O’Hara 84, Notre Dame 72. The dream run for Notre Dame High School of Cape Girardeau came to an end on Friday afternoon in Columbia. The Bulldogs were the Cinderella of the Show-Me Showdown, entering the Final 4 with a 14-16 record. They dropped seven straight before rolling through districts and winning the sectionals and quarterfinals. But O’Hara High School of Kansas City smashed their glass slipper today with an 84-72 win .
Notre Dame trailed by as many as 13 in the second half, but battled back. In the fourth quarter, Bulldog junior Alex Ressel hit a shot underneath the basket and was fouled. His free throw cut the Celtics lead to 55-53. O’Hara responded with a 13-0 run to put the game away. Celtic senior Marcus Walker, who averages 30 points per game, was held to just eight in the first half. He exploded for 23 in the second half for a game-high 31. Fellow senior, Brandon Toliver added 19. Ressel finished with 23 in the losing effort.
O’Hara advances to the Class 4 title game for the first time in school history and improve to 26-5. They’ve won nine in a row.
Willard 75, Wesminster Christian Academy 67. Westminster Christian Academy of St. Louis took on Willard in the second Class 4 boys semifinal, as both teams went in search of their first state title. While neither have ever won state, Willard has certainly had more experience, making 12 appearances in the playoffs. WCA is in the post season for just the first time. Willard showed that experience by coming away with a 75-67 win.
The game was close early on, but the Tigers took charge near the end of the second quarter and led 42-32 at the half. In the second half, WCA got close a couple of times, but they were no match for Tiger sharp-shooter Travis Wilkins, who finished with a game high 22 points. He was 4-of-5 from the three-point arc. Willard hit 62 percent of their shots and they had to—Westminster out-rebounded the Tigers 42-17.
Willard improved to 29-2, while WCA ended their season at 25-6.