Basketball notebook: 4 team and player performances to note entering February
As Boone County prepares to turn the page from January to February, it's time to unload the notebook on what impressed the most across the last month.
Here are some individual performances and some team performances that were noteworthy as the month of January comes to a close.
Four player performances
Izaak Porter, G - Father Tolton
Porter was battling injuries early on this season, but has since begun to find his spot on a team that has one of the better guards in the state in James Lee, one of the better big men in Evens Appolon. and an emerging young star in Exavier Wilson. Porter can guard multiple positions and proved he can find his shot. In a 78-56 win over Duschene, Porter his six 3-pointers.
Jordan Richardson, G - Hickman
One of the most under-the-radar players in Columbia has to be Richardson. Against Helias this past week, Richardson scored 14 points. He entered the year as the Kewpies' senior presence, and now he's expanding to find his way to contribute in different ways. That's a difference maker come districts.
Vernell Holt, G/F - Battle
In the midst of Battle's five-game winning streak, Holt has been on fire. The sophomore has scored over 20 points in two-straight games in wins over Kickapoo and Parwkway and is proving he can take over games when he needs to. With Tay Patrick's return to the team, Holt can play aggressively on offense as Patrick can take time leading the offense. Holt is thriving in that setting, and a good young player is becoming great.
KJ Johnson, F - Battle
Johnson helped lift Battle in the Hermann Tournament, but she also eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his Battle career. For a program that's finding itself and a way to develop players, Johnson sets that standard for future players.
Four team performances to note
Rock Bridge boys basketball
Amidst the Kewpies and Spartans putting together impressive Januarys, the Bruins are right behind. Rock Bridge pushed its record to 13-3 so far in January with a championship at the Fort Zumwalt North Invitational to boot. The Bruins took down Clas 4 No. 3 MICDS 52-45 behind MVP Kanyon Hummel and the dependable Brady Bowers. February will be big for Rock Bridge, which has Battle and Hickman on its schedule still.
Battle boys basketball
Starting the new year 4-5, the Spartans were still looking for everything to click. In January, all the pieces seemingly came together. After a loss to Whitfield, Battle has won six straight, including wins over state-ranked Tolton and Kickapoo teams. The Spartans have found a level of consistency in players like Tate McCubbin and Ethan Wiley, but have Holt and Patrick who can score when needed.
Battle girls basketball
Every so slyly, the Spartan girls are just doing more and more. They claimed third place in the Hermann Tournament, beating California in overtime. A 20-win season is within reach, too. If Battle wins out in February then it'll clinch its program's first 20-win season. It'll mean the Spartans will be a team to avoid in districts, too.
Hallsville, Centralia & Southern Boone girls basketball
Yes, these are three different teams. But they all deserved a shout-out for putting together virtually the same performances in an entire month.
Hallsville, Centralia and Southern Boone all compiled winning streaks in January to set up what will be a competitive February. They each entered the weekend having just one loss in January. Hallsville coach Matt Heet and Southern Boone coach Damon Wren are veterans, but extra props go to Centralia's Megan Brinkmann, who's coaching a veteran team in her first year at the helm.
The three teams play each other in the final month of the regular season, too.
Team records through January
Boone County Girls basketball
Rock Bridge: 12-5
Father Tolton: 5-10
Southern Boone: 12-6
Boone County boys basketball
Rock Bridge: 13-3
Father Tolton: 12-6
Southern Boone: 11-5
This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: Prep basketball: team and player performances to note entering February