(Hillsboro) The championship game of the 65th annual Gene Steighorst Invitational is set after an impressive defensive performance and a wild comeback in the semifinals.
Eureka topped the Seckman Jaguars 67-55 and the Central Rebels knocked off the DeSoto Dragons 66-62 Friday night on KJFF.
The night started with Eurkea racing out to a 20-6 lead in the first quarter of the first game.
And despite Seckman’s best efforts to get back in the game, Eureka’s veteran leaders would not yield.
Senior Trace Ruckman finished with 17 points, while Luke Laudel and Nate Parker had 14 points each for the Wildcats.
Head coach Austin Kirby says his veteran guard is a much-needed steady hand.
Josh Herget had a game-high 20 points for Seckman as the Jaguars fell to 1-1.
The second semifinal was a back-and-forth affair, though DeSoto’s veteran core finally cracked through in the fourth quarter.
DeSoto lead by as much as 7 with less than 2 minutes to go thanks to Aidan Blair’s 22 points.
But Central found a way to get back in the game thanks to a brilliant freshman.
Jobe Bryant scored 24 of his game-high 34 points in the second half, including 11 fourth-quarter points to keep the Rebels unbeaten.
DeSoto falls to 2-3 and will face Seckman for third place Saturday.
The final day of the Steighorst Invitational begins with Hillsboro taking on Northwest and Windsor battling Festus.
Coverage of those games starts at 10:45 on AM 1400 KJFF.
4-0 Central battles 2-0 Eureka Saturday for the tournament championship at 5, with coverage beginning at 4:45 on J98.
To hear the full game broadcasts again, click play below.