Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Warriors Scuttle Pirates of Hannibal Top-Seed Moving on to Face Zumwalt South

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Warriors Scuttle Pirates of Hannibal Top-Seed Moving on to Face Zumwalt South

Article excerpt

On the surface, it looked like a mismatch. But St. Charles West boys basketball coach Terry Hollander knew better.

The top-seeded Warriors - the defending state champion in Class 4A - entered Wednesday's District 9 semifinal game with a 21-5 record and a No. 8 ranking in the latest Post-Dispatch large-schools poll. Their opponent: fifth-seeded Hannibal (11-14).

"At this point, records and seedings are meaningless," Hollander said. "We knew enough about Hannibal to know that they have a good team, a team that's better than its record. Hannibal plays a very good schedule - they've played Riverview Gardens, Hazelwood Central, Webster Groves, Columbia Rock Bridge twice and Mexico twice - so they're a team that's used to playing top-level competition.

"And because of that schedule, Hannibal's a team that's used to doing the things it takes to keep a game close. They play a very patient style of basketball, so they're not a team you're going to blow out."

The Pirates, who upset fourth-seeded Fort Zumwalt North Monday, hung tough against West before falling 61-45.

West (22-5) will take on Fort Zumwalt South (18-10) in the District 9 title game tonight at 7 o'clock at West. The Warriors are three-time defending district champions.

Zumwalt South, the tournament's third seed, upset second-seeded Troy 64-62 in Wednesday's other semifinal game at West.

"In the back of our minds, we wanted another shot at Troy," West senior Brandin Lowry said, alluding to the Trojans' 73-71 victory over West in the regular-season finale last Friday at Troy. "But the thing we want most is the district title. We want to win, so that we have a chance to advance and compete for another trip to Columbia."

While the Warriors never seemed in danger of losing to Hannibal, the Pirates refused to go down without a fight.

West took a 13-11 lead after one quarter, thanks to a 3-pointer by Kirk Hollander late in the period. …

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