Mitchell Soell, 23 Sports Reporter
The semifinal games did not disappoint as both games came down to the last couple possessions. While one game was focused on play inside, the other was highlighted by outside shooting.
Semifinal 1: Chaminade Red Devils (24-6) vs Lee’s Summit West Titans (26-2)
It came down to the last minute of play; Chaminade was down four points after junior forward Jericole Hellems hit a 3-pointer from the right elbow to make it a one possession game. However, Hellems’ luck would run out. On the next two possessions, he missed an 8-foot shot and lost the ball as the Titans of Lee’s Summit West would go on to win the first semifinal game of the Class 5 boys’ tournament.
The Titans would get off to a hot start in the first quarter as they led the Red Devils 20-9 at the end of the first. The Titans were led by senior guard CJ May as he ended the quarter with eight points on 3-for-3 shooting from the field.
In the second quarter, the Titans went on to extend their lead as Lee’s Summit would go into the half up 39-22.
To begin the second half, the Red Devils got off to a hot start as Hellems took off and poured on a barrage of points after scoring just six in the first half for Chaminade. Chaminade would draw close to the Titans, but was still down 51-41 at the end of the third quarter.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, both junior forward Karrington Davis and Hellems led the Red Devils on a comeback. The game would get as close as two points, but Chaminade could not ever take the lead and was forced to foul the Titans, sending them to the free throw line and giving Lee’s Summit West the win. Lee’s Summit West would go on to beat Chaminade, 74-69.
The Titans were led by Child’s 24 points and 11 rebounds on the night. Mays totaled 15 points as 12 of them came in the first half. Junior forward Christian Bishop ended with a double-double on the night with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Red Devils had a rough night from the field as they shot a 39 percent mark from anywhere on the floor, while shooting 40 percent from 3-point range. Hellems ended his night with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Davis finished the game with 21 points.
Semifinal 2: Webster Groves Statesmen (27-2) vs Kickapoo Chiefs (25-4)
Game two, much like game one, came down to the wire. However, this one came down to the last play. Thanks to a miracle shot from Webster Groves’ Courtney Ramey, the Statesmen are headed to the state title game.
The first half was full of fouls to key players for both teams. At some point, both Ramey and Chiefs star senior forward Jared Ridder were sitting on the sidelines due to foul trouble. However, while both players were on the floor in the first half, nothing was falling.
“My teammates told me to keep shooting,” Ramey said after the game. After the first half, Webster Groves led Kickapoo 26-22.
The second half of the game was the highlight for both teams, as it was full of miracle shots, questionable calls and great defensive stops. In the third quarter, Ramey and Ridder ignited a shootout. After trailing by eight at one point in the quarter, Ridder scored eight straight points to put them in the lead by two. After a Ramey 3-pointer, Rider came back down the floor and connected on a 3-pointer as he was fouled for a four-point play. Kickapoo would end up tied with the Statesmen at the end of the third quarter at 45.
The fourth quarter was back and forth between the teams. It was still Ramey vs. Rider, while both Webster Groves junior big man Carte’Are Gordon and Chiefs’ senior guard Cameron Davis were helping their teams fight till the end.
Davis had two big 3-point shots to put Kickapoo in the lead by two with less than 20 seconds in the game. That’s when Ramey threw up his miraculous runner while getting fouled that fell to tie the game. Ramey would hit the free throw to go up one on the Chiefs, as Davis would bring it down with seven seconds left, pass it to the corner to senior Isaac Blakeslee who would throw up a desperation 3-pointer for the win, only to be blocked by Gordon.
Ramey would end the night with 25 points, leading all scorers in the game. Gordon ended up with a double-double with 18 points along with 18 rebounds. The Red Devils had 15 points from the free throw line compared to Kickapoo’s eight attempts.
Kickapoo’s Rider and Davis both finished with over 20 points on the night, as they combined to hit seven of the teams nine 3-pointers, five of them coming in the second half.
Webster Groves will go on to play Lee’s Summit West on March 18 in the state title game. Tip-off is set for 6:20 p.m. at Mizzou Arena.