The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

December 26, 2012

Billings favored in Southwest meet

The Billings High School boys basketball team is the No. 1 seed for the annual Washburn Southwest Holiday Tournament.

Wildcat coach Kendall Tilley isn’t sure the No. 1 seed is a good thing.

Southwest, seeded fourth, knocked off No. 1 Billings 81-60 in the semifinals last season before beating second-seeded Wheaton 64-44 for the championship.

But Billings is a logical No. 1 this season. The defending MSHSAA Class 2 champion has opened 6-1 after amassing a 29-3 record in 2011-12. That team also won the Southwest Central League at 7-0.

“Things are going all right,” Tilley said Tuesday. “I feel good about our start.”

Fayetteville (Ark.) Haas Hall Academy challenges Billings at 4:30 p.m. today to open the Southwest event.

Rest of the first round is Wheaton vs. fourth-seeded Southwest at 6 p.m., East Newton vs. No. 2 Hollister at 7:30 and Cassville vs. third-seeded Pea Ridge (Ark.) at 9.

Game times are identical on Thursday and Friday as all places will be decided.

Scott County Central, four-time defending MSHSAA Class 1 champion, has handed Billings its only loss — 111-96 in overtime — on Dec. 15 in the inaugural Branson Ozark Mountain Shootout.

The Braves grabbed a rebound and scored to force overtime. The Braves piled up 25 points in the extra four minutes.

“I think we played seven players in that game,” Tilley said. “That’s the pace we like. We just ran out of gas. It got out of hand. We kept fouling. We couldn’t make a 3.”

The Wildcats return three senior starters. They are 6-foot-1 Brad Chastain, 6-0 Austin Essick and 6-0 Chad Yeokum.

Essick and Chastain, who missed the Scott County Central game because of the flu, earned all-state honors in 2011-12.

Dawson Meyer, a 6-0 junior, and 6-3 senior Lane Truman complete the usual starters.

Meyer is the scoring leader with about a 20-point average. Essick adds averages of 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Meyer tallied 37, Essick 30 and Yeokum 23 against Scott County Central.

Tilley is in his sixth season as the Billings head coach (a pair of three-year stints). He’s a product of Ellington High School (1988), Three Rivers Community College and Missouri State.

First-teamer Chastain and Essick were all-tournament choices at Southwest last season. The Wildcats bounced back from the loss to Southwest to defeat Purdy 64-41 for third place.

Essick could be leaning toward baseball in college, Tilley said.

1
Text Only
High School Sports
Facebook
Poll

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case