Never say never, particularly in the forgiving Missouri Class 5 District 10 Tournament.


The fifth-seeded Rolla High School boys’ basketball team rallied from a double-figure deficit in the fourth period to defeat fourth-seeded Lebanon 70-67 Monday in first-round action of the District 10 Tournament.


Rolla, now 10-16, advances to face top-seeded Jefferson City at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinals. And the Bulldogs will go in feeling very capable of pulling the upset, as the Jefferson City Jays enter the tournament with an 8-16 record. In the other semifinal game Wednesday second-seeded Waynesville plays third-seeded Camdenton at 7:30 p.m.


Lebanon ends its season at 7-18.


Never say never, particularly in the forgiving Missouri Class 5 District 10 Tournament.

The fifth-seeded Rolla High School boys’ basketball team rallied from a double-figure deficit in the fourth period to defeat fourth-seeded Lebanon 70-67 Monday in first-round action of the District 10 Tournament.

Rolla, now 10-16, advances to face top-seeded Jefferson City at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinals. And the Bulldogs will go in feeling very capable of pulling the upset, as the Jefferson City Jays enter the tournament with an 8-16 record. In the other semifinal game Wednesday second-seeded Waynesville plays third-seeded Camdenton at 7:30 p.m.

Lebanon ends its season at 7-18.

“When we had our district seeding meeting all the coaches were saying anybody from 1 through 5 can win this thing,” said RHS head coach?Mark Miller. “We’ve gotten past the first step. Now we’ll see if we can take the next one.”

However, Rolla had to overcome as much as a 15-point first-half deficit to take that step.

Lebanon came out firing, building a 24-14 lead after the first period.

Rolla began to chip away in the second quarter, outscoring the Yellow Jackets 13-9 to trim its halftime deficit to 33-27.

Again the Jackets were hot to start the second half. Lebanon reeled off 22 third-quarter points to up its lead back to up 11 points, 55-44, entering the fourth period.

However, the fourth quarter belonged to Rolla...and in particular Brendon Dowdy.

Dowdy, a 6-4 senior forward, proved nearly unstoppable in the second half, scoring 18 of his game-high 22 points in the final two periods.

Dowdy’s inside presence coupled with Rolla’s suddenly hot perimeter touch allowed by Bulldogs to surge back.

Rolla outscored Lebanon 26-12 in the fourth quarter. Sophomore guard Mike Miller fired in a pair of three-pointers while sophomore guard Jay Zalis nailed a two-pointer and a three-pointer down the stretch.

A three-point basket with 1:30 left gave Rolla the lead for good.

The Jackets had a chance to tie the game with :05 left, but a three-pointer by 5-10 senior Jordan Russell fell short.

“Lebanon came out on fire,” Mark Miller said. “They were hitting shot after shot. They played a real fine game. We just kind of hung around and cut their lead to six at half.

“We had a tough third quarter; we couldn’t keep them from scoring. But then we just kept finding Brendon in the paint and he was not going to be stopped. Then we hit some big threes.”

Zalis netted 16 points to back Dowdy’s effort for Rolla.

Russell scored 20 points and 6-2 sophomore Jordan McGinnis added 16 for Lebanon.
In the girls’ Class 5 District 10 first-round game on Monday fifth-seeded Waynesville hammered fourth-seeded Lebanon 62-37.

Senior Lanicia Lawrence had 14 points for Waynesville, now 9-15, while sophomore Niki House and junior Lauren Snobl each had 13 points. Amber Root scored 11 points for the Lebanon Lady Jackets, 9-17.

The Rolla girls are seeded second and are slated to play third-seeded Camdenton at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals. In the other girls’ semifinal game Thursday Waynesville takes on top-seeded Jefferson City at 6 p.m.

On Friday the girls’ district championship game is scheduled for 6 p.m. with the boys’ title game at 7:30 p.m.