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Examiner
  • Bill Althaus: Local teams fill bill at tourney

  • If you have a basketball itch that needs scratching, head to Blue Springs South High School Saturday where you can watch the Blue Springs and Blue Springs South boys and girls teams play in the final day of the Blue Springs South-Blue Springs McDonald’s Tournament.

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  • If you have a basketball itch that needs scratching, head to Blue Springs South High School Saturday where you can watch the Blue Springs and Blue Springs South boys and girls teams play in the final day of the Blue Springs South-Blue Springs McDonald’s Tournament.
    Blue Springs will meet Columbia Hickman at 5:15 p.m. in the girls championship while the Jaguars take on Rockhurst at 7 p.m. in a replay of last year’s boys championship game.
    Earlier in the day, Truman meets Blue Springs at 3:15 p.m. in the boys third-place game and Blue Springs South kicks off the day with a 2 p.m. third-place girls contest against Pleasant Hill.
    “It’s great to have all four Blue Springs boys and girls teams playing on Saturday,” South activities director Tim Michael said. “If the local fans want to come out and see some good basketball, South is the place to be.”
    The championship games pose interesting matchups as South hopes to gain some revenge following last year’s loss to the Hawklets and the Wildcat girls hope to reclaim their golden touch and earn another championship trophy.
    “I’m pretty sure we’ve won this tournament every year since I’ve been here,” said Wildcats senior all-state forward Lizzy Wendell, who scored 25 points in a 60-31 semifinal win over Pleasant Hill. “It’s important to all of us to win the championship, but it’s really important for our seniors.
    “We haven’t played as well this season as we’d hoped and to win the championship in this tournament would be special.”
     Justin Pitts, who scored 22 points in a 58-38 semifinal win over Truman, is seeking his first tournament championship.
    “We really want to win this championship, especially since it’s being played in our home gym,” Pitts said. “We’re really playing well this year. We’re playing as a team and getting a lot of offense off our defense.
    “We know Rockhurst is a great team, but if we keep playing good defense and follow our offensive game plan, I think we have a shot at winning the title.”
    n All right, which Missouri Mavericks team will see at 7:05 p.m. Saturday? The one that has won six straight games on the road or the one that brings a 2-5 record into the Independence Events Center?
    I believe the Mavericks are going to wipe out some bad home ice memories with a big win Saturday against the Mallards.
    Team captain Sebastien Thinel leads the CHL in scoring and has been a solid presence in the locker room and a mercurial presence on the ice.
    Rookie goaltenders Mike Clemente and Mathieu Corbeil (who is sidelined with a minor injury) have risen to the occasion time and time again and are no longer battling rookie jitters. They now have a presence in the net that reminds me of the Robbie Nolan/Charlie Effinger days.
    Page 2 of 2 - I’m not going to put any type of pressure on Clemente and Corbeil by comparing them to the two best goaltenders in Mavericks history, but the more I see them in action, the more comfortable I feel with them in the net.
    And coach Scott Hillman has been a calming influence to his players, the fans and the media.
    “It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” he said in the middle of the team’s season-opening woes. “There is too much talent in that locker room for this team to continue to struggle.”
    The Mavericks’ recent success has come with five forwards on the injured reserve – although Ryan Jardine just left the IR and scored a goal in Thursday’s 3-1 victory at Bloomington, which was his first game back on the ice.
    n The Kansas City Chiefs have formed the Zoey Michelle Belcher Irrevocable Trust. Zoey is the 3-month-old daughter of Kasandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher, the former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker who shot and killed Perkins then committed suicide at Arrowhead Stadium.
    The trust, established through contributions from the Hunt family, as well as Chiefs players, coaches and staff, will be located at UMB Bank in Kansas City. UMB will act as corporate trustee and work in conjunction with Zoey’s legal guardian to ensure that the money is used for her benefit.
    “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and everyone affected by the heartbreaking events of last Saturday,” Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “As we continue to struggle with the emotional pain from the tragedy, the Chiefs family is focused on helping 3-month-old Zoey Michelle Belcher as she faces the challenge of growing up without the support of her parents. Zoey will always be a part of the Chiefs family, and we hope that this trust will help to ensure she has the resources necessary as she grows up.”
    Contributions may be sent to: Zoey Belcher Trust, UMB Bank – Attn: Trust Division, P.O. Box 41922, Kansas City, Mo., 64179. Checks should be made payable to: UMB Bank, N.A., Trustee of the Zoey Michelle Belcher Irrevocable Trust Fund.
     
     
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