The Ruskin Eagles are one area team looking to make a splash in the MSHSAA Class 5, District 7 tournament this week, held at Belton High School.

Missouri’s Prep March Madness

South Kansas City’s high school basketball teams chase state title dreams.

Follow the action as South Kansas City’s high school basketball teams chase state title dreams

By Tyler Schneider

The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) postseason starts March 1st, with area basketball teams competing in a handful of the dozens of statewide district championship tournaments in the quest for a state title. The MSHSAA has six classes, determined by school attendance numbers, with the smallest institutions competing for the Class 1 state championship and the largest playing in Class 6. 

[To view brackets and scores as play continues, see the links at the end of this post]

Here are the following teams competing in The Telegraph’s coverage area:


Grandview (19-6):

Seemingly the team to beat in Class 5, District 7, the first-seeded Bulldogs will open their 2022-23 postseason against Warrensburg (13-13) at 4 p.m. March 1st at Belton High School. The winner between them will advance to play either Belton or Hogan Prep in the second round (see next entry for details). 

Grandview is one of just a handful of teams in Missouri high school history to have won multiple state championships back-to-back. The Bulldogs were Class 4 MSHSAA state champions in 2018 and 2019 (under coach Reggie Morris) and the runner-up for Class 5 in 2008. 

The District 7 championship, which also features local teams Belton and Ruskin, is set for March 6 at 6 p.m., with the winner advancing to the Class 5 State Finals. 

Update: Grandview defeated Warrensburg 69-62. They will play Belton (16-11) on March 3 at 5:30 p.m. 

Belton (15-11):

Seeded fourth in the Class 5, District 7 Tournament, the Belton Pirates have the undeniable advantage of also being the host school. They’ll need it as they open the tournament with a competitive opener against a fifth-seeded Hogan Prep Academy Charter (18-6), March 1 at 5:30 p.m. 

Belton closed their regular season off with six straight victories. Hogan Prep, ranked seventh of all Class 5 schools by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association in their latest Feb. 21 poll, lost just after midseason to District 7 first-seed, Grandview, 45-52. 

One of them will most likely go on to face the Grandview Bulldogs, pending an upset by Warrensburg, in the district semi-finals. Belton is still looking to win its first state championship in school history. 

Update: Belton defeated Hogan Prep 79-68. They will play Grandview (20-6) on March 3 at 5:30 p.m. 

Ruskin (17-8):

The Eagles drew the third-seed in the Class 5, District 7 Tournament, pitting them against Raytown South (9-15) in the first round, March 1 at 8:30 p.m. These two teams had previously played each other Feb. 13, at Raytown South. The Eagles won that one, 59-52, en route to clinching their fourth consecutive conference championship under first-year head coach Marcus Whitney. 

If Ruskin wins tonight, they will go on to face either Webb City or Carl Junction in the second round of the tournament, March 3, at 7 p.m. 

The Eagles are chasing their second state championship, having won a lone MSHSAA Class 4 state title in 2007, led by head coach Gerry Marlin.

Update: Ruskin defeated Raytown South 48-36. They will play Webb City on March 3 at 7 p.m., directly following the game between Grandview and Belton.

Center (15-7):

Another area team seeded first in their district, the Center Yellowjackets earned a first round bye in their Class 4, District 14 bracket, and will play fourth-seed Central Kansas City High School (14-12) at 5:30 p.m. March 1, at Southeast High School (3500 E. Meyer Blvd). 

Following the conclusion of that game, the second-seeded host school, Southeast (16-9) will play Ewing Kauffman Memorial High School, with the winner of each advancing to the district final, set for March 3 at 7 p.m. 

In simpler terms, by the end of the night, the Yellowjackets may very well be just one game and two days away from clinching their trip to the State Finals. They are pursuing their second state championship, having won their first and only to date in 1976.

Update: Center won their game over Central Kansas City HS 72-47. They will play Southeast (17-9) in the District 14 Finals on March 3 at 7 p.m. 

Rockhurst (9-13):

Seventh-seeded Rockhurst is the lone South Kansas City school competing in Missouri’s Class 6, District 6 bracket, held at William Chrisman High School in Independence. 

The Hawklets will square off March 1 against second-seeded Raytown (13-11), at 7 p.m. Rockhurst’s final regular season game came as a 65-52 win over Class 4’s Center High School. Raytown’s regular season came to an end on a 70-86 loss to Belton at home. 

Update: Rockhurst defeated Raytown 71-55. They will play Lee’s Summit on March 3 at 7:30 p.m. 

Pembroke Hill (20-5)

Tied for tenth in the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association’s latest Class 5 poll, released Feb. 21, Pembroke Hill drew what is probably going to be a win over a 1-19 East Kansas City opponent to open the Class 5, District 8 Tournament tonight at Platte County High School at 6 p.m.

With a victory tonight, Pembroke Hill will play the winner of the game between fourth-seed Platte County (8-17) or fifth-seed Van Horn (9-16). The most likely scenario for the district championship game looks to be Pembroke Hill versus second-seed Smithville (19-7). 

This year could possibly be the best chance Pembroke Hill has had of winning a state title since they last won in 1956 and 1957.

Update: Pembroke Hill defeated East (Kansas City) 77-42. They will play Van Horn on March 3 at 5 p.m. 

Barstow (10-13):

Playing in Class 4, District 13, Barstow drew the first-round bye as the second seed and will look to overcome Harrisonville (15-12) March 1st at 7 p.m., at Pleasant Hill High School, for the opportunity to advance to the district final.

Barstow last won their second ever state championship in 2015, having claimed their first in 1995.

Update: Barstow defeated Harrisonville 60-43. They will play Nevada in the District 13 Final on March 3 at 7 p.m. 


The fourth-seeded Grandview (13-12) girls squad will also open their MSHSAA Class 5, District 7 tournament against fifth-seed Warrensburg (15-11), 6:30 p.m. at Webb City High School, March 2.

Ruskin (4-18) is seeded eighth in the same Class 5, District 7 bracket and set to play a formidable Carl Junction (25-1) just prior to Grandview’s game, at 5 p.m., March 2. 

Belton (7-18) is the seventh seed in District 7 and will play the host school Webb City (16-10), seeded second, at 5 p.m, March 2. 

Center is sitting at a split 12-12 record following their final regular season game, a 58-71 loss at Grandview. Placed in Class 4, District 13 of the MSHSAA girls playoffs, the Lady Yellowjackets earned the fifth seed and opened their tournament February 28 against fourth-seeded Harrisonville (15-10) at host Pleasant Hill. If Center won that game, they will play first-seeded Nevada (19-6), tomorrow, March 2, at 5:30 p.m. 


To follow all of the action, visit

Links to updated playoff brackets:

Class 4, District 13 Boys Bracket

Class 4, District 13 Girls Bracket

Class 4, District 14 Boys Bracket 

Class 5, District 7 Boys Bracket

Class 5, District 7 Girls Bracket

Class 5, District 8 Boys Bracket

Class 6, District 6 Boys Bracket


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