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Central Christmas Tournament Boys Semifinals Take Place Monday Night On J-98

(PARK HILLS, Mo.) – The 64th Annual Bob Sechrest Jr. Central Christmas Tournament continues Monday night on J-98 with the boys semifinal round.

The first contest of the evening features the top-seed South Iron doing battle with the fifth-seed North County.

For the Panthers, it’s been fairly smooth sailing in the tourney to this point.

An opening round 68-36 win against 16-seed Crystal City was followed up on Saturday by a 90-49 rout of 8-seed Jefferson.

Despite the margins, head coach Dusty Dinkins wanted to express that these have been tough opponents.

On the side of North County, they earned a 73-50 win against 12-seed Herculaneum but were tested on Saturday against 13-seed Festus.

The Raiders were eventually able to secure a 51-43 win, with junior Karter Kekec carrying the offense to the tune of 32 points.

Now facing the top seed and the third-ranked team in the state in Class 1, head coach Jimmy Palmer knows this will be a test.

South Iron is 9-0 this year, while North County sits at 5-3.

Taking the court next will be the second-seed and host Central, and they’ll draw third-seeded Hillsboro.

The Rebels are in the semis on the strength of a first round 63-36 win over 15-seed Potosi, plus a victory over 7-seed Steelville in the quarters, 81-50.

First year head coach Allen Davis describes how his team has been approaching their own tournament.

For the Hawks, losing two Dream Teamers from last year in Michael Brewer and Ben Lampkins has not stopped them from reaching the semifinals of the Christmas Tournament for the fourth straight season.

They blasted 14-seed Perryville in round one by a final of 67-28, then followed that up Saturday with a 50-39 win over 11-seed Arcadia Valley.

With both Central and Hillsboro participating in the Hawks’ Gene Steighorst Tournament earlier this month, there is some familiarity between the two teams despite not having played yet.

Head coach Dan Johnson describes the challenge the Rebels will present.

To this point of the year, Central is 6-2 while Hillsboro is 8-2.

Tune into J-98 Monday night for the boys semifinals of the Central Christmas Tournament.

South Iron and North County tip-off at 6, while Hillsboro and Central play at 7:30.

The Fliegs Equipment Pregame Show will begin at 5:45.

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