A standard of excellence over the last two decades-plus has earned the College of the Ozarks women’s basketball program one of the ultimate honors.
The program will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame at next month’s Basketball Tipoff Luncheon on Dec. 12 at the Oasis Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield.
Former University of Missouri standout Anthony Peeler is the headliner at the luncheon, with Missouri State men’s basketball coach Dana Ford the keynote speaker.
Also set for induction are longtime high school coaches Jacky Payne and Tony Armstrong, and the Stockton High School girls’ program.
The C of O program is being recognized for being one of the winningest programs in NAIA history, qualifying for 24 national tournaments on the NAIA Division II level, including every year but one since 1997, when the school hired George Wilson as coach.
Under Wilson and current coach Becky Mullis, the Lady Bobcats have won more than 550 games. C of O has advanced to the elite eight at the national tournament nine times, finished as the national runner-up five times and produced more than 30 NAIA All-Americans since 1991.
Tickets for the luncheon are $40 in advance or $50 at the door, with a sponsorship table of eight available for $400. For more information, call 889-3100.
Lady Bobcats roll: C of O improved to 3-0 on the season, cruising to an 82-49 victory over Bethany College on Monday night in Lindsborg, Kansas.
Bethany College, which came in receiving votes in the NAIA Division I preseason coaches’ poll, made only one field goal in the first half as sixth-ranked C of O took a 38-9 lead into the break.
Madi Brethower scored 15 first-half points and finished with a career-high 22. She was 4-of-6 from 3-point range and was joined in double figures by Cass Johnson (13), Aleksei Smith (10) and Kelsie Cleeton (10).
Cleeton added 11 rebounds for her third double-double in as many games, and added five assists and four steals.
The Lady Bobcats were scheduled to play in the Cardinal Stritch Classic on Friday and Saturday, then will play at Lyon College on Tuesday before playing two home games at the C of O Coke Classic next Friday and Saturday.
Cleeton honored: Cleeton was named the Association of Independent Institutions Women’s Basketball Player of the Week and the NCCAA Student Athlete of the Week on Monday.
Cleeton, a 5-foot-10 senior guard from Springfield Hillcrest High School, had 16 points and 17 rebounds in the Lady Bobcats’ season-opening victory over No. 20 Tabor College, then added a triple-double against Southwestern College, with 10 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists.
Branson senior Dwight Hyde and junior Kyle Sutton were voted to the Class 4 District 10 all-district soccer first team released Wednesday.
Sutton shared Offensive Player of the Year honors with T.K. Stine of Ozark and Jaxon Riddle of Springfield Kickapoo.
Branson seniors Nino Stiglianese and Blake Stoner were named to the second team.
The Pirates finished with a 15-10 final record, losing to Ozark in the semifinals of the district tournament.
Branson junior Jaden Moore was named to the All-Central Ozark Conference volleyball honorable mention team.
Moore finished with a team-high 151 kills and .377 hitting percentage, and was second on the team in blocks, with 35.
Branson finished 17-15 this season, losing to Springfield Parkview in the opening round of the district tournament.