Published weekly Thursday, February 26, 2015 
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Odessa, MO 64076

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103 S.E. 12th Street
Oak Grove, MO 64075
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State team...poses with hardware from the state wrestling tournament. From left, Kirk Gross, head coach, Cole Stodghill, Luke Drenon, Taylor Airrington, Dakota Miller, Austin Weygandt, Jake Bartow, Dalton Koch, Brett Shull, Austin Windsor, assistant coach, Logan White, Adam West, Jason Kusick, assistant coaches.  photo by Kathy Bartow
Bulldogs finish fifth as team
Miller wins second state title
Odessa had high hopes entering the MSHSAA Wrestling Championships Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Columbia. While the Bulldogs did not return with the state championship they were hoping for, there were still plenty of bright spots, including Dakota Miller's state title run.
Odessa began the tournament by going 8-1 in the first round and advancing all nine wrestlers to day two. Logan White won his first round match by a 4-0 decision over Jordan Whalan, Clinton, at 113 pounds.
Miller began his title quest with a win by fall at 120 pounds. He pinned Kirksville's Hayden Hamlin in 59 seconds.
Brett Shull scored a 13-0 win by major decision over Christopher Hellebusch, St. Francis Borgia, at 126.
Luke Drenon suffered Odessa's only loss of the opening round at 138. He was pinned by James Bone, Potosi, at 4:21. Drenon found the win column in the first round of wrestlebacks later that same day when he won 3-2 by ultimate tiebreaker over Jordan Jones, Mexico.
At 145, Taylor Airrington got his tournament off to a great start by pinning Kyler Guthrie, Moberly, in 3:21. Read more in The Odessan.
Lady Bulldogs hang on against Oak Grove
The 49-36 final really doesn't tell the story. Yes, Odessa defeated Oak Grove February 17, but it was not as easy as the final score indicates.
Five different Lady Bulldogs scored in the first quarter to give Odessa an early 12-9 advantage. The second quarter was all Odessa all the time. Lady Panthers scored just two points from the foul line at the 5:40 mark of the quarter, and that was it. Odessa's defense swallowed up loose basketballs and forced turnover after turnover to allow the home team to stretch out their advantage. By half, the Lady Bulldogs owned a 28-11 lead.
Odessa grew their lead to as much as 20 in the third quarter and took a 41-29 lead to the fourth where things got interesting. Read more in The Odessan.


Great effort comes up short
Grain Valley had easily handled Odessa in each of their previous matchups this season. Lady Bulldogs were looking to erase those memories February 19 when the teams faced off for the third time this year.
"We were leading 16-13 at the end of the first quarter and 24-23 going into halftime," said head coach Bud Nelson. "Kylin Grubb was in foul trouble most of the night, but Morgan Williams came ready to play. She scored 19 points. Rhyannon Patrick chipped in 10, but her defense was outstanding, eliminating one of their key guards." Read more in The Odessan.
Girls and boys teams are number two seeds
Class 4 District 14 basketball tournament is set to begin Saturday in Grain Valley. Both Odessa teams received the second seed.
Lady Bulldogs await the winner of the Grandview/Oak Grove contest. That quarterfinal game will be played at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Semifinal will take place at 7 p.m. Monday.
Marshall and Raytown South face off in the other quarterfinal at noon Saturday. The winner of that game will play top seeded Grain Valley in the semifinals at 5:30 p.m. Monday. Read more in The Odessan.
Two more wins, two more to go
Odessa Bulldog boys basketball team kept their perfect conference record intact last week with wins over Oak Grove and Grain Valley.
Odessa 56
Oak Grove 48
Bulldogs held off upset-minded Oak Grove February 17. Odessa made the plays they needed down the stretch and also finished at the free throw line. Bulldogs went 16-for-22 from the stripe in the game. Panthers were just 4-for-16.
Three Bulldogs finished in double figures, led by Colby Nickels' 18 points, three assists and three steals. Cody Behrman finished with 16 points and three assists. Josiah Bennett scored 15 while grabbing eight rebounds. Read more in The Odessan.
Tigers claim conference
All Wellington-Napoleon boys basketball team had to do February 17 to claim their second I-70 Conference championship in the last three seasons was defeat Lone Jack, but the Mules had other ideas.
"This was a game where Lone Jack got out early and held the lead for three-quarters of the game," said head coach Todd Shannon. "We weren't very happy with our defensive intensity in the first half, and we knew if we were going to have a chance we were going to have to turn up the pressure on the defensive end. About midway through the third quarter the momentum started to change in our direction, and we had a big fourth quarter to hold on for the victory." Read more in The Odessan.
Focus returns in dominating win
"We came out of the gates ready to play," head coach Todd Shannon said after his team's 71-43 win over North Platte February 19.
"It was a much better defensive focus compared to the last game we played (Tuesday against Lone Jack). We built a 15-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back. It was a good way to end the regular season as we prepare for districts." Read more in The Odessan.


North Platte too much for Tigers
Wellington-Napoleon Lady Tigers basketball team was able to hang with the fourth ranked North Platte Lady Panthers February 19 but could not avoid the loss column. North Platte recorded a 53-38 win to improve to 24-1 on the season.
"Turnovers were the difference in the game," said head coach Andy Hampton. "I thought we did a nice job on defense and on offense when we got there. But we struggled with handling the ball." Read more in The Odessan.
Lady Tigers clinch I-70 outright
Wellington-Napoleon's home game against Lone Jack February 17 had two important purposes, honor the seniors and win the I-70 Conference crown.
Both missions were accomplished as the Lady Tigers outscored Lone Jack 34-6 in the second and third quarters combined to help them win the game 58-31.
Mikayla Lohsandt had 25 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks and three assists in the win. Madison Thornburg totaled 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals. Tori Florence had 10 points, one assist, one steal and one rebound.
"Tonight was a very special night for our team," said head coach Andy Hampton. "We were able to recognize six outstanding seniors that have really put our program in a great place over their four years." Read more in The Odessan.
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