The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 16, 2013

Carthage to mark anniversary of semifinal team

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Carthage placed fourth in the 2002-03 MSHSAA Class 4 Girls Basketball Championsips.

It’s the only appearance by Carthage in the girls semifinals.

Those Tigers, 27-4, will hold a reunion Friday night and members of the team — hopefully, at least nine of 12 will attend —  will be introduced between the junior varsity and varsity games matching ancient rivals Nevada and Carthage.

The three-game program tips off at 5 p.m. with the freshman contest.

Fans wanting to make sure they don’t miss the festivities surrounding 2002-03 should plan to arrive around 7.

“You just never know what time exactly that varsity game will start,” current Carthage coach Jim Moore said Tuesday.

Added athletics director Andy Youngworth (with a smile): “It really depends on how many fouls the officials call in the junior varsity game.”

Bobby Waggoner, the “old coach,” is ready for the introduction of his players — and presentation of plaques by coach Moore — to begin.

Carthage, unbeaten in the Southwest Conference in 2002-03, defeated Branson and Bolivar to reach the semifinals. Cape Girardeau Notre Dame, powered by a strong start, beat the Tigers 60-51 before they lost 39-38 in two overtimