By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
The Pierce City boys today face a tall task — literally — in the quarterfinal round of the MSHSAA Class 2 basketball playoffs.
Said Eagle coach Matt Street: “Iberia is talented, big and athletic. The 6-foot-9 freshman (Dexter Frisbie) is good. He moves well for his size and the fact he’s a freshman. His height alone will give us fits.”
Iberia (26-3) is the challenge for Pierce City (19-10) in the O’Reilly Family Event Center at Drury University in Springfield.
Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
“We’re the underdog,” Street said. “The boys are excited about that role. We’re ready. We’ve had two good practices. We’ll show up.
“We have some confidence (after derailing Crane in the sectional round on Wednesday night),” Street said. “Hopefully, we can keep riding that confidence.”
Street, who played at Crocker High School under current Iberia coach Steve Scholfield, has respect for the rest of the Rangers. It isn’t just Friebie.
“Darrien Dickey (6-foot-1 junior) probably is their best player,” Street said. “Isaac Minnick (6-2 senior) could be their best shooter.
“Obviously, they’re well-coached,” Street added in saluting his former coach.
Scholfield, who’s in his fifth season with the Rangers after 10 (and four district titles) at fellow Frisco League member Crocker (12 miles apart), said that Dickey and Frisbie are averaging some 14 points apiece. They also are the leading rebounders.
Completing the likely Iberia starters are 5-11 senior Fabien Juliano and 6-2 classmate Ryan Voss.
Leaders off the bench, Scholfield said, have been 5-11 junior Tyler Slawson and 6-2 sophomore Dustin Bloodgood.
Dickey scored 27 points in the Rangers’ 80-58 sectional victory against Dora. The Rangers have lost to Eugene, Licking and Dixon (which hit 15 treys).
Probable starters for Pierce City are 5-7 sophomore Colton Drollinger, 5-11 sophomore Kole Kelley, 6-1 junior Zack Hyde, 6-4 senior Cody Fitchpatrick and 6-0 senior Cedric O’Hara.
Colin Garner, a 5-11 sophomore, has been the Pierce City leader off the bench, Street said.
Fitchpatrick and Hyde combined for 32 points in the Eagles’ 37-35 win against Crane at Republic.
Notes: Scholfield brought Crocker to the Neosho Holiday Classic in the 2001-02 season and the 6-1 all-stater Street, a senior, made the all-tournament team. Later, the Class 1 Lions reached the playoffs and, after two wins, they lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Bell City. “He could shoot the ball,” Scholfield said of Street. “He had once had 21 points in a quarter. He had skills but he also was a hard worker. He earned everything.” ... The Pierce City-Iberia winner will face West Platte or Sedalia Sacred Heart at 8:20 p.m. on Thursday in the semifinals at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. Unbeaten West Platte and Sacred Heart are scheduled to play at 6 tonight in the Independence Events Center.