Mitchell Soell, 23 Sports Reporter
In the state of Missouri, the weekend of March 17-18 at Mizzou Arena is full of high school basketball fans, coaches and players as four of the best boys’ basketball teams compete for the Missouri State Class 5 Basketball championship. This year features four teams from around the state of Missouri and reaches almost every corner of the state.
Semifinal 1: Chaminade (24-5) vs. Lee’s Summit West (25-2).
Chaminade is no stranger to this tournament, as they have appeared in the semifinals each of the past two seasons as they were led by current Duke University star forward Jayson Tatum. Tatum led the team to the state championship this past year.
However, the Red Devils have not skipped a beat since Tatum’s departure. This year’s Chaminade team is led by junior forward Jericole Hellems, who averages almost 22 points and about 6.5 rebounds a game.
Two other players that play a key role for the Red Devils are junior forward Karrington Davis and senior guard Reggie Crawford. Both players average double digit points, five rebounds and nearly two assists per game. All three players were apart of last year’s title run and are hoping to win back-to-back state championships.
They’ll be facing the defending champs from across the state, the Lee’s Summit West Titans. The Titans have only lost two games this year, both against Blue Springs High School. Lee’s Summit is making its first appearance to the state semifinals since 2014. The Titans will look to stretch their seven-game win streak to eight with one final win on the season.
Game tips off at 2:30 p.m. in Mizzou Arena.
Semifinal 2: Webster Groves (27-2) vs. Kickapoo (25-4)
Webster Groves is making its sixth semifinal appearance, and its first since 2008 when it won the state championship. The Webster Groves Statesmen have won 21 straight games since their loss to St. Louis High School back in 2016.
The Statesmen are led by star junior guard Courtney Ramey and junior forward Carte’Are Gordon, who both average 20 points and eight rebounds and both make an incredible impact on the defensive side of the ball.
Webster Groves makes it difficult for any team to score against them, as they have four players average over one steal per game.
The Kickapoo Chiefs come into the semi-inal game riding a 15-game winning streak. The Chiefs return to the state semis hoping to make it back to the championship to overcome their loss last year.
The Chiefs this season are led by senior forward Jared Ridder, who averages 24 points per game. Another player that hopes to make an impact this weekend is senior point guard Cameron Davis, who averages 20 points per game and is savvy on defense. The Chiefs have four senior starters that are looking to leave a lasting impact on the school before they leave.
Game is set to tip off at 4:15 p.m., depending on the first game in Mizzou Arena.