Last week, the Notre Dame boys basketball team reached this year’s SEMO Conference Tournament Championship as the No. 4 seed. The Bulldogs faced off against the No. 7 seed New Madrid County Central for the title on Friday night.
Notre Dame started the game off with a 6-0 run over the Eagles, but they were able to tie the game 15-15 to end the first quarter. New Madrid was able to go on runs of 8-0 and 4-0 in the second off steals for fast-break scoring opportunities.
This allowed the Eagles to take a 31-20 lead over the Bulldogs heading into the locker room and were even up by 14 points at 37-23 in the third quarter. Notre Dame wasn’t going to go down without a fight, though.
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs went on runs of their own at 7-0 and 5-0 to narrow New Madrid’s lead to 42-35 with one more quarter remaining. However, the Eagles used clutch free-throw shooting to put the game away by going 11-of-16 at the line in the fourth quarter.
New Madrid eventually won the game by nine, 58-49, for the Eagles to win their first conference tournament championship since 2014.
Leading the game in scoring were New Madrid freshman Jadis Jones (6-foot-5) and BJ Williamson (5-11) with 16 points apiece. Williamson scored a majority of his points off steals, while Jones made eight of his 10 free throws.
Three players for Notre Dame finished in triple digits as junior Quin Hunter (6-3) scored a team-high 14 points as 6-6 senior Caleb LeGrand paced him with 11. The Bulldogs 6-1 senior guard Hayden Jansen finished with 10 as he failed to score in the fourth quarter.
Notre Dame is the No. 2 seed in the annual 16-team Christmas Tournament hosted at the Show Me Center.