Thank you for following along with our live coverage throughout the day. We'll be back at it first thing in the morning.
Here is our coverage from the first day of games:
Final Willard 71 West Plains 50
And the final game of the day has come to a close.
4Q 5:05 Willard 64 West Plains 45
Not much has changed over here.
Final Ava 58, Stockton 39
Andrew Dalton scored 31 points in the Bears' win.
4Q 5:11 Ava 46, Stockton 34
Not very close in the other gym either as we make a quick switch. Not the most competitive day of games. Should be a fun Day 2... hopefully.
3Q 5:55 Willard 48 West Plains 30
That's a 10-2 run to start the second half for the Tigers.
Halftime Willard 38 West Plains 28
Not a bad quarter from West Plains as it got the score back within striking distance but the Tigers pull away again and increase their lead.
End 1Q Willard 19 West Plains 10
This is as good of a Willard team as I've seen in recent years. Really good athletes and Jeremy Dresslaer has them playing well together.
Final Republic 76 Buffalo 25
Tigers cruise to a win behind sophomore Jordan Douglas' 14 points as he knocked down three 3's.
Final Hartville 53 Reeds Spring 33
Good fight from Reeds Spring in the first half. Hartville too much in the second. The Eagles move on.
4Q 4:42 Hartville 47 Reeds Spring 27
It's all Hartville in the second half. The Eagles are soaring to a 2 p.m. quarterfinal on Tuesday.
3Q 2:44 Hartville 34 Reeds Spring 22
Spoke too soon about the competitiveness. Hartville has come out in the second half and is showing that its defense is still elite.
Halftime Hartville 25 Reeds Spring 18
Another solid end to the first half gives the Eagles a little bit of distance in what has been one of the more competitive games of the day.
End 1Q Hartville 12 Reeds Spring 10
Hartville still defends like we're used to it defending. With a lot of new faces, Hartville still plays really, really hard.
1Q 2:14 Reeds Spring 10 Hartville 7
Switched gyms for a much-closer game. Wolves are giving Hartville come trouble early.
1Q 1:01 Republic 24 Buffalo 2
Not a lot to say about this one.
Final Kickapoo 81 Houston 21
Balanced scoring attack for Kickapoo as it blows out Houston.
Brayden Shorter led the Chiefs with 21 points. Zaide Lowery added 12.
Final Ozark 78 Lebanon 39
The Tigers made it look easy in the final three quarters. Ozark will play Logan-Rogersville in the Gold Division quarterfinals.
Tyler Harmon led the Tigers with 21 points.
End 3Q Ozark 66 Lebanon 36
This game was tied at 15 after the first quarter.
Halftime Kickapoo 50 Houston 15
Halftime Ozark 42 Lebanon 28
The Ozark team we're used to seeing showed up in the second half. Full-court press was too much for Lebanon when the game was tied at 15 after a quarter.
2Q 1:52 Ozark 37 Lebanon 25
Completely different game after Ozark turned up the defensive pressure. The full-court press has been overwhelming for Lebanon as the Tigers pull away.
2Q 4:51 Ozark 27 Lebanon 22
A little more pressure defensively has Ozark awake. Really impressed by sophomore guard Jace Whatley who is 6-foot-5 and has nine early points.
End 1Q Ozark 15 Lebanon 15
Greydon Miller knocks down a 3 right before the buzzer to tie the game for Ozark.
Tigers have been asleep in the early minutes. They're usually awake with head coach Mark Schweitzer yelling on the sideline. Their bench is quiet tonight.
1Q 3:14 Ozark 10 Lebanon 7
Ozark is without head coach Mark Schweitzer tonight. Jace Whatley is up to 5 early points.
Final Branson 61 Mountain Grove 51
Branson gets 16 points from Ethan Jones as he scores 14 in the second half of a 10-point victory.
Final Rogersville 53 Crane 44
Not the most entertaining game of the tournament but the Wildcats are moving on. They'll play the winner of No. 2 Ozark and Lebanon.
J.J. O'Neal scored 20 and Ross Lawrence scored 14 for the Wildcats.
End 3Q Rogersville 36 Crane 29
Halftime Branson 25, Mountain Grove 24
Halftime Rogersville 25 Crane 21
Crane with a quick run right before halftime and has this back being a close game. Should be a pretty fun one in the later minutes.
2Q 1:56 Rogersville 24 Crane 17
The Wildcats have pulled away for the game's biggest lead. J.J. O'Neal has been a standout for LogRog. He's been one of the area's best athletes the last few seasons.
2Q 7:22 Rogersville 12 Crane 11
Back-and-forth game early on. Neither team going on too big of runs. Competitive start.
1Q 5:06 Rogersville 5 Crane 2
The second session is live and the Wildcats are out to an early lead.
The first half of opening-round games is over. Here's what we saw from the early games:
Final Strafford 60, Camdenton 36
Final Catholic 73 Clever 46
The Irish are on to the next one after a convincing win over Clever. The Irish will have Marshfield tomorrow in the quarterfinals after its upset win over No. 5 Skyline.
4Q 4:50 Catholic 62 Clever 41
Catholic needs to be talked about as one of the best teams in the area and one that can compete with the likes of Nixa and Bolivar. It's a deep, experienced team with one of the area's best players. The Irish are legit.
Halftime Catholic 38 Clever 25
Fightin' Irish in control behind Zach Howell's 16 points.
End 1Q Catholic 24 Clever 11
Undefeated Catholic is rolling after a quarter. Star senior Zach Howell is up to eight points with a 3-pointer.
