To move on in the state tournament, Sullivan’s Lady Eagles will have to fly past the Lady Rams.
Sullivan earned its second consecutive Class 4 District 6 girls basketball championship Friday, advancing to take on MICDS Tuesday in the sectional round.
That game tips off at 6 p.m. at Kirkwood.
The teams met once previously this year, a 61-41 victory for the Lady Rams at Sullivan on Jan. 30.
In that game, MICDS got all of its scoring from five players, each of whom scored at least 10 points.
Meanwhile, senior forward Clare Shetley was the only player to get into double figures in the contest for Sullivan with 14 points. She also had nine rebounds.
The Lady Eagles were hampered to a 33.3 shooting percentage from the floor in the first meeting while MICDS made 46.5 percent of its shots.
“We played MICDS earlier this year and they shot it extremely well on us the night that we played them,” Sullivan Head Coach Jason Merkel said Friday following his team’s district championship win. “I think just making sure we put together a really good game plan and I think now, having this veteran group, I think now they’ll maybe relax a little bit more. Because there was a lot of pressure on them to come in and win this thing. So, I think that’s maybe why we were a little nerved up coming into tonight. I just hope they relax and play to their full potential and just come out and we’re just very competitive with them.”
In terms of common opponents, both teams defeated Francis Howell, Lafayette, Ft. Zumwalt West and St. Charles West.
Whichever team advances would play in the state quarterfinals Saturday at 1 p.m. at Washington against the winner of Incarnate Word (23-5) and St. Dominic (19-6).
This is familiar territory to the Lady Eagles, who made the sectional round a year ago. That game was also played at Kirkwood.
Parkway North eliminated Sullivan in that round a year ago before losing to eventual state champion Incarnate Word in the quarterfinals.
The forward tandem of Clare Shetley and her sophomore sister Mallory Shetley, as well as senior guard Bria Jones provide the bulk of the Sullivan offense.
Clare Shetley leads the team with 13.6 points per game while also averaging 7.6 rebounds per night.
Jones and Mallory Shetley each contribute 11.7 points per game.
While Jones takes most of the outside shots, 58-166 (34.9 percent), both Shetleys have range from beyond the three-point arc as well.
Clare actually has the team’s best three-point shooting percentage at 11-29 (37.9 percent).
Sullivan went 6-1 against Four Rivers Conference opponents this season, earning a share of the conference title with St. Clair. However, Sullivan defeated St. Clair in the regular season and then also eliminated the Lady Bulldogs in the district championship game to win bragging rights over the other conference co-champions.
In tournament play, the Lady Eagles took the championship trophy at the Marquette Tournament and the Sullivan Holiday Classic.
Sullivan finished second to Jefferson City at the Lady ’Cat Invitational in Union.
Along with Jefferson City and MICDS, the only teams to defeat Sullivan this season have been Hermann and Nixa.
The Lady Rams were the No. 3 seed in the Class 5 District Tournament.
MICDS started with a 65-46 victory over John Burroughs before upsetting both No. 2 Parkway Central, 64-51, and No. 1 Parkway North, 54-51, to capture the district title.
The Lady Rams missed the state tournament in 2017 after making a run all the way to the state championship game and taking second place in Class 4 two years in a row in both 2015 and 2016.
The tandem of senior Jordyn Brooks (14.1 points per game) and sophomore Jessica Brooks (13 ppg) have paced the MICDS offense all season.
Senior Lindsay Parks contributes 11.2 points per night for the Lady Rams.
Seniors Kayla Work (9.2 ppg) and Landys Hughes (6.0 ppg) are also notable offensive contributors.
Work is the team’s primary outside scoring threat, going 72-168 (42.9 percent) on the season in three-point attempts.
The Lady Rams won first place at two tournaments this season — the Lindbergh Tournament and the MICDS Holiday Tournament.
Lutheran North edged out MICDS, 61-60, for first place in the Lutheran St. Charles Tournament.
Lutheran North defeated MICDS twice in the regular season. The only other teams to do so were Visitation and Miller Career Academy.