Columbia--Westminster coach Steve Stipanovich had way to much success previously at the University of Missouri and with the Indiana Pacers to settle for things like getting up at the crack of dawn to play a third-place game.
However his lot was cast. Westminster dropped a semifinal game with Smithville, 47-37, shoving his girls into the Class 4 third-place game today at the Mizzou Arena versus the Phonex of St. Louis' Miller Career Academy.
The emotions flashed across the faces of players and coaches.
The stares were mostly blank. Westminster lost just five times this season, and two of those occured here in Columbia.
The game was never close.
"We are disappointed to say the least. We played much better than this during the year. We will regroup and move on," said Stipanovich.
"We've lost three seniors (Courtney Powell, Brittany Hawkins and Alexis Grasse) and I will miss those relationships."
"It's different coaching than playing, but after 15 operations, I can't play any more."
It was a very nice curtain call for Powell. She scored a game-high 21 points in 31 minutes played. Many of her layups dazzled the Phoenix. "I wanted to go out with a good performance," said Powell.
Miller coach Darrin White was happy to exit with a win. "We got off to a rough start but we came to play," he said.
"We met as a team late last night and talked it over," said the winning coach.
Senior Shanity James led Miller with 19 points; Braennan Farrar had 17.
Junior Sadie Stipanovich had 11 points and 8 rebounds. She seemed to be in a funk all weekend.
"She was recovering from being sick. Clearly, she was our best player the last six-seven weeks. She wasn't herself down here," said her dad and her coach.
Westminster experienced another poor shooting performance (32.1 percent) while Miller Career shot 39.3 percent from the field.
Westminster was out rebounded 46-33, and that pretty much tells it all.