ADVANCE, Mo -- The Leopold boys basketball team had Thursday night's game against Advance highlighted on their calendar ever since the Hornets eliminated them from the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament.
"We've wanted it since that night," Leopold coach Andy Beck said. "That was our big key, when we lost at the Christmas tournament, was we're fortunate enough to have them again at their place. That's the one that matters."
Leopold reversed much of what happened at the Christmas tournament, including the result, with a 71-60 victory on the Hornets' home floor.
"We knew they (were) going to come out ready," Advance coach Andrew Halford said. "The first game, I think we ended up winning by 14, but it was a battle all the way through, without a doubt."
Leopold led throughout much of the first half in the teams' previous meeting, but it was Advance that dominated the second half as it slowly pulled away from the Wildcats for a 64-50 win.
Thursday's game started out similarly with Leopold (13-2) building a 37-29 halftime advantage.
"Coach told us in the locker room that the third quarter is the quarter that is the most important quarter of all, because that's the quarter that decides who's going to win the game," said Leopold junior Cameron Davis, acknowledging his team addressed the second-half reversal at halftime.
Leopold outscored Hornets in both the third and fourth quarters.
"We had to come out with the mindset that we just had to close out the game," Leopold's Kyle Stroder said.
The night was also much different for Stroder, the Wildcats' leading scorer. The senior scored just eight points in the previous matchup, but poured in 26 Thursday night.
"Stroder played very well," said Halford, listing that as the biggest difference-maker. "He struggled scoring the ball against us the first time, but you can't hold someone like him down as well as we did every time. Both times we played them, they came out from the beginning and got us in the hole. The first time we (were) able to dig back out of it, but this time, it wasn't the case."
Advance (9-5) pulled within four points with 5 minutes, 9 seconds left in the game, but Leopold replied with a 6-0 run capped by a thtee-point play from senior post player Brandon Jansen.
"We knew a run would come," Beck said. "We were ready with those timeouts, ready to use them. We saved our four until the fourth. I almost called one right there, and Brandon got that 'and-1,' and that was huge. That was great."
Both team's agreed Thursday night's game was played at Leopold's pace, which was another reversal.
"Play to our tempo," Davis said, explaining what he thought was most important. "Because they like to push and speed us up, and we knew if we played to our tempo -- I don't think they could stop us if we played to our tempo."
Halford lamented his team's inability to speed up the game.
"We struggled with their little 2-3 zone," he said. "We struggled attacking. We were overly passive, and that's not the way we play. We try to be aggressive and get up and down the floor, and that just wasn't the case."
Senior Ethan Barr scored 24 points for the Hornets, most from the paint.
"They've got two big guys inside and they like to be physical, and they've got really good guards and they like to feed them," Stroder said. "They're a real physical team, but we just had to be physical back with them."
High school roundup:
Meadow Heights 57, South Iron 42
Emma Cook had four three-pointers and totaled 14 points to lead Meadow Heights to a 57-42 home win against South Iron in girls basketball Thursday night.
Kiana Hotop also added 14 points for Meadow Heights (7-8). Hayley Thorne bucketed 13 points and Taylor Cureton added 11 for the Panthers in the win.
Notre Dame 47, Sikeston 32
Annie Siebert scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and recorded four steals to lead the Bulldogs in the road win.
Kelsey Luster added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Notre Dame (11-2). Kaitlin Welter tallied seven rebounds.
JV -- Notre Dame won.
St. Vincent 43, Grandview 32
Katie Mattingly led with 15 points and 11 rebounds in the Indians' home win.
Casey Unterreiner added six points and eight rebounds for St. Vincent (5-10).
JV -- St. Vincent won.
Saxony Lutheran 78, Lesterville 27
The Crusaders jumped out to a 23-0 lead by the end of the first quarter in a road rout.
Raegan Wieser scored 15 points to lead Saxony, while Brianna Mueller had 14 and Grace Mirly had 12.
Saxony (13-1) connected on five of its seven 3-point attempts as it collected its ninth consecutive victory.
Saxony Lutheran 58, Eldorado (Ill.) 37
Gabe Bohnert scored 20 points to lead the sixth-seeded Crusaders to victory over seventh-seeded Eldorado in a consolation semifinal of the Chester Invitational Tournament.
Jake Lake added 14 points and recorded eight rebounds and seven blocks for Saxony Lutheran (5-11). Zach Beal dished out four assists for the Crusaders.
Saxony Lutheran will play Cobden, Ill., for the consolation title on Saturday at 4:15 p.m.