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THE WEEK AHEAD: State Fair turns heads

January 13, 2008

Historical describes the State Fair Community College men’s basketball team’s win over perennial national power Three Rivers on Saturday night.



First, the Roadrunners beat the two-time national champion Raiders for the first time in more than a decade.



Second, State Fair broke a 21-game losing streak to Region 16 teams. The last time the Roadrunners won a regional game, they beat Missouri State-West Plains 72-56 on Feb. 16, 2005.



The Roadrunners’ next challenge will be Moberly Area. The two teams will square off at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center.



Moberly is 10-8 overall and 0-1 in the region, dropping a 69-67 overtime decision to Three Rivers on Friday night.



State Fair seemed to be improved in the season’s first half. The Roadrunners went 9-6 and won six straight games at one point.



State Fair had solid starts in the past, but they never translated into success in Region 16, regarded by many as one of the best junior college divisions in the nation.



In 2001-02, the Roadrunners started 8-6 but finished 13-17. The following year, they began 11-7 and finished 15-15.



They started the 2003-04 season 9-4 but finished 11-18.



The Roadrunners (11-7) opened some eyes last Monday with a 78-73 win over three-time national champion Indian Hills in Ottumwa, Iowa.



To show how far the Roadrunners have come, the two teams met at State Fair on Nov. 13 with Indian Hills winning 77-49.



The Smith-Cotton girls basketball team has as good a shot as anybody to win this week’s Smith-Cotton/McDonald’s Lady Tiger Classic.



The top three teams enter the tournament with losing records.



Top-seeded Glendale is 6-7 following a 42-41 loss to Hickman on Friday night, according to the Springfield News-Leader.



No. 2 Camdenton is 3-6 after a 42-41 loss to Joplin on Thursday night.



No. 3 Smith-Cotton is 4-8 following a 60-37 loss to O’Hara on Thursday night.



No. 4 Marshall, No. 5 Warrensburg, No. 6 Renaissance Academy and No. 7 KC Southeast round out the tournament field.



First-round games are set for Wednesday, the semifinals will be Friday, and the trophy games are scheduled for Saturday.