Billings, Spokane basketball

Billings' Colton Plowman maintains his dribble while guarded by Spokane's Jackson Bray earlier this season.

Spokane coach Kyle Johnson was objective enough to agree with his colleagues that the Owls should indeed be seeded below two teams in Class 2 District 10 that they own wins against.

Spokane (13-9) is the No. 4 seed behind No. 1 Greenwood (20-3), No. 2 New Covenant (15-4) and No. 3 Blue Eye (16-5). The Owls are the last team to have beaten the Jays and split their two meetings with the Bulldogs.

“I thought the seeds went as expected,” Johnson said. “I thought had we been able to pull out a win at Blue Eye (two weeks ago) we would have had a case for a higher seed.” 

Spokane will host the District Feb. 18-22 and open versus Sparta (8-12). The Owls and Trojans will actually close out their regular-season schedule against each other this week, as well.

Johnson values the fact that, if the seeds hold true, his team has already played each opponent it will meet. Spokane opened its season with a loss at New Covenant.

Considering all the hype of Greenwood’s Aminu Mohammed, it also surely should benefit the Owls to have already experienced the atmosphere surrounding a sophomore ranked among the best in his class in the nation.

“I like the fact that we got to play Greenwood and NCA in our non-conference schedule,” Johnson said. “The Greenwood game really turned our season around and has given us confidence that we can play with anyone in our District.”

“Greenwood has beat some really good teams. They probably have the best player in the District and right now they look as good as anyone. NCA has had a really impressive season. They earned the second seed by beating us and Blue Eye early in the season. Blue Eye is dangerous. They are probably one of the most complete teams in the District and have the track record of being a team that's always there at the end.

“All four top seeds could win the District.”

Johnson said if Spokane repeats as the District's champion, the Owls will earn it.

“It will be a very tough road to win the District championship,” he said. “We are going to take it one game at a time and that starts with Sparta. Coach (Larry) Brown has his team playing very well. They have been very competitive against some very good teams. We will not overlook them.

“We will have to play well to move forward. We look forward to the challenge and know that we are playing as well as anyone right now.”

Class 2 District 10 at Spokane

Feb. 18 — Marion County Early vs. Greenwood, 4 p.m.; Sparta vs. Spokane, 5:30 p.m.; Pleasant Hope vs. New Covenant, 7 p.m.; School of the Ozarks vs. Blue Eye, 8:30 p.m.

Feb. 20 — Marion County Early-Greenwood winner vs. Sparta-Spokane winner, 6 p.m.; Pleasant Hope-New Covenant winner vs. School of the Ozarks-Blue Eye winner, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 22 — Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Billings No. 3 seed in

Class 2 District 11 at Marionville

Billings beat Verona in both of their matchhups this season, but Verona is the No. 2 seed and Billings the No. 3 seeds in Class 2 District 11.

Billings (14-10) downed Verona (18-4) 72-69 in November and again 57-52 at Verona in January.

Crane (21-3) is the No. 1 seed.

Class 2 District 11 at Marionville

Feb. 18 — Galena vs. Crane, 4 p.m.; Greenfield vs. Marionville, 5:30 p.m.; Ash Grove vs. Verona, 7 p.m.; Miller vs. Billings, 8:30 p.m.

Feb. 20 — Galena-Crane winner vs.Greenfield-Marionville winner, 6 p.m.; Ash Grove-Verona winner vs. Miller-Billings winner, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 22 — Championship, 6:30 p.m.

Clever to open against Hollister

in Class 3 District 11

Clever’s biggest win of its season, a victory at Fair Grove last month, likely kept the Jays from facing the Eagles in the first round of Class 3 District 11.

Clever (8-14) was awarded the No. 4 seed ahead of No. 6 Forsyth (13-9), after the Panthers beat the Jays two weeks ago. The Jays will play No. 5 Hollister (9-11) in the first round, while Forsyth will play No. 3 Fair Grove (17-6) in the opening round.

The District’s top seed is Springfield Catholic (21-3).

Class 3 District 11

Feb. 19 — Ava vs. Springfield Catholic, 4 p.m.; Hollister vs. Clever, 5:30 p.m.; Buffalo vs. Strafford, 7 p.m.; Forsyth vs. Fair Grove, 8:30 p.m.

Feb. 21 — Ava-Springfield Catholic winner vs. Hollister-Clever winner, 6 p.m.; Buffalo-Strafford winner vs. Forsyth-Fair Grove winner, 8:30 p.m.

Feb. 23 — Championship, 5 p.m.

Chadwick may see Bradleyville again

Chadwick is the No. 2 seed in Class 1 District 4 and could meet No. 3 Bradleyville in the semifinal round.

The Cardinals (14-10) beat the Eagles (13-9) during the Mark Twain Conference Tournament and will close out their regular-season schedule against each other this week.

Class 1 District 4 at Marshfield

Feb. 16 — Lutie vs. Chadwick, 12:30 p.m.; Hurley vs. Bradleyville, 2 p.m.; Niangua vs. Halfway, 6 p.m.; Walnut Grove vs. Fair Play, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 20 — Niangua-Halfway winner vs. Walnut Grove-Fair Play winner, 6 p.m.; Lutie-Chadwick winner vs. Hurley-Bradleyville winner, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 22 — Championship, 7:30 p.m.

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