Cardinal Ritter, CBC, IWA Win State Basketball Titles; Hawks Take Fourth
By Jim Wieners
St. Louis area Catholic High Schools — Cardinal Ritter, Christian Brothers College (CBC) and Incarnate Word Academy — came home from Mizzou Arena, University of Missouri, in Columbia in the last two-three weeks with Missouri State High School Activities Association Basketball Championship trophies while Hazelwood Central took home a fourth-place trophy in Boys Class Five.
Cardinal Ritter was first to win state as the Lions won the Boys Class Three Championship March 15. Ritter began the road to the title in District Five at Lutheran North. Ritter opened Feb. 24 with an 80-31 rout of Metro, followed Feb. 26 by edging out Northwest Academy of Law, 69-66, then won the District title March 1 with a 46-42 win over host Lutheran North in front of a standing room only crowd despite LHSN officials urging the crowd to find seats. Ritter’s win over Lutheran North avenges losses in last year’s district final at Vashon and a in a sectional round two years ago at St. Louis Community College at Meramec.
Ritter went to St. Charles West for a Sectional game against Montgomery County and the Lions rolled to an easy 88-52 victory. On March 8 Ritter went to Moberly Area Community College for a State Quarterfinal game against a once beaten Eugene team and the Lions dealt Eugene the second loss as the 61-53 win secured their eight semifinal appearance since 1990. In their third visit to Mizzou Arena, since 2006 Ritter won their March 13 semifinal over eventual third-place finisher Strafford, 73-54, and won their seventh state title March 15 with a 57-48 win over Kansas City-Barstow.
Among the seven state titles won by the Lions four of them were coached by Marvin Neals, who coached Soldan to a Class 4A title in 1981. The other three Lions titles (1990, 1995, and 1996) were coached by Preston Thomas.
CBC won the Class Five Boys State title on March 22 and it was their sixth state title since 1933 and their first since 1997. Cadet Head Coach Justin Tatum played at CBC on the 1997 title-winning team and coached Soldan-International Studies to a Class Four Boys title in 2012.
CBC won their 28th District or Regional title since 1933 by winning Class Five, District Three over two Parkway School District high schools at Parkway North. On March 4 the Cadets breezed over host Parkway North, 78-49, and won the district title game over Parkway Central, 60-47.
In the March 12 Sectional at Maryville CBC was a 76-72 winner in a close game over Webster Groves. In the March 15 afternoon State Quarterfinal at Lindenwood University the Cadets secured their eighth semifinal appearance after a 75-66 win over Jackson, a Southeast Missouri high school. In their second ever visit to Mizzou Arena, which includes a third-place finish in 2010, CBC won the March 20 semifinal over Lee’s Summit West, 81-68, and secured their sixth state title March 22 with an 86-77 overtime victory over Columbia-Hickman.
Incarnate Word Academy won their second straight Class Four Girls State title, their fourth overall in the last five years and their sixth in school history, which began with in 1995. In the March 21 Semifinal IWA rolled to a lopsided 59-33 win over Marshfield then on March 22 the Red Knights secured their sixth state tile over, their second straight in Class Four with a 60-43 win over Dexter.
Hazelwood Central was sending their boys team to their third state semifinal overall, since 1987, and is competing in Class Five. Unfortunately, the Hawks ended up losing and taking home a fourth-place trophy and still. Hazelwood Central lost the semifinal game Columbia-Hickman, 62-56, the second Kewpies win over the Hawks, and lost third-place game to Lee’s Summit West, 70-58.
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