KSPR Girls Basketball Power Rankings - Final Edition
Throughout the 2011-12 high school basketball season we at the KSPR Sports Department have ranked Southwest Missouri teams based on what we believe to be their strength by class. From the initial games to the final shot at the Show-Me Showdown a lot has changed.
This "Final Edition" of the Power Rankings is based on how teams finished the season with less baring on their overall record.
We thank you for your interest and support. We wish all the players, coaches and fans well as they continue their careers in either high school or college. The Power Rankings are an inexact science intended as a fun way to highlight area teams.
The number in parenthesis is that particular teams average spot for all 12 weeks of the season.
1. Eminence (6.6) – The Eminence girls are state champs! The Redwings added a basketball trophy to their volleyball title from last fall with a 36-35 nail biting win over Walnut Grove in the class 1 final at Mizzou Arena. It was 5-6 senior point guard Kelsey Williams who led a talented senior class all season, but it was Katrina Nichols’ clutch free throws with 3 seconds left that turned out to be the difference. Eminence finished 29-1 with its lone loss coming in late December to Walnut Grove. The really impressive part is they won their 5 playoff games by an average of 16 points per game, which included a 13 point win over Marion County, snapping their 60-game winning streak.
2. Republic (4.8) – The Republic girls are state champs! The Lady Tigers scratched and clawed their way through the playoffs, ultimately holding off Miller Career Academy and Smithville for the class 4 title (the school’s 3rd girls championship). Unlike their star-studded 2004 title team this year’s group was well balanced and deep with a versatile roster. Coach Flood will miss senior starters Alexis Edwards and Brooke Dutton, but has to be pumped about returning leading scorer Alice Heinzler along with starters Alexis Botkin and Sarah Kreul. Republic finished 23-8, but never lost to a team smaller than them.
3. Mt Vernon (16.9) – The Mt Vernon girls are state champs! That’s the 2nd time in 3 years we can say that. Although this year’s bunch received far less attention than the last 2 teams featuring Lady Bear Kenzie Williams. Coach Hepler’s club got hot at the right time, running past Catholic, California, handing Seymour its first loss of the season in the semifinals, then holding off Ozarks rival Stockton 52-48 in the championship. Mt Vernon’s 25-7 final record could be a bit deceiving as those 7 losses came at the hands of Nixa, Stockton, Republic, Catholic, West Plains, Willard, and Bolivar. Repeating will be a challenge as the Lady ‘Neers lose 5 seniors.
4. Walnut Grove (3.4) – The Walnut Grove girls (26-6) fell just 1 point short of a 2nd state championship in 6 seasons, losing 36-35 to Eminence in the class 1 title game. Coach Henry’s Lady Tigers beat some impressive teams during their run, headlined by a 49-43 quarterfinal victory over perennial power Montrose. The Lady Tigers will be back and hungry for a return to the Final Four next season as they return all but 3 players, including their top 2 scorers Heather and Lexi Harman. As of right now, they will have no seniors.
5. Stockton (11.1) – The Lady Tigers (24-8) are another team that snuckup on people this season. Not many expected the defending state champs to return to Columbia after losing 3 very talented starters, but it was the senior twin duo of Ashli and Garrett Burton that led an otherwise young group back, eventually falling 52-48 to Mt Vernon in the class 3 championship. Coach Burns’ team returns a solid nucleus next season losing only the Burton twins.
6. Seymour (5.6) – It was a dream season for the Lady Tigers (30-2) that just happened to end with a cold weekend. Coach Frank’s squad entered the Show-Me Showdown at 30-0, but fell to eventual champ Mt Vernon in the semifinals, then lost a 47-44 battle with Hallsville in the class 3 3rd place game. 5 talented seniors will depart with a lot of memories, and now a new crop of Lady Tigers will have to lead Seymour back among the state’s elite.
7. Marionville (22.6) – We knew the Marionville girls (22-11) were going to be good, just not anytime this soon. Coach Ted Young, in his first season leading the Lady Comets, counted on 6 freshman, a sophomore and 3 juniors to lead the way. That youthful, but extremely talented group was 1 of just 10 girls teams in the state to finish with a win, beating North Platte 43-37 for the class 2 3rd place trophy. Freshmen Josie Young and Jaycie Dishman combined to score over 1,000 points in just their first season of varsity basketball, so you can imagine what the future holds for “White Squirrel Country”.