- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)46
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)7
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)38
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
- Man accused of pointing BB gun at Chaffee resident (04/26/16)2
Leopold holds off Zalma in MVC Tournament semifinals
CHAFFEE, Mo. -- Stephen Simmers and Justin Stotts only could carry Zalma's upset bid so far.
The two junior guards combined for 41 points, but Leopold escaped with the 61-55 victory in their Mississippi Valley Conference boys basketball semifinal Thursday.
"Their whole offense goes through Simmers and Stotts," Leopold coach Shawn Kinder said. "They are very, very good players. We just knew we had to double and get the ball out of their hands, make another kid make a decision that wasn't comfortable in that type of situation."
The Bulldogs led after each of the first three quarters, but the state-ranked Wildcats proved too much. Leopold scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to gain the lead, but the pesky Bulldogs wouldn't quit.
Stotts, who surpassed 1,000 points in his career during the game, hit a 3-pointer with 3 minutes, 34 seconds left to pull Zalma within two at 53-51. Leopold pushed its lead to six points until back-to-back Zalma baskets got the Bulldogs within two at 57-55 with 40 seconds remaining. The Wildcats hit 4 of 6 free throws from there to ice the victory and advance to today's tournament championship game against Oak Ridge. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m.
Simmers led the Bulldogs with 24 points, including four 3-pointers.
"I've been spending a lot of time in the gym shooting, just working hard," he said.
Simmers said it's important for other players to help him and Stotts shoulder some of the scoring load, but he knows the Bulldogs (7-10) are a young team.
"Right now we've got a bunch of sophomores and we're trying to build them up for next year," Simmers said. "Right now they're a little afraid to shoot the ball in games and we're trying to get them where they'll shoot it."
It looked like Zalma would take an eight-point lead into halftime after it scored in the waning seconds. But Leopold senior David Fluchel nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that covered about three-fourths of the court. It didn't keep Kinder from delivering a stern message to his team at the break.
"Just more or less talked to them about what we expected," Kinder said. "I felt like we came out flat. I don't know if our kids overlooked them or just got overconfident about the game. I just felt like we didn't have any energy to start the game."
The Wildcats improved to 14-4 with the win.
ZALMA (55) -- Stephen Simmers 24, Thad McGregor 6, Andrew Tucker 2, Jake Reed 3, Justin Stotts 17. FG 22, FT 3-8, F 16. (3-pointers: Simmers 4. Fouled out: McGregor)
LEOPOLD (61) -- Kyle Stroder 14, David Fluchel 13, Ryan Davis 6, John Bohnsack 7, Lance Seiler 4, Anthony Seabaugh 17. FG 22, FT 14-22, F 8. (3-pointers: Stroder 1, Fluchel 1, Bohnsack 1. Fouled out: none)