If playing two road games in two days in two cities wasn’t challenging enough, this year both the Raiders and Lady Raiders have open the test against a nationally ranked opponent. Three Rivers plays at Moberly Area on Friday and then at State Fair on Saturday. The Greyhounds (15-3) are ranked 11th in the country and the Lady Greyhounds (16-0) are ninth. “Moberly Area has maybe the best player in the country,” Three Rivers men’s coach Gene Bess said. Added women’s coach Jeff Walk, “We’re going to have our hands full but it is going to be fun.” Sophomore guard Alonzo Verge leads Moberly Area with 20.6 points, 6.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game. He is shooting 57 percent from the fi eld, 33 percent on 3-pointers and 76 percent at the foul line. Verge had a season-high 51 points against Highland (Ill.) after shooting 20 for 29 from the fl oor. He’s scored 20 or more seven times and been held to less than 10 points three times. In those three games, Verge still shot OK, but took fewer than 10 shots and didn’t make up for it at the free-throw line. He’s helped in scoring by fellow sophomore guards Randy Miller (14.2 points) and Dallas Morgan (10.3 points). Moberly Area has lost two straight against Indian Hills (Iowa) and St. Louis. Two of its three losses were to Indian Hills, which is undefeated and ranked third in the country. It is the only school other than top ranked Northwest Florida State to receive a No. 1 vote. St. Louis is unranked.
Three Rivers has won at Moberly twice since 2010. State Fair (13-3) has a new head coach this season in Matt Brown who took over for former Raider Kevin Thomas, now at Smitth-Cotton High School in Sedalia. The Roadrunners have won five straight. Their three losses were by three points or less, and one of them was a 91-89 loss to Indian Hills. “State Fair is maybe the best they’ve ever been from what I hear,” Bess said. Four players are scoring in double digits for State Fair. LePear Toles leads the team with 14.9 points, and has come off the bench in all but two games. Toles, a 6-foot, 6-inch freshman guard, is also the team leader in rebounds at 6.3 per game. Andre Walker is averaging 13.1 points and 5.6 rebounds. Tyreek Scott-Grayson (12.2 points) and Grant Gelon (11.5 points) round out the scoring leaders. On the women’s side, Moberly Area is coming off a 15 point win over St. Louis and has played just two games that were closer than 10 points, against 11th ranked Wabash Valley and Johnson County. Three Rivers lost to Wabash Valley by fi ve. “I’m excited about Friday night, I’m looking forward to that,” Walk said of Moberly Area. Sophomore center Anisha George leads the Lady Greyhounds with 13.8 points and 8.3 rebounds. She is shooting 70 percent from the fi eld, but only 58 percent at the foul line. In this same game last year, she was 8 for 11 shooting for 17 points and 10 rebounds in a 59-54 loss against Three Rivers. State Fair (8-8) is more of an enigma for Walk. While the Lady Roadrunners’ record is not great, Walk said they have beaten some great teams and lost to some bad teams. Against Wabash Valley, State Fair lost by nine points on Nov. 10 and by seven points on Nov. 25. Maya Brewer leads State Fair in scoring at 16.2 points and is averaging 6.5 rebounds.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic