Eight different schools will battle for championship spots at the Valley of Caledonia boys and girls basketball tournaments during the semifinals Thursday on J-98. On the girls side, the third-seeded Jefferson Blue Jays will take on the second-seeded West County Bulldogs.
Jefferson defeated the six seed in Valley Caledonia 62-30 in the first round. Blue Jays head coach Brandon Joines wants his team to focus on maintaining possessions and taking away some as well on the defensive end.
On the side of West County, the Bulldogs defeated seventh-seeded Kingston 72-23 on Monday. First year head coach Joe Arnold likes the experience he has with his squad.
The second girls semifinal features the defending champion South Iron Panthers as they meet the 4-seed Lesterville Bearcats. South Iron has won this tournament three of the last four years and opened up this season with a 77-9 victory over Bismarck on Monday. Head coach Lawrence Graves says he thinks everyone on the team is settling into their roles nicely.
Lesterville is hoping to build off a 44-29 win over Bourbon in the opening round. Bearcats head coach David Burrows says he wants his team to clean things up defensively.
In the boys bracket, the Kingston Cougars will face the Bunker Eagles in the #3-versus-#2 matchup.Kingston defeated St. Paul on Tuesday 57-52. Cougars head coach Paul Hamilton says he has a pretty young team this year.
On the side of Bunker, the Eagles are coming off of a close and low scoring affair on Tuesday in which they won 38-32 over Bismarck.
In the other boys semifinal, the hosting Valley Vikings will look to get past the top-seeded Bourbon Warhawks. The Vikings grabbed a 65-47 victory in round one over Viburnum, putting their record at 3-0 already this season. One of those victories included a six-point win over Bourbon at home last Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Warhawks are looking to keep momentum going after defeating Marquand 69-17 on Monday. Warhawks head coach Devon Payne says his players have to be strong mentally to avenge that earlier loss to Valley.