Springfield (Mo.) Central coach Eddie Thomas didn’t know what to expect when he brought his young Bulldogs to Miami for the Northeastern A&M High School Basketball Tournament.
He found out that things might not be as bad as he thought.
The Bulldogs crushed the Roland JV 75-36 in the Boys’ Gold championship game Saturday at NEO’s Student Activity Center.
It was the third straight NEO title for Central, which also won the round robin Boys’ Blue title with 3-0 records in 2008 and 2009.
Roland had led 17-16 after the first quarter but the Bulldogs erupted for 24 points in the second quarter and followed that up with a 23-point burst in the third period.
Senior forwards Nathan Wood had 24 points and Shannon Brown and Bryce Looney added 11 and 10, respectively.
Grove went 40 years before winning an NEO title — and now the Lady Ridgerunners have claimed two straight thanks to a 41-28 victory over Roland.
The Lady Ridgerunners finished Girls’ Round Robin bracket play 3-0. They earlier had beaten Guthrie 44-37 and Durant 48-22.
Roland’s varsity won the Boys’ Round Robin bracket on point differential after the Rangers beat Tulsa Lincoln Christian 55-47 Saturday night.
Roland, Lincoln and Welch all finished 2-1. Welch topped Miami 42-39 in Saturday’s final game.
The Rangers had beaten Miami 60-32 on Friday but lost to Welch 45-43 in Thursday’s opener.
Lincoln Christian defeated Miami 44-40 on Thursday.
Wyandotte’s girls picked up their first Northeastern A&M championship since 1996 when it topped Miami 38-33 in the Girls’ Gold final.
Another Lucky 7 school, Fairland, won the Girls’ Blue bracket by beating Bluejacket, 55-44.
The Diamond, Mo., boys entered the tournament having won just one game.
The Wildcats leave with a 4-12 record after beating Afton 49-35 in the Boys’ Blue championship game.