The Bulldogs took a 24-game win streak into their semifinal meeting with Scott County Central at Mizzou Arena, but Missouri's record holder for state titles served Stanberry a 69-63 loss.
"We hadn't seen anyone play like that," head coach Nick Groomer said. "I like to think we're fast and strong too, but if you haven't seen it, it takes a while to adjust. It was just a little bit too late."
Scott County Central proved their offensive prowess right away, dropping 21 points in the first quarter and establishing a 40-21 lead by halftime. Stanberry forged a comeback fueled by 30 points from sophomore Daniel Hailey and four dunks by senior Ryan Jensen.
They clipped the deficit to 10 heading to the final frame, but couldn't get closer than six points. Jensen finished with 16 points.
"We've really got to keep our focus," Jensen said. "We've got to brush this one off. I know it was a tough loss, but there's another one tomorrow and they're still giving out a trophy for it. If we show up for that, we'll be alright."
The Bulldogs will face Macks Creek in the third place game on Friday at 12:45 p.m.