Missouri State Recruits Lead Teams to District Titles Friday
A pair of Missouri State men's basketball signees helped their teams advance to the Missouri high school state playoffs on Friday night by claiming district championships for their respective St. Louis area squads.
In Class 5, District 7, Oakville shot 61-percent from the field and toppled Mehlville, 68-45, in the district championship game at Gateway Tech. Bears' signee Keith Pickens, who leads the Tigers in scoring and rebounding this sseason, posted 14 points and four rebounds with a 6-for-8 shooting effort. Pickens also blocked five shots in the win.
Coach Nick Traxler's squad improved to 21-7 overall and advances to play Fort Zumwalt South, the winner of District 8, in Wednesday's Sectional game at St. Louis Community College-Meramec (6 p.m.).
In Class 4, Miller Career Academy improved to 15-10 with a win over Soldan, 71-68, in the finals of District 5. Missouri State bound Jerome Jones scored a game-high 31 points to help Miller Academy overcome a 12-point halftime deficit to secure the win and district championship.
Jones scored the first six points of the fourth quarter for his squad, including a steal and break-away dunk to give his team a two-point lead with just under seven minutes to go to lead the comeback charge.
Coach Michael Brown's Phoenix advance to play Jennings, the champions of District 6, on Wednesday at Parkway West at 6 p.m. in the Class 4 Sectionals.