benton maryville lead

Maryville senior Serena Sundell takes a contested shot over the Benton defense at Springer Gymnasium.

Three district finalists from a year ago will have to battle it out for the same title next week on the hardwood.

The Maryville girls earned the top seed in Class 4 District 16, which also includes No. 2 Benton and No. 3 Chillicothe. No. 4 Cameron and No. 5 Savannah make for a district with five teams above .500.

The Spoofhounds (20-1) won Class 3 District 16 before making a run to the state quarterfinals, eventually moving up a class for the 2021 postseason. Chillicothe was the Class 3 District 14 champ, while Benton advanced to the Class 4 District 16 finals against Kearney.

Maryville, whose lone loss came to Platte Valley in the fourth game of the year, is unbeaten against MEC foes with one final game against Chillicothe on Thursday. The girls district will begin Feb. 27 with Maryville and Benton receiving byes.

Richmond and Benton received the No. 1 and 2 seeds on the boys side and will play March 3. Benton will play the winner of Maryville vs. Cameron on March 1, while Savannah and Chillicothe meet in the other quarterfinal.

The Lafayette boys will have to exact revenge from a Jan. 14 loss when they play Kearney in the 2-3 matchup of Class 5 District 16 on March 2. Lafayette (16-7) advanced to the Class 4 quarterfinals a year ago. Platte County is the district’s top seed.

Smithville’s girls team earned the district’s top seed. No. 4 Lafayette will host No. 5 Excelsior Springs at 2 p.m. Feb. 27 for the chance to travel to Smithville.

After advancing to sectionals a year ago, the Central girls will open Class 6 District 16 play at Staley on March 1 at 6:30 p.m. Central split two games with Staley this month. Park HIll is the district’s top seed.

The Central boys received the No. 5 seed and will play throughout the postseason on the road, beginning at Oak Park at 1 p.m. Feb. 27. Staley is the top boys seed.

Brandon Zenner can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowZenner.