MCHS girls place fourth at Hermann tournament

By Theo Tate
Posted 2/1/24

The Montgomery County girls basketball team didn’t celebrate another tournament championship after competing in the Hermann Basketball Invitational on Jan. 23-26.

The Wildcats’ hopes …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

MCHS girls place fourth at Hermann tournament


The Montgomery County girls basketball team didn’t celebrate another tournament championship after competing in the Hermann Basketball Invitational on Jan. 23-26.

The Wildcats’ hopes of winning their third tournament title of the 2023-24 season faded after falling to the Rolla Bulldogs 63-50 in the semifinals on Jan. 24. Two days later, their hopes of earning some hardware diminished after losing to the Owensville Dutchgirls 56-51 in the third-place game.

Owensville earned the third-place plaque after coming back from a 16-8, first-quarter deficit. The Dutchgirls also beat the Wildcats at the Hermann tournament for the second year in a row. MCHS lost to Owensville 50-48 in the championship game last winter.

The Wildcats, who won championships at the Montgomery County and South Callaway tournaments, finished 1-2 at the eight-team Hermann tournament. They began tournament play on Jan. 23 with a 45-24 win over New Haven in a first-round game before back-to-back games to Rolla and Owensville. It’s the first time this season MCHS lost two games in a row.

Now, the Wildcats are focusing on finishing strong as their regular season comes down to its final month. MCHS has seven regular season games left, six of them are in Eastern Missouri Conference play.

“We have to get back to doing some of the things that made us successful earlier in the year,” MCHS coach Joe Basinger said. “There are some things that we have to tweak offensively to get some of these other girls really involved so we’re getting balanced scoring attacks. We need to get back to doing the things that we’re doing defensively and being a little bit more sound defensively. We’re off just a little bit in a few spots.”

Seniors Malia Rodgers and Olivia Shaw earned second-team all-tournament honors. Rodgers scored a team-high 16 points against Owensville and 46 in the tournament. Shaw had a 13-point effort against Rolla.

The Wildcats dropped to 16-3 after the loss to Owensville, which won the Hermann tournament the last three years. The Dutchgirls, who were seeded fourth, hit nine 3-pointers, including three of them during an 11-0 run that began late in the first quarter and ended midway in the second. Senior Emma Daniels scored 21 points with three treys and seniors Anya Binkhoelter and Audrey Quilacio each had two 3-pointers.

“They’re a really good ballclub,” Basinger said. “We knew they had three really good guards and they played good defense. We did get out to a great start and then we kind of stopped attacking there for a little bit. We got some kids into foul trouble and that was tough. It is what it is. We were daring some of their other girls to shoot because we know what three of them can do. Those girls stepped up and knocked down shots, too. My hats off to Owensville. They did a great job.”

Second-seeded Rolla snapped the Wildcats’ six-game winning streak in the semifinals. The Bulldogs led 19-8 after the first quarter and never looked back. They lost to top-seeded Lutheran St. Charles 63-58 in the championship game.

“The girls battled against such a talented team,” Basinger said. “We were 3-23 from the 3-point line and we don’t usually shoot the ball like that. We’re usually a lot better than that. It wasn’t our night.”

Basinger said his team played in a very competitive Hermann tournament this year. Lutheran St. Charles and Rolla are ranked first and fourth in Class 5, respectively. Owensville, which competes in Class 4, is looking to finish with its fourth straight winning season.

“This is one of the best tournaments in the state of Missouri for us in Class 3 basketball,” said Basinger, whose team was the No. 3 seed at the Hermann tournament. “There are two top five Class 5 teams (in the tournament). Owensville has received votes in Class 4. We’re state ranked in Class 3. So those are your top four seeds there. The girls have to learn that every possession matters. There’s a level you’ve got to rise to and be ready to go every night. That’s playoff type basketball that you’re going to have to respond to every night.”


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here