Natalie Fleming ((right) scores in Silex’s district title win over Clopton. Also pictured is Leah Miller.
Three of the four public schools in Lincoln County saw their basketball seasons end last week with two claiming district titles before losing in the sectional round. The Silex Lady Owls claim a district title at the expense of area rival Clopton while the Elsberry Indians laid claim to their fourth consecutive title in what many thought would be a rebuilding year only.
Natalie Fleming scored 27 points in a 69-48 win over Clopton. She also had 12 rebounds in the game. The Lady Owls secured the win in the first three quarters as they built a 58-34 lead. Leah Miller scored 12 points and Aly Miller 10 points also for the Lady Owls.
“It was great to get a district championship after what seemed to be a long drought,” said Coach Robert James. “We played well the entire district up and down our roster.”
Lauren Lagemann led Clopton with 20 points.
The win advanced Silex into the sectionals at Highland High School where they met the Marceline Lady Tigers. Silex brought an 27-1 mark into the game while Marceline held a 25-3 mark. Marceline built a 43-33 lead going into the final period when they sealed it with a 17-8 edge. Fleming ended her high school career with 16 points and 12 rebounds with senior Lindsey Barnhart capping her career in double figures with 10 points.
“This was an extremely disappointing loss because we just didn’t play our best basketball,” said Coach James. “I thought we came out with a lot of energy and just wasn’t able to sustain it. We knew that the keys to the game would come down to rebounding and on-ball defense. We just weren’t sharp in those two areas. I am very proud of the season we had and will miss a very talented senior class. You have to give a lot of credit to Marceline for carrying out their game plan and battling throughout the game.”
In the Class 2 boys sectional, Elsberry jumped out to a 17-7 lead in the opening period against Oran. Oran made a run the second quarter, giving them a 23-22 lead. Elsberry looked like they made the necessary half-time adjustments as they held an 18-10 edge and giving them the lead. Oran forced an OT and dominated in securing a 64-52 win. Senior Charles Fraction scored 19 points in his final game with teammates Rahiem Porter and Kenny Lesley scoring 15 and 10 points each. Seth Russell led Oran with 24 points.
The Indians had advanced with a win over Crossroads in the district final Feb. 23 at Crystal City High School. (see related story).
Winfield Warriors saw their season end with a 55-53 loss to Christian High in the Class 3 districts at North Callaway. David Bauer led Winfield with 20 points followed by Jeremiah Duckett (11 pts.) and Aaron Aubuchon (10 pts.)
“We lead by five (29-24) at half and was up five going into the fourth and scored the first basket in the fourth,” said Coach Chuck Arnold. “After that we allowed them to outscore us 12-4 to take a one point lead, which we answered with a three point play by Jeremiah Duckett. After that we took a three- point lead with 1:30 to go (53-50), which they hit a three and then we turned the ball over and they held for the last shot. Deantrelle Prince scored as time expired on the game and our season.”
The Silex Owls saw their season end in the semifinals of the Class 2 district held at Louisiana. They lost 80-49 to the top-seeded Canton. Matt Huber led Silex with 14 points and Austin Fleming had 9 rebounds. Canton jumped out to a 29-14 lead in the opening period and increased it to 68-39 after three periods.
“We ran into a buzz saw that night,” said Silex Coach Chad Twellman. “They were on fire making 29 of 41 attempts from the field. We dug ourselves into a big hole against the number four team in the state.”
Troy Buchanan High school Trojans and Lady Trojans were scheduled to play for respective district titles March 1 at Francis Howell.