For Ozark head basketball coach Yancey Little, things can only go downhill from here—and that’s probably just fine by him. Little, who is in his first year as a head coach on the high school level, led his team to the Class 4 state championship with a 34-31 win over Lincoln Prep Academy of Kansas City.
Ozark jumped out to a 14-3 lead and seemed to have the game in hand, but it wasn’t going to be that easy. The two teams scored eight apiece in the second quarter and Ozark’s eleven point lead remained in tact. With the state title all but engraved with Ozark’s name on it, Lincoln Prep turned the tables, outscoring their opponent 13-4 in the third and trailed by just two heading into the fourth.
Jesyka Burks-Wiley gave prep its first lead since going up 2-0 with a bucket to make it 31-30. Two free throws by Ozark Senior Shannon Bogard gave Ozark the lead back for good. Katie Bond hit two more free throws with 38 seconds to go for the game’s final points.
Katie Bond had 10 points to lead Ozark in scoring, while Burks-Wiley had 13 for Lincoln Prep to lead all scorers. It was Ozark’s first trip to the MSHSAA Show-Me Showdown and Lincoln Prep’s second trip to the playoffs.