Mitchell Soell, 23 Sports Reporter
The nights of March 17 and 18 hold the final four games of the Class 5 girls’ basketball season. On the 17th, the semifinal games take place before the championship game on the 18th.
Semifinal 1: St. Joseph’s Academy (20-8) vs. Lee’s Summit (15-13)
The Angels of St. Joseph’s come into their semifinal game looking to win their seventh state basketball title. The Angels’ last appearance in Columbia was back in 2014 where they took third place.
The Angels are led by senior center Kelly McLaughlin, who averages a double-double at 17 points and 12 rebounds.
The Lee’s Summit Tigers’ last appearance in the state playoffs was back in 2008. The Tigers are looking to add a third state championship to their record, as they have not won a state title since 1990.
The Tigers are led by junior guard Claire Lock, who averages nearly 14 points per game.
The game is set to tip off at Mizzou Arena at 6:00 p.m., depending on the boy’s semifinal games.
Semifinal 2: Kirkwood (26-3) vs. Rock Bridge (25-5)
The Kirkwood Pioneers made it back to the semifinals after their second place finish last season. The Pioneers have won eight straight games coming into the semifinal match up and look to continue their hot streak.
The Pioneers are led by their star senior forward Lauryn Miller, who was Missouri’s Gatorade Player of the Year. Miller averages a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. Another key player for Kirkwood is junior guard Jayla Everett. Everett averages 18 points as well as being a pest on defense for the Pioneers.
The Bruins of Rock Bridge come into the semi-final game looking to get back to the state title after not making it to the tournament the year before. The Bruins had won four straight state titles before last year and hope to add to that list if they get a win in the semifinal matchup.
Bruins senior guard Ellie Brown leads the team in scoring as she and three other girls on the team average double digit points per game.
These teams faced early in the season as Kirkwood took the victory, beating Rock Bridge 59-47. The Bruins will look to get revenge and get back to the state title game.
Game is set to tip at 7:45 p.m. at Mizzou Arena.