Pictured are action shots from Thursday's junior varsity Bootheel Conference semifinals at Malden High School. Senath-Hornersville will play South Pemiscot in the J.V. finals Friday at 6 p.m. at Malden.
Senath-Hornersville secured its spot in Friday's championship with a 57-54 semifinal win against the top-seeded Caruthersville Tigers.
"They probably have triple our talent," Senath-Hornersville coach David Heeb said of knocking off Caruthersville. "But our kids trust our system and the system works."
The Lions got out of the gates early in both halves against regular-season conference champion Caruthersville. Senath-Hornersville outscored Caruthersville 11-4 in the first seven minutes of the first quarter an opened the second half on an 11-0 run.
The Lions led the game 28-22 at halftime before increasing its lead to 39-22 with 4:11 remaining in the third quarter. Caruthersville followed by going on a 24-2 run to take a 46-41 lead with 4:50 remaining in regulation.
"Zach got his fourth foul," Heeb said of losing the lead. "He's one of our primary ball-handlers. When he went out I thought we got a little shaky. I thought more than us messing up, they made us mess up and that's a credit to Lamont at Caruthersville. He was my assistant coach for three years and I love him like a brother. He's a terrific basketball coach. I kept telling the kids 'they will not quit with Lamont down there coaching them because he won't let them.' I thought that comeback was a credit to Lamont and his kids for how hard they played."
Caruthersville had a chance to tie the game with five tenths of a second left when it was fouled shooting a 3-pointer. Caruthersville missed all three free throws with less than one second remaining. The Tigers finished one of 17 from the free-throw-line.
South Pemiscot beat third-seeded Kennett 57-50 in the second championship semifinal of the single-elimination tournament.
"We had to bare down and play hard against a good ball club," South Pemiscot coach Alandis Boyd said. "We had to block out, rebound and limit our mistakes. We executed exactly the way we wanted to."
South Pemiscot did the majority of its damage in the second quarter against Kennett. The game was tied 10-10 before South Pemiscot won the second quarter by eight points to move ahead 28-20 at halftime.
The Bulldogs lead swelled to eleven twice in the third quarter before Kennett narrowed the margin to 45-44 with 3:38 remaining in regulation, but never got closer.
South Pemiscot will play Senath-Hornersville in the championship Friday at 6 p.m. at Malden High School.
"It's against the best Senath-Hornersville junior varsity team I've seen in a while," Boyd said. "It's going to be a tough battle for us. We will have to play our hearts out to win it. It will be a tough one."
View box scores from Wednesday's junior varsity semifinals below (Note: name spellings taken from scorebook):
SHS 11 17 13 16 - 57
CHS 6 16 15 17 - 54
SENATH-HORNERSVILLE (57) - Zach Johnson 5, Kyle Moore 22, Austin Autry 21, Juawan Moss 2, Brady Bibbs 2, Juan Castillo 5. FG 23, FT 7/12, F 14. (3-pointers: Moore 4. Fouled out: none)
CARUTHERSVILLE (54) - Kevin Anderson 16, Antonio Mackins 2, Dalton Johnson 12, Roderick Jones 10, Tyron Alston 12, Malik Monroe 2. FG 24, FT 1/17, F 15. (3-pointers: Anderson 4, Johnson 1. Fouled out: none)
KHS 10 10 15 15 - 50
SHS 10 18 13 16 - 57
KENNETT (50) - Carlos Turner 4, Fred Gooden 4, Tom Edgington 4, Malik Wallace 8, Andre Oliver 20, Landon Vaughan 10. FG 22, FT 4/11, F 14. (3-pointers: Vaughan 2. Fouled out: none)
SOUTH PEMISCOT (57) - Jarvis Johnson 17, Contrell Johnson 15, Justin Byrd 3, Ty Dunn 10, Glen Jackson 12. FG 26, FT 5/12, F 11. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none)