2nd half and the Eagles cruised to an 81-62 victory. Sam scored 19 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and dished out 6 assists. Brady hit 5 3-pointers to score 15 points and Tyson Smith scored 14 points.
The Eagles finish the regular season 18-7 and 6-1 in the Tri-County Conference. The Eagles landed the #2 seed in the District Tournament and will face the 11-14 Dixon Bulldogs. This is the first-ever meeting between Dixon and Southern Boone. The Southern Boone-Dixon winner will take on the winner of St. James (18-7) vs. Hermann (8-17) game. St. James defeated Herman 61-39 last week.
On the other side of the bracket is the #1 seeded Blair Oaks (19-5) who plays South Callaway (9-15) in the first round. The winner of that game will play the winner of the Father Tolton (11-13) vs Fatima (10-12) game. None of the teams have played each other previously this year.
Southern Boone played Blair Oaks at Ashland last month and lost in overtime 46-56 which decided the Conference Championship. Southern Boone played Fatima in the beginning of the season and won 70-50. Other than those two, the Eagles have not played any of the other District teams. The Eagles will be looking to repeat as District Champions as they defeated Blair Oaks 67-54 last year to win their first District Championship since 2012.