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Boys Christmas Tournament: Jackson advances to finals as ND falls in semis

Jackson junior guard Kole Deck scored a game-high 32 points in his team’s 63-58 comeback win over Charleston in the 79th annual Christmas Tournament semifinals Thursday at the Show Me Center. Photo by Jay Forness

In the 79th annual Christmas Tournament three local teams competed at the Show-Me Center. The Jackson Indians (8-5), Notre Dame Bulldogs (3-6), and Oak Ridge Blue Jays (5-4) were given the No. 2, No. 4, and No. 7 seed, respectively.

The Indians faced off against the No. 15 seed Bell City Cubs (2-7) in the first round of the tournament. With a strong start, the Indians were able to surpass the Cubs by a large margin, gaining their first victory with a score of 78-31. In this contest, Jackson was led by junior forward Kole Deck, who scored 18 points.

As the Indians moved up in the bracket, they were matched up against the Blue Jays. The first half of the game was low scoring as both teams entered the locker room with Jackson up 26-11.

However, in the second half, the Indians were able to bury Oak Ridge ending the game 62-37. Deck continued to shine in the second round producing 22 points in the victory.

After beating both teams with ease the Indians had to take on the No. 3 seed Charleston Bluejays. Last year in the same tournament, they defeated the Bluejays by a single basket.

At halftime, Charleston was up by four points as they were able to push the ball up the floor quickly. Deck was eager to score in the second half, producing seven points on three quick trips up the floor. The Indians finished the game on top with a score of 63-58 as Deck led the team with 32 points.

As for Notre Dame, they were able to get a first-round victory over the No. 13 Scott County Central Braves (6-4). The final score was 65-47, and the Bulldogs were led by junior guard Kolton Johnson, who scored 30 points.

In the second round, Notre Dame had to face off with the No. 5 seed Woodland Cardinals (8-3). The Bulldogs pulled off another win with a score of 56-43. In this contest, they were led by junior Brett Dohogne who scored 15 points.

Notre Dame met its match in the semifinals against the No. 1 seed Cape Central Tigers (7-3). With a slow first half, the Bulldogs entered the locker room with only 15 points as a team.

The Tigers outscored them 22-6 in the third quarter to put the Bulldogs on edge and closed the game with a score of 58-23. Freshman forward Hudson Dennis was able to put up 10 points in the Bulldogs loss.

Receiving the seventh seed in the tournament Oak Ridge had to start against the No. 8 seed Leopold Wildcats (4-6), they exceeded the Wildcats with a 73-47 win.

Bluejays senior guard Konnor Hobeck produced a shocking 39 points in the victory and scored 58 total points throughout the tournament.

After falling to the Indians, the Blue Jays faced off with the No. 6 seed Kelly Hawks (9-1). This was the last game Oak Ridge played in the tournament as they lost by a score of 56-41.

Kelly nearly knocked off Charleston in the quarterfinal round, eventually losing 67-52 after being tied 46-all entering the fourth quarter. The Hawks also only trailed the Bluejays by two after the first eight minutes of action.

The Indians went on to play in the championship game of the tournament against Cape Central, while Notre Dame battled it out with Charleston for third place. The Bluejays have a short break facing off against the Scott City Rams (8-2) on Jan. 2 at home.

Notre Dame and Jackson will pick back up with regular season home games tomorrow against New Madrid County Central (6-1) and Kennett (4-6), respectively.

Final results from the 79th annual Christmas Tournament will be in the Jan. 10 issue since the final day was held after production for this week’s paper.

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