Harrisburg won’t join the Lewis & Clark Conference until next school year, but its boys and girls middle school basketball teams can celebrate a de facto conference championship.
The two squads won the Westran Tournament, which also consists of the current five Lewis & Clark Conference schools. The girls won their championship game over Marceline 30-20 on Friday night, while the Harrisburg boys walked off with a 44-43 win against Westran at the buzzer on Saturday.
Harrisburg coach Dan Bachmeier said his Lady Bulldogs were leading 13-11 at halftime and fell behind 22-18 by the end of the third quarter.
“We played a great fourth quarter, but we struggled in the first three,” Bachmeier said. “You have to give Marceline credit.”
Harrisburg (6-1) was led in scoring by Emma Barton’s 11 points.
The Harrisburg boys also let the lead slip away in their championship game. The Bulldogs were up 22-14 at halftime and that lead slipped to 29-25 by the end of the third quarter.
Harrisburg was ahead by five points with 30 seconds to play at 43-38. Westran made a 3-pointer to cut the lead to two points and Harrisburg missed a pair of free throws on its next possession. On the other hand, Westran made two free throws the next time down the court with five seconds left, tying the game at 43-43.
Following a Harrisburg timeout, Brayden Hudson drove the ball the length of the court and was fouled as he attempted to make a layup at the buzzer. With no time left on the clock, Hudson made the first of two free throws to win the game in “walk-off”fashion.
Brayden Ivicsics led Harrisburg (3-3) with 16 points and Hudson also reached double figures with 12 points. Stephen Coy chipped in nine points.
The Fayette boys basketball team, which nearly had a spot in the championship game with Harrisburg, had to settle for playing in the third-place game on Saturday. The Falcons easily got past their opponent, routing Paris 46-23.
Fayette head coach Chad Hall said the game was won in the first half. The Falcons used their press to build up a 25-point lead at one point, and then never let that lead slide under 20 points the rest of the game. Hall also said Dawson Wiswall and Grant Himmelmann made a big impact in the game, spearheading Fayette’s press.
Meanwhile, the Falcons were just as dominant on the offensive end.
“We ran our offense and were patient against the 2-3 zone of Paris,” Hall said. “They were forced to abandon the zone and tried to match up man-to-man against us. That defense didn’t work for them either.”
Cale Polson led Fayette (2-1) with 18 points and Kyle Schleeter came off the bench to score 16 points. Dylan Asbury added eight points, Jake Kindle scored four points and Quess Frerking chipped in two points.
The Fayette girls were not as fortunate against their Paris counterparts, losing to the Lady Coyotes 37-17 on Friday in the fifth-place game.
“We had a tough time overcoming their height and we did not shoot the ball well from the outside,” Fayette head coach Howie Ball said. “They did shoot it well.”
Abby Nation scored a team-high six points for Fayette (1-3) and Kylea Hoover finished the game with five points. Abbey Conrow, who left the game in the second quarter with a concussion, had four points and Carly Stark rounded out the scoring column with two points.