In the latest poll voted by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association, the Saxony Lutheran boys basketball team (4-0) was ranked fifth in Class 3.
Voted No. 1 in Class 3 was the team that ended the Crusaders 2016-17 season in Whitfield (3-1), which is led by Missouri commit, senior guard Torrence Watson.
Saxony is coming off a 77-51 road win over Ste. Genevieve (2-3), where senior Jalen Williams scored a season-high 22 points.
Pacing Williams was senior Paiton Miller with 19 points as well as senior transfer out of Bismarck Austin Jarvis with 14.
All three players currently average more than 15 points per game with Williams leading at 19, Miller in second at 16.8 and Jarvis in third with 16.3.
Saxony will play in four games before its next tournament, the Carbondale Christmas Tournament, with the Crusaders first home game of the season coming on Dec. 19 against Park Hills Central.
The Crusaders will then host Bishop DuBourg (2-2) Dec. 22 before heading to Illinois to face New Madrid County Central in the first round of the Christmas tournament.
On Friday, Dec. 8, the Cape Notre Dame boys basketball team (3-2) faced two-time defending SEMO Conference Tournament Champions Sikeston (5-0) for the 2017-18 title at Sikeston Field House.
This was the first conference tournament championship appearance for Notre Dame since 2013, where the Bulldogs fell to Jackson 62-42.
Heading into the game, the sixth-seeded Bulldogs upset No. 3 Jackson (1-2) in the first round of the tournament at 73-67 where senior center Dawson Dohogne and sophomore guard Kam Dohogne combined for 47 points.
Notre Dame continued its tournament run by defeating No. 7 seed Dexter (1-4), which upset No. 2 Charleston (5-3) in the first round 59-54, in the semifinals 69-64 as four Bulldogs scored 11 points or more as Dawson Dohogne scored a team-high 18 points.
Sikeston defeated New Madrid County Central 93-47 in round one, and the Bulldogs advanced to its third-straight conference tournament title game by then defeating No. 4 Cape Central 92-87 in the semis.
Sikeston won the last two conference championships by 30-plus points, and this year’s title game was no different as the Bulldogs defeated Notre Dame 73-39 to win its third-straight.
This is the second time Sikeston has gone on a three-peat in the tournament, last dating back to 2010 after the Bulldogs beat Cape Central 76-55.
Notre Dame held its own against Sikeston in the first quarter where they even had the lead at one point at 9-8, but senior guard Fred Thatch, who is committed to Saint Louis, was determined to win his third conference tournament title.
Thatch scored six of his game-high 18 points in under 10 seconds off three pointers, which created an eventual 14-0 point spread for Sikeston.
Second in scoring behind Thatch for Sikeston was sophomore Payton Howard with 13 points.
Only one player for Notre Dame scored over 10 points, and that was the team’s leading scorer in Dawson Dohogne (18.4 points per game), who put up 12 points against Sikeston.
The next leading scorer for Notre Dame was sophomore Tyler Parker, who was able to produce six points throughout the game.
Sikeston held a 40-22 lead over Notre Dame heading into the second half, where Thatch only saw a handful of minutes, but did manage to hit another three-point shot for his final points of the game.
Notre Dame and Sikeston will meet once again this Friday with Cape hosting in the second game of the Bulldogs’ three-game home stint.
The Bulldogs have been seeded second in this year’s Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament where they will face 15th-seeded Kelly to start play. Jackson was seeded fourth and will face No. 13 Scott City on Dec. 26.