Pictured is the Kennett eighth grade boys basketball team with its Bootheel Conference Tournament and regular-season first-place plaques. Kennett defeated Hayti 39-34 in the conference championship Thursday night at Portageville.
PORTAGEVILLE, Mo. - Kennett eighth grade boys basketball coach Brent Carr had few complaints about his team's season following its 39-34 Bootheel Conference Tournament championship victory against Hayti Thursday night.
"Going into the season I had a lot of reservations about how I could handle them," Carr said. "I knew they were a good bunch of boys. I didn't understand how good of boys they were. They've done everything I've asked them to and have been good teammates. I'm as proud of this team as any team I've ever coached."
Kennett concludes its season with a 12-2 record following a hard-fought conference championship win against Hayti.
Second-seeded Hayti led top-seeded Kennett 8-6 after the first quarter of the conference final.
Neither team led by more than two points in the second period. The game was tied 18-18 at halftime and 27-27 at the end of the third quarter.
Kennett opened the fourth quarter on an 11-4 run to take a 38-31 lead with 1:36 remaining.
Kennett never trailed the final 90 seconds of regulation.
"Hayti really played a tough game," Carr said. "They had a player that sprained his ankle last night so they sort of had a short bench. I was really proud of our guys and how they hustled up and down the floor. We wanted to put the pressure on them because we knew they didn't have a deep bench. That was our strategy to try to get them into foul trouble. We kept hustling, got a little lucky, and came out on top."
8th Grade Championship: No. 1 Kennett 39, No. 2 Hayti 34
HMS 8 10 9 7 - 34
KMS 6 12 9 12 - 39
Pictured is the Malden seventh grade boys basketball team with its Bootheel Conference Tournament and regular-season first-place plaques. Malden defeated Caruthersville 32-21 in the conference championship Thursday.
PORTAGEVILLE, Mo. - A perfect season became a reality for the Malden Green Wave seventh grade boys basketball team Thursday night.
Top-seeded Malden knocked off second-seeded Caruthersville 32-21 in the championship of the Bootheel Conference Tournament Thursday. Malden concludes its season with a 14-0 record.
"This bunch is real special," Harmon said of the perfect season. "A couple years ago I had a bunch go undefeated two years in a row. Hopefully, this bunch will be able to do the same. The biggest difference in this bunch and the one I had previously is this group has all the tools. They can shoot from the outside and at times we rebound the ball hard. If we can get tougher we will be real hard to beat."
Malden got all it bargained for in the conference title game even though it never trailed.
The Green Wave limited Caruthersville to one field goal in the first period and led 5-3 after the first quarter. Malden led 13-9 with 1:29 remaining in the first half before going on a 9-0 run over the next four minutes plus to increase its lead to 22-9 with 2:57 left in the third quarter.
"Defensively we've been pretty strong all year," Harmon said. "I cannot say enough about our point guard Malcolm McBride. He really makes us go. On the top of our press he was all over the place and I thought we defended real well. We just didn't do a very good job on the offensive end.
"Caruthersville came to play tonight and really put more pressure on us than we expected," Harmon continued. "They double teamed us a great deal, which they didn't do the first time we played them. It caused us to turn the ball over a great deal and that's what we are used to doing to the other team. They kind of gave us a little bit of our own medicine tonight."
Malden led 24-13 at the start of the fourth quarter. The Tigers scored the first seven points of the final period to trim the deficit to 24-20 with 2:30 remaining in regulation. The Tigers calculated only one point after as Malden increased the final margin of victory to double digits.
"I told our kids don't panic," Harmon said of the fourth quarter. "We were frustrated and they played more physical than we did. I told our kids 'we were a little soft inside and there is no reason for us to be.' We let them push us around a little bit. The game was physical tonight and they were more physical during that stretch. They pressured us, bumped us and we turned the ball over. It allowed them to get back close."
7th Grade Championship: No. 1 Malden 32, No. 2 Caruthersville 21
CMS 3 6 4 8 - 21
MMS 5 13 6 8 - 32