CLASS 5 GIRLS
LEE’S SUMMIT (24-3) VS. NERINX HALL (21-8)
Lee’s Summit High School is making its third straight trip to the Final four and their 10th overall. The Tigers have come away with two consecutive fourth-place finishes. Sophomore Danielle Adams led Lee’s Summit with 25 points in their 65-40 quarterfinal win over Truman last Saturday. The Tigers have two state titles to their credit, which they earned in 1978 and 1990.
Nerinx Hall is in the playoffs for the third straight season, but the Markers find themselves in the Show-Me Showdown for the first time ever. The way their season started, the thought of even making it out of districts seemed far off. Nerinx Hall opened up their first 14 games with an 8-6 record, before peeling off 14 wins over the last 16 games. Casey Kraft leads the way with 16.5 points per game.
INCARNATE WORD (27-3) VS. KICKAPOO (26-1)
Defense is the name of the game for Incarnate Word High School out of Bel Nor, Missouri. The Red Knights have kept opponents under 50 points in all but three games this season. Those three games comprised their only losses of the season. They come into the Show-Me Showdown winners of 13 straight games and in that streak no one has scored more than 38 points against them. They’ve allowed just over 32 points per game since districts began. This is their first trip to the Final 4.
Kickapoo, on the other hand is more than familiar with success in the post-season. The Lady Chiefs are making their 10th trip to the Final 4 and are going in search of their fifth state title. They won the 2003 title with a perfect 30-0 record. They come into this year’s semifinal game ranked #1 in Class 5.
CLASS 4 GIRLS
LINCOLN PREP ACADEMY (25-4) VS. ST. JAMES (24-5)
Lincoln Prep Academy isn’t completely new to the idea of post-season basketball, but it isn’t exactly routine. They’re making just their second trip to the playoffs—the first was in 1999. They were knocked out in the quarterfinals that season. This their first trip to the Show-Me Showdown. While they may not be the most experienced team in the tournament, they are the highest ranked team left—they were ranked third in the final girls’ poll.
St. James is in the playoffs for the fourth straight year and they find themselves in the Show-Me Showdown for the third time in the last four seasons. Unfortunately for the Lady Tigers they’ve only come away with a third and fourth place finish for their efforts. They have only one other appearance in 1995, which resulted a fourth place finish. St. James senior Jennifer Bowen leads all scorers remaining in the Class 4 tournament with 20.5 per game. In each of the last two trips to the Final 4, St. James has lost to the eventual champ—Republic in 2004 and Notre Dame de Sion in 2002.
JENNINGS (19-8) VS. OZARK (21-8)
Things were looking bad for Jennings High School. They dropped their last three games of the regular season and averaged just 33 points per contest. The thought of ending their season didn’t set well, and they have won five straight. This marks Jennings first-ever trip to the playoffs.
Ozark’s history in the playoffs isn’t as barren as Jennings, but they haven’t exactly been regulars. The Lady Tigers are in the playoffs for the first time since 1999 and make their first appearance in the Show-Me Showdown. They advanced to the semifinals with a 37-30 win over Bolivar. Ozark loves brackets—they are 13-1 in all tournaments this season.