Waynesville High School hosted Military Appreciation Night Friday during its home boys’ basketball game.
Soldiers from the 787th Military Police Battalion, which is one of the school’s Partners in Education, received a standing ovation after reciting the Soldier’s Creed.
In addition to interacting with fans throughout the event, members of the battalion formed a tunnel leading to center court for qualifying Advanced Placement students, which included 52 current students and 32 graduates from the Class of 2018 who earned high scores on their Advanced Placement tests. Col. Eric Towns, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, congratulated the students, along with a number of school officials and board members.
The Tigers varsity boys’ basketball team overcame a first-half deficit to tie the visiting West Plains Zizzers at the end of regulation play, but fell to the visiting team 56-54 in overtime.
During halftime, WHS head coach Chris Pilz presented a basketball to former Tiger standout Joe Johnson III, who currently plays basketball for Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan. During his high school career, Johnson was a four-year starter for the Tigers, playing in 108 games and scoring 1,403 points. He also helped lead to the Tigers to two district titles during the 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 school years.
“Joe is one of the most fierce competitors I have coached in my 28 years,” Pilz said. “When Joe was on the floor, we always had a chance to win.”
In other boys’ basketball news, the WHS freshman team won their home tournament over the weekend, taking first place.
In other WHS sports:
The Lady Tigers girls’ varsity basketball team fell to the Lady Zizzers 53-34 Feb. 7 on the road at West Plains High School in West Plains, Missouri.
Waynesville kept pace with West Plains throughout the first quarter but fell behind by 10 points at halftime and struggled in the third quarter.
Victoria Perry led the Lady Tigers with 18 points, and Naudia Evans added 15.