Northwestern teams split last Tuesday as CLAA basketball tournament restarted

Brookfield squads dropped pair; Marceline postponed

By PAUL STURM, LCL Sports Editor

By PAUL STURM, LCL Sports Editor

As the weather pendulum began to swing back slowly from its arctic-like temperatures extreme of the previous several days and the repetitive snows of varying volumes, one Mendon: Northwestern squad won (boys) and one lost (girls) as the annual Carroll-Livingston Activity Association high school basketball tournament emerged from an 8-days hibernation last Tuesday (Feb. 16).

A couple of Northwestern players spiced Tuesday’s play with hot long-range shooting performances on a cold, cold night.

Eagles senior guard Isaac Zahner zapped Norborne for six 3-pointers and 24 points as the NHS boys rolled, 64-34, in play at Tina-Avalon School.

That came after Lady Eagles junior guard Alexa McCollum had strafed Southwest Livingston for a half-dozen trifectas and 20 points herself in what eventually settled out as a 51-38 NHS loss in action at Hale School.

The second-seeded Northwestern boys’ victory advanced them to the next night’s championship semifinals and, potentially, toward the title game Thursday before commencing Class 1 District 12 Tournament play at Tina-Avalon with a semifinal game this Wednesday at 6 p.m.

The Lady Eagles were eliminated from the abridged CLAA tourney with last Tuesday’s loss. They were slated to take on Macon County R-4/Bucklin in the first round (quarterfinals) of the district tourney Saturday at 4 p.m. If they won, they’ll tangle with top seed Tina-Avalon tomorrow night at 6.

The only games played by Linn County high school varsity teams early last week were Brookfield’s visit to Monroe City. Those ended with decisive victories by the hosts.

Marceline’s would-be Tuesday home game against Knox County was canceled. The Tigers and Lady Tigers did add another clash with North Shelby, which it faced Jan. 29, on Thursday before starting Class 2 district tournament play. North Shelby hosted the rematch.

Meadville had a regularly-scheduled visit to Grundy County R-5/Newtown-Harris last Thursday before making up its thrice-postponed Tri-County Conference meeting with La Plata at home Friday before having Class 1 District 12 tournament play.

The second-seeded Lady Eagles were to have taken on lowly Keytesville Saturday afternoon. A win would have them now prepping to face either Brunswick or Hale/Bosworth tomorrow night at 6.

The Meadville boys have a first-round bye tonight and await either Hale/Bosworth or Bucklin/Macon County R-4 in the semifinals Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Linn County R-1’s teams were to have wrapped up the regular season with make-up games against Green City and Novinger at mid-week last week before hosting their Class 1 District 14 tournament openers.

The Lady Mustangs were to have met Gilman City/North Daviess Saturday afternoon before the Mustangs welcomed Mercer for a 6 p.m. contest tonight. Both LCHS clubs are seeded fourth and, if victorious in the first round, will have semifinal games on the road tomorrow night (girls at Mercer) and Wednesday (boys at Grundy County R-5/Newtown-Harris).

(B) Monroe City 76, Brookfield (2-18, 0-6) 37

(G) Monroe City 63, Brookfield (4-16, 0-6) 30

MONROE CITY — The BHS teams’ penultimate regular-season games – they were to make up a prior postponement against South Shelby last Thursday – kept them winless in Clarence Cannon Conference hoops competition this season.

The Lady Bulldogs unofficially went to 2-18 overall and the ’Dogs 4-16. Both have a 0-6 CCC ledger.

No details on the games were reported or available.

CLAA TOURNAMENT

(G) Southwest Livingston 51, Mendon: Northwestern 38

(B) Mendon: Northwestern 64, Norborne 34

At Tina-Avalon School, whereas McCollum rang the bell downtown six times in a Lady Eagles’ loss, schoolmate Zahner fired in a half-dozen “long rangers” in a winning cause.

His 24 points paced Northwestern’s boys (16-2) to their expected runaway, even without top player Hunter Stockwell participating.

The pivot was barely missed with Zahner having the hot hand from deep. The boys from Mendon seized a 15-7 lead after one period and had NHS’ Pirates (5-14) doubled, 32-16, at the half. An 18-5 finishing kick pushed the final margin up to an even 30 points.

In addition to Zahner’s two dozen tallies, fellow guard Clayton Gregory popped in 15 for Northwestern. Norborne had 12 from Jonathen Miller, nine by Keaton Andrews, and eight from Kobe Gibson.

NHS’ Eagles played Hale/Bosworth in the semifinals the next night, hoping to probably clash with No. 1 seed Southwest Livingston for the title last Thursday.

At Hale, while No. 3 seed Southwest Livingston ended up defeating NHS’ girls by 13, McCollum and the Lady Eagles threw a good scare into them in the third quarter.

After leading by six points after one quarter and seven after two, Southwest Livingston found its lead shaved to two, 33-31, in the final half-minute of the third after McCollum, who’d had a trey in each of the first two segments, lit it up from beyond the arc three times in the third.

However, when Makenna Campbell netted the final basket of the third stanza to give the higher seed a 35-31 advantage going to the fourth, it ignited a 16-7 closing push that prevented any drama down the stretch.

McCollum, who found the mark from deep one last time in the fourth frame, was the contest’s leading scorer with 20 points. Teammates Alayna Adams and Halie Smith added 10 and nine, respectively, as the Lady Eagles (4-13) were bounced from the now-abbreviated tournament (the consolation bracket was eliminated to pave the way for champions to be crowned in the limited available time).Campbell’s 16 tallies topped Southwest (11-5). Right behind, after hitting four trifectas herself, was Matney Waters with 15 points. Lily Webb chipped in another nine.