The Missouri State High School Activities Association has released district assignments for high school basketball for the next two year cycle (2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years). There will be plenty of shifting across northwest Missouri, including Trenton and Brookfield joining a new grouping in Class 3, District 16, after both schools had been in District 15 for the past two years. The remainder of the new-District 16 will include Trenton’s new rival in the Grand River Conference, the South Harrison Bulldogs, the Penney High School Hornets from Hamilton, the Maryville Spoofhounds, in addition to Lathrop, East Buchanan, and Bishop LeBlond.
The Trenton girls postseason nemesis over the past two seasons, the Chillicothe Lady Hornets, will, as anticipated, move up to Class 4, with Chillicothe’s teams placed in a loaded district that will include MEC rivals Cameron, Savannah, Benton, and Lafayette, in addition to newcomer, Kirksville, as the Tigers will likely travel a long distance for district competition next March.
Trenton and Brookfield were bumped over to District 16 due to the addition of a pair of Kansas City schools into Class 3, District 15, with Frontier STEM Charter and Alta Vista Charter joining Richmond, Lexington, Higginsville, St. Paul Lutheran, Carrollton, and Lawson.
Perhaps the most noticeable change in northwest Missouri comes in Stanberry, where the defending boy’s champions in Class 1 will not be able to defend their crown in that class next year. Instead, the Bulldogs are headed into Class 2, with Stanberry in District 16, joined by Princeton, Tarkio, Gallatin, Maysville, Mid-Buchanan, Plattsburg, and Polo. The move for Princeton brings the Tigers back into a northwest Missouri district, instead of northeast Missouri, where the Tigers have traveled to Schuyler County the past two years.
Milan and Putnam County, in joining the northwest Missouri-centric Grand River Conference next year, will both remain in the northeast Missouri dominated District 7 of Class 2, with the Midgets and Wildcats joined by Westran, Salisbury, Northeast of Cairo, Marceline, Schuyler County, and LaPlata. Eight schools into far northeast Missouri, including Lewis and Clark newcomers Scotland County and Knox County, will be in Class 3, District 6.
Unlike the past two years, when the Mercer girls and boys traveled into northeast Missouri to make playoff surges, the Cardinals potential trip to state would bring the HDC Conference school back into northwest Missouri. Mercer was been placed in Class 1, District 14, joining conference rivals Newtown-Harris, East Harrison, North Harrison, and Gilman City, in addition to Pattonsburg, Albany, and Worth County out of the Grand River Conference. District 13 will generally be made up of schools east of I-35, west of Highway 65, and north of the Missouri River. That group of eight will have Tri-County, Winston, Southwest Livingston, Breckenridge, Braymer, Orrick, Hardin-Central, and Wentworth Military Academy.
Grundy County R-5 will remain in a northeast Missouri district, with the Panthers placed into District 11, matching up the Galt teams with Linn County, Green City, Novinger, Bucklin-Macon County, Brashear, Bevier, and Atlanta. Meadville bounces into District 12, putting the Eagles as the furthest north school in an eight-team field that includes Tina-Avalon, Hale, Keytesville, Northwestern of Mendon, Brunswick, Norborne, and Slater.
The 2016-2017 season will mark the final season, at last for the time being, that basketball teams across Missouri get on the “Road to Columbia”. Mizzou Arena and the Hearnes Center will host the “Show-Me Showdown” in March 2017, with Missouri State University in Springfield ready to take the yearly event after that, agreeing to terms on a five-year contract with MSHSAA on Friday, that will bring the “Show-Me Showdown” to JQH Arena and the Hammons Student Center, starting in March 2018.