Final Marshfield 50, Skyline 44
Marshfield pulls off one of the closer games of the day thus far. A balanced attack was led by junior Zack Mings' 15 points.
Final Greenwood 66, Spokane 43
Tanner Jones finished the game with 19 points. Nic Burri added 23.
End 3Q Greenwood 59, Spokane 29
3Q 5:23 Greenwood 47, Spokane 26
The ball movement from Greenwood is as good as it's been in years. You can understand why it was the Aminu Mohammed show in years past. This team moves the ball around, sets each other up and plays better-looking basketball than we've seen recently.
Halftime Marshfield 27, Skyline 26
Halftime Greenwood 40, Spokane 21
Very impressive first half for the Blue Jays and they're in full control against Spokane. Great team basketball from a team that's been a bit under the radar this season.
2Q 4:14 Greenwood 30, Spokane 19
Blue Jays with a comfortable lead. Tanner Jones and Nic Burri have been really impressive early on. This team is still really good in the post-Aminu era.
Final Nixa 86, Mount Vernon 24
Nixa set the single-game Blue and Gold Tournament 3-point record with 19 in an 86-24 win over Mount Vernon.
Colin Ruffin hit 8 of the 3's and finished the game with 30 points.
— Wyatt Wheeler (@WyattWheeler_NL) December 27, 2021
Final Bolivar 70, Aurora 40
Liberators take care of business. They'll play Central tomorrow at 5 p.m. in JQH Arena.
End 3Q Bolivar 58, Aurora 28
Backups are in for the Liberators.
Halftime Nixa 39, Mount Vernon 13
Colin Ruffin has 16 points for the Eagles.
Halftime Bolivar 36, Aurora 15
Expected dominance from the Liberators in their first game of the tournament. If Kyle Pock wanted to, he's capable of breaking the single-tournament scoring record. He may be too unselfish to do so.
End 1Q Nixa 16, Mount Vernon 7
End 1Q Bolivar 23, Aurora 9
The No. 1 seeds are up and Bolivar's playing like it's the best team in the tournament. Kyle Pock had 10 points in the first quarter.
Final Fair Grove 68, Ash Grove 61
Final Central 61, Willow Springs 42
The first upset of the tournament comes with the Bulldogs knocking off the No. 8-seed Bears in the first game. A dominant second-half performance from Central.
4Q 2:40 Central 51 Willow Springs 42
Bulldogs are closing in on winning this game. Antonio Starks-Fewell has been great in the second half. Good adjustments at halftime have the Bulldogs looking like a much better team.
4Q 5:24 Central 44 Willow Springs 36
Bulldogs up to their biggest lead of the game. Solid second-half rebounding has been a key. They've gotten multiple second-chance opportunities.
End 3Q Fair Grove 50, Ash Grove 42
End 3Q Central 38, Willow Springs 34
The Bulldogs are doing much better defending Scottie Osborn and they got a spark out of Antonio Starks-Fewell who is now up to 11 points in this game.
3Q 5:08 Central 27, Willow Springs 25
The Bulldogs take their first lead of the morning. They're playing much better together to start the second half. Also turning up the pressure on the Bears.
Halftime Fair Grove 27, Ash Grove 22
Halftime Willow Springs 23 Central 18
It feels like Willow Springs should be up by a lot more but Central's been able to keep it close. If the Bulldogs take care of the ball better, they have a shot.
Scottie Osborn has been the man in this game. The 6-foot-0 senior has 14 points for the Bears.
End 1Q Willow Springs 11 Central 6
Scottie Osborn has eight points for the Bears.
1Q 2:34 Willow Springs 9, Central 4
Willow Springs plays good team basketball. Lots of early turnovers for the Bulldogs.
The 2021 Blue and Gold Tournament is finally here as first-round action tips off at Missouri State University.
My name is Wyatt Wheeler and I'm ready to cover my fifth-straight holiday classic — which will involve me watching hours and hours of basketball these next four days, not leaving this campus until it's time to go to bed and listening to the horrible playlist they play at the arenas year after year.
This is a truly special tournament and I'm excited to cover it yet again. Keep refreshing this page throughout today to get the latest updates, scores and results from the opening round.
Blue and Gold Tournament brackets
9:30 a.m. — No. 8 Fair Grove vs. Ash Grove
11 a.m. — No. 1 Nixa vs. Mount Vernon
12:30 p.m. — No. 5 Skyline vs. Marshfield
2 p.m. — No. 4 Catholic vs. Clever
5 p.m. — No. 7 Branson vs. Mountain Grove
6:30 p.m. — No. 2 Kickapoo vs. Houston
8 p.m. — No. 6 Hartville vs. Reeds Spring
9:30 p.m. — No. 3 Willard vs. West Plains
9:30 a.m. — No. 8 Willow Springs vs. Central
11 a.m. — No. 1 Bolivar vs. Aurora
12:30 p.m. — No. 5 Greenwood vs. Spokane
2 p.m. — No. 4 Strafford vs. Camdenton
5 p.m. — No. 7 Logan-Rogersville vs. Crane
6:30 p.m. — No. 2 Ozark vs. Lebanon
8 p.m. — No. 6 Republic vs. Buffalo
9:30 p.m. — No. 3 Ava vs. Stockton
Wyatt D. Wheeler is a reporter and columnist with the Springfield News-Leader. You can contact him at 417-371-6987, by email at email@example.com or Twitter at @WyattWheeler_NL. He's also the co-host of Sports Talk on Jock Radio weekdays from 4-6 p.m.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Blue and Gold Tournament 2021: Updates, scores from first round