Lincoln Prep Academy 56, St. James 43. Lincoln Prep Academydoesn’t know what it’s doing. The playoffs are a completely foreign affair—it’s their first time going to state. Luckily for them, they do know what they’re doing on the court. Class 4’s number one team advanced to the championship game with a 56-43 win over St. James. Defense was key for Prep in the semifinals—they allowed just eight points in the second quarter and nine in the fourth. On offense they hit 50 percent of their shots, including a 6-of-12 performance from behind the arc.
Tiffany Coppage led the Tigers with 20 points, while teammate Tanisha Smith added 15. St. James got 21 points from Jennifer Bowen, but no one else scored more than eight. The win moves Lincoln Prep to 27-4 on the season, while St. James bowed out with a mark of 24-7. It was their third trip to the Final Four in the last four years and have lost in the semifinals each time.
OZARK 56 JENNINGS 24
If defense indeed wins championships, then Ozark High School is well on their way. The Tigers smothered Jennings High School in a 56-24 win in the final Class 4 Girls semifinal of the day. Ozark led 22-10 at the end of the first half, holding the Warriors to just two points in the second quarter. After giving up 10 points in the third quarter, Ozark put it on high gear again, giving up four points in the fourth quarter. Callie Widell led the Tigers with 23 points, while Carmesha Still paced Jennings with seven.
It’s an amazing run for Ozark which is in the semifinals for just the first time and in their first title game. Head coach Yancey Little is in his first year at Ozark and as a head coach anywhere. The Tigers improved to 24-8 while the season comes to a close for Jennings, which was also in its first Show-Me Showdown, at 20-10.