Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

It's Not a Dream - Warriors Really Are Bound for State

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

It's Not a Dream - Warriors Really Are Bound for State

Article excerpt

The St. Charles West Warriors are headed to Columbia.

"It's an exciting time for us," West boys basketball coach Terry Hollander said. "When the season starts, every team dreams of making it to the Final Four. We knew this team had a legitimate shot and we've played some excellent basketball this season.

"It's a great opportunity for us and we're hoping to make the most of it."

The Warriors earned their first trip to the Final Four with a 77-67 victory over Joplin Saturday in the Class 4A quarterfinals at Fairgrounds Exhibition Center in Sedalia.

West (25-4) will play Vashon (25-2) in the semifinals at 12:20 p.m. Friday at the Hearnes Center in Columbia.

Hazelwood Central (25-4) and Kansas City Central (26-2) will meet in the other semifinal Friday at 2.

The 4A title game is set for noon Saturday.

Vashon and West are ranked 1-2, respectively, in the Post-Dispatch large-school poll. The Wolverines are making their first final four appearance since 1990, but they won four titles from 1983-88.

"Any time you get to Columbia, it's a thrill," Hollander said. "Vashon's a great team with a tremendous tradition. But we're going to give it everything we have. We honestly feel we have a shot to win it all."

The Warriors showed some character in beating a solid Joplin squad Saturday. Joplin (18-11) led 35-34 at halftime.

"It was a tough game and Joplin was a good team," Hollander said. "They're a hard-nosed team with some size and some very good athletes. I thought they were a little stronger than Columbia Rock Bridge."

West beat Rock Bridge 74-61 in sectionals last week.

The Warriors, who narrowed the halftime margin on a 35-foot 3-pointer by Ryan Robertson at the buzzer, led by as many as nine points in the third quarter. But then Joplin rallied.

Another 3-pointer by Robertson at the end of the third quarter gave West a four-point lead going into the final period. …

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