Bennett from the Bleachers: Basketball teams aim for trips to State

Bennett Durando
Sports Columnist

BENNETT BLEACHERSThe playoff trail for men’s and women’s basketball tips off early March, with both teams looking to win their Districts and advance to the sectional rounds.

Both teams have shown they have the capability to win their district and be State contenders, but each has tough competition standing in their way early in the playoffs.

The men’s team is 21-5 entering its final regular season game, Senior Night, this evening at 7 p.m. in Robert’s Gym. The only bumps in the road for the team have been against Missouri’s top-ranked school Blue Springs South, two nationally ranked California opponents, and a pair of underdogs in McCluer North and SLUH.

Webster, with a first round bye into the District semifinals, takes on Oakville on March 3, with the potential of setting up a rematch with the Junior Billikens, who inflicted upon the Statesmen their first loss of the year to a Missouri opponent.

Having won its District a year ago at Kirkwood, Webster is the host of District 3 this year, so a championship game with SLUH (who defeated Webster on the Junior Bills’ home court) would be held in Robert’s Gym this time. SLUH takes on the winner of Mehlville (who Webster beat by 61) and Lindbergh in the other semifinal.

The home court advantage could be key for a Statesmen team that’s 8-1 in Robert’s, and only lost its first home game of the year last week against McCluer North on a free throw with one second left.

Webster would love to get back into the sectional round of the playoffs, where they lost to CBC last year. A senior team that’s had success playing perhaps the toughest schedule in the state, these Statesmen definitely have the capability to make a run deep into the playoffs and have a shot at a State title.

Meanwhile, the women’s team has been battle tested, playing in many tight games this year, and coming out of most victorious. The team is 16-9 entering tonight’s Senior Night game against Parkway Central, at 6 p.m. in Robert’s.

Webster’s latest battle came on Tuesday, when they rallied from down five at Marquette in the final minutes to send the game to overtime, where they eventually pulled away to win 60-52.

Webster will play host to the Class 5 District 3 women’s tournament as well. The Statesmen take on Mehlville in the district semifinal on March 2, a rematch of Webster’s 52-48 win at the Panthers in January.

With a win, it’s likely the Statesmen would face off with Cor Jesu, a 15-9 team very evenly matched with the women’s team, for a district championship. Cor Jesu takes on the winner of Lindbergh and Oakville, both struggling this year, in the other semifinal.

The Statesmen are looking for redemption after falling short of their potential in the district playoffs at Kirkwood High School.
This year, though, Webster gets a District tournament home court advantage for both men’s and women’s basketball, and in one week the Statesmen hope to celebrate two District titles in Robert’s Gym.

Both teams show potential to make an excellent playoff run.

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