Pat Daly Sports Editor [email protected]
Eight-plus weeks into the hoops season this season, the Niksa boys are one of six undefeated teams in the state and one of two undefeated Class 6 teams.
The Eagles 15-0 finished 2nd in the 6th grade in the latest Missouri Basketball Coaches Association poll, entering the Nixa tournament this week. Kirkwood (13-0) – No. 8 in class 6.
The other undefeated are Mansfield (17-0), Cape Girardeau Central (18-0), Plattsburgh (19-0) and Lincoln (17-0).
Troy, New Madrid Central, Marquette, Cape Girardeau, Notre Dame, Hillcrest, Rogersville, and Springfield Central will also feature in the Nixa Tournament.
Nyxa faces Marquette in the first round. The Eagles played five games against Catholic schools last season, their first such match this season.
The Knicks will play nine of the next ten games at home. This includes a date for next Wednesday against Kickapoo, a match that was rescheduled due to Tuesday’s snowfall.
Other interesting quick hits:
– Republic (15-1) – 15-0 against competitors in the state. The Tigers’ only loss came at the hands of Springdale, Arkansas.
– Class 4 #1 Vashon (9-7) and Class 6 #1 Staley (15-1) meet Saturday in St. Louis.
– Former Knicks coach Jay Osbourne brought the Springfield Catholic out of the doldrums to .500. The Irish started 1-6 and are now 9-9.
Osborne added three more Blue & Gold Tournament wins to bring his total tournament wins to 78. To put this figure in the right light, consider that a coach can have three Blue & Gold Tournament wins 25 years in a row and still be to be shy. Osborne record.
“Remarkably, all five of Springfield’s public schools have been successful. Glendale 12-5, Central 10-4, Kickapoo 10-5, Hillcrest 9-7 and Parkview 9-9. The Vikings started 0-5.
When was the last time all five Springfield public school teams won? It’s been at least 14 years. They did a good job in 2008-2009 when Central was 21-2, Kickapoo won 17, Hillcrest and Glendale each won 16 and Parkview was 7-18.
– This week’s Sparta tournament field includes receiving Trojans, Mansfield, Fair Grove, Greenwood, Gainesville and Ava. Mansfield is 8-0 against teams with a winning record. Only four Lions games have been decided by 10 points or less. Ava has gone from 24-4 last season to 2-13 this winter.
Class 3 No. 7 “Sparta” (15-4) faced five teams that are currently in the rankings, and this week their number will increase. The Trojans lost to Grade 6 Republican #7 and Grade 2 Hartville #3 and beat Grade 5 #9 Bolivar, Grade 4 Hollister #8 and Grade 2 Ash Grove #4.
Marionville, who beat the Trojans in overtime, are 16-2 but not class 2. It says the Comets will beat Ash Grove when the teams meet in a couple of weeks.
Sparta will face Class 3 No. 9 Greenwood in the semi-finals on Thursday. The winner will receive Mansfield No. 3 Class 3 or Fair Grove.
– Ozark (6-12 years old) has perhaps the most difficult schedule in the entire SWMO. The Tigers have faced 13 teams with a winning record, and there will be 14 when they travel to Glendale on Friday.
“Remarkably, at the end of the season, Glendale played 11 out-of-state teams, compared to six out-of-state opponents. The Falcons traveled to California to play the San Pedro Shootout, where they faced four teams from Los Angeles. They also faced three Kansas teams, two Arkansas teams, one Oklahoma team, and one Texas team.
– Joplin (9-7) 2-3 in games deciding two points or less. Three of the Eagles’ last five games have been decided by a bucket.
– Spokane (8-11) played 11 games against nine teams with a winning record. The Owls are 7-1 with 49 points or more.