The finals are set at the 77th Annual Greenwood Blue and Gold Basketball Tournament in Springfield following a thrilling night of basketball in Wednesday’s semifinal round at Great Southern Bank Arena.
One Blue Division game went into overtime, and another went to double overtime, with a buzzer beating three pointer at the end of regulation in both contests.
The Sparta Trojans are headed to the Blue Division championship game following a thrilling 68-66 double overtime victory over the top seeded Bolivar Liberators Wednesday at Great Southern Bank Arena.
Kavan Walker hit a three pointer with 1:57 left in the second overtime to give fifth seeded Sparta a 64-63 lead, then got a layup with 14 seconds remaining to put his team up by three, 68-65.
Bolivar senior Kyle Pock, who drained a three pointer from the top of the key at the regulation buzzer to send the game into overtime, was fouled with 5.3 seconds remaining.
Pock made the first free throw to cut the deficit to two, then intentionally missed the second.
Bolivar’s Kaden Griswold picked up the loose ball, but his shot from just inside the three point line hit off the front of the rim and by the time Pock picked up the basketball for a desperation heave, the buzzer sounded and the Trojans players mobbed each other on court.
Jacob Lafferty’s 25 points led the way for Sparta, while Pock also scored 25 for the Liberators and took control of the game for Bolivar down the stretch.
Pock was whistled for an intentional foul with 45 seconds left in regulation, and pleaded with official Jim Davidson to no avail.
The contest was the first official Blue and Gold game (consolation bracket games don’t count in the official tournament records) to go two overtimes since Springfield Hillcrest downed Mt. Vernon 53-51 in three overtimes in the 2009 semifinals.
There was also a first round game in the 2009 Blue and Gold to go double OT as Miller beat Marshfield 76-71.
Sparta will make its first appearance in a Blue and Gold championship game since 1954.
The Trojans will play the second seeded Republic Tigers, who won another overtime thriller at Great Southern Bank Arena, beating third seeded Hartville 51-45.
Republic’s Ahlante Askew hit a three pointer at the top of the key as time expired in regulation to knot the game 41-41.
Republic clinched the game from the free throw line in the extra frame.
The Tigers’ Jordan Douglas was fouled while attempting a three pointer and sank three free throws to put his team ahead 47-44 with 1:27 left in overtime.
Hartville pulled within two on a made free throw with 1:08 remaining, but could get no closer.
Askew led all scorers with 22 points, while Grant Culver’s 16 points paced the Eagles.
The top seeded Nixa Eagles pulled away in the closing minutes, advancing to the Gold Division championship game with a 53-45 win over the Fair Grove Eagles.
Nixa held a 16-13 advantage after one quarter and a 28-24 lead at halftime.
The game stayed close through three quarters, with the Eagles leading 40-37.
Senior Kael Combs led the Nixa Eagles with 26 points, while Fair Grove’s Bryden Baxter scored 21.
The Eagles will meet the Logan Rogersville Wildcats in Thursday’s Gold Division championship game.
The second seeded Wildcats trailed the host Greenwood Blue Jays 15-11 at the half and 27-26 after three quarters, but took the lead in the final frame.
The sixth seeded Blue Jays trailed 35-34 in the final minute of regulation, but missed a three point attempt.
Logan Rogersville’s Curry Sutherland missed his second of two free throw attempts with 24 seconds on the clock, but grabbed his own rebound and went back to the line with 21 seconds remaining, making both shots from the line to give the Wildcats a 38-34 lead.
L-R added two more free throws in the closing seconds to preserve the win.
Sutherland scored 19 points to lead the Wildcats, while Greenwood’s Nick Burri scored 18 points and surpassed the 1,000 point milestone for his career.
Logan Rogersville has allowed just 83 points in its first three games of the tournament. The Blue and Gold record for fewest points allowed in a four-game tournament is 132, set by Springfield Central in 1955.
Here are the scores from Wednesday’s semifinal round of the 77th Annual Greenwood Blue and Gold Tournament (seeds in parenthesis):
Blue Division Semifinals (Great Southern Bank Arena):
Final: (2 OT) (5) Sparta 68, (1) Bolivar 66
Final: (OT) (2) Republic 51, (3) Hartville 45
Gold Division Semifinals (Great Southern Bank Arena):
Final: (1) Nixa 53 (4) Fair Grove 45
Final: (2) Rogersville 40, (6) Greenwood 34
Blue Division Consolation Semifinals (Hammons Student Center):
Final: Catholic 38, Mountain Grove 37
Final: Spokane 49, Buffalo 32
Blue Division 5th Place Semifinals (Hammons Student Center):
Final: (4) Ozark 59, (8) Ash Grove 51
Final: (2 OT) (7) Springfield Hillcrest 97, (6) Camdenton 95 (Lakers miss two free throws with no time on the clock at the end of the first overtime
Gold Division Consolation Semifinals (Hammons Student Center):
Final: Branson 55, West Plains 48
Final: Willard 70, Willow Springs 39
Gold Division 5th Place Semifinals (Hammons Student Center):
Final: (4) Springfield Parkview 79, (8) Marshfield 47
Final: (3) Strafford 64, (7) Lebanon 55
Here’ the schedule for Thursday’s final round of the 77th Annual Greenwood Blue and Gold Tournament:
Blue Division 3rd Place Game (Great Southern Bank Arena):
(1) Bolivar vs. (3) Hartville 4:00 p.m.
Gold Division 3rd Place Game (Great Southern Bank Arena):
(5) Fair Grove vs. (6) Greenwood 5:30 p.m.
Blue Division Championship Game (Great Southern Bank Arena):
(5) Sparta vs. (2) Republic 7:00 p.m.
Gold Division Championship Game (Great Southern Bank Arena):
(1) Nixa vs. (2) Rogersville 8:30 p.m.
Blue Division Consolation Final (Hammons Student Center):
Springfield Catholic vs. Spokane 4:00 p.m.
Gold Division Consolation Final (Hammons Student Center):
Branson vs. Willard 5:30 p.m.
Blue Division 5th Place Game (Hammons Student Center):
(4) Ozark vs. (7) Springfield Hillcrest 7:00 p.m.
Gold Division 5th Place Game (Hammons Student Center):
(4) Springfield Parkview vs. (3) Strafford 8:30 p.m.