COLUMBIA, MO - The Hillcrest boys' quest for a 2nd state title in 3 years fell short Saturday at Mizzou Arena. Soldan International Studies (24-5) of St. Louis held off the Hornets (25-7) 55-42 in the class 4 title game.
The Bears ran out to a 9-0 early lead. Hillcrest scored only 2 1st quarter points, trailing 14-2 after 8 minutes and 35-18 at the half.
"We couldn't get shots to fall," said junior Austin Petry. "We were phased by their pressure and we really never came up against pressure like that."
Playing in the final high school game of his amazing career Dorial Green-Beckham led the Hornets with 17 points and 8 rebounds. DGB's jumper with 5:29 to go got Hillcrest to within 7, but that was as close as they would get.
"Their quickness and athleticism is as good as any team we've seen all season and that includes the Tournament of Champions," said Hillcrest Head Coach John Schaefer.
The Tigers were led by senior guard Paul McRobert's 18 points. Fellow senior Randy Holmes added 14 points in the victory.
"I'm proud of them," said Soldan Head Coach Justin Tatum. "I love these guys. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for them."
Green-Beckham will now focus on his upcoming college football career at Mizzou. He says he is unsure whether or not he will run track this spring at Hillcrest.
"There's nothing else I can do now but to move on and focus on football these next few weeks, and just enjoy this last day with my teammates before I take off," said Green-Beckham.
"I won't ever coach another Dorial Green-Beckham," said an emotional Schaefer. "He's a special kid, a special player. I'm going to miss him for sure. I won't miss puting up with him (jokingly) but I'll miss him."
The Hornets return all but 3 players next season, including starters Austin Petry, Juwan Johnson, Roy Hardy, and Jonah Hill.