The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 8, 2013

Lions All-Star Twin Classic slated tonight in Neosho

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

— Members of the girls Gold Team probably won’t complain about lack of playing time in the Lions All-Star Twin Classic tonight at Neosho High School.

Carl Junction’s Tiffany Dirks, guiding the Gold, has only seven players to send against the Purple guided by Carthage’s Jim Moore.

But Dirks, completing her first season at Carl Junction, may have an advantage in the 6 p.m. contest.

The boys game matching spring graduates will follow. James W. Rosbrough, chairperson of the All-Star Twin Classic, announced roster changes on Friday.

Admission prices are $8 and $5 (students with ID). Proceeds from the games help support three Lions projects.

“It’s a unique situation,” Dirks said after a practice Friday night at Neosho. “Six of our seven players I’ve coached.”

Washburn Southwest’s Michaela Mitchell is the player Dirks hasn’t coached.

Dirks has two Carl Junction players in Sydney Koch and Timbre Murty. Dirks came to Carl Junction from Pierce City and she coached the Eagle trio of Emily Ashley, Becca Hatfield and Krishna Merriman.

Plus, Taylor Mettlach transferred to Southwest from Pierce City and Dirks coached her in volleyball with the Eagles.

“We were together as a team for the first time tonight,” Dirks said. “Those Pierce City girls remembered some of the plays.

“I don’t know if it (the situation) helps or hurts,” Dirks said with a laugh. “It will be fun.”

Moore, who has a roster of eight, ironically coached the Pierce City girls a few years ago.

Said Moore: “We’ve been able to practice twice with five or six girls able to make each session.

“We’ll run a little motion,” Moore said of his offense. “We may throw in a couple of sets to throw them off.”

The boys game is Red & White (coached by Exeter’s Jay Allen) vs. Blue & White (coached by Sarcoxie’s Kyle Johnson).

Allen has been able to gather his troops for one practice session and Johnson, whom Allen considers a good friend, has managed a pair of workouts.

Said Johnson: “I was surprised and pleased with the physical condition of our players. We want to have fun. We want to play everyone. We want to win. That would make it more fun.”

Said Allen: “We got in some shooting and some ideas for both offense and defense.

“I believe eight of our 10 players plan to play in college at some level,” Allen said. “We plan t run a couple of set plays geared to good athletes. Most of these guys have played a lot of basketball.

“I’ll have the best seat in the house. I won’t do a lot of yelling. I’ll try to keep things organized.”

Allen said before Friday’s practice that he wasn’t sure if Seneca’s Daniel Noah had been cleared by doctors to play.

“I’ll have the best assistant on our bench if he’s unable to play,” Allen said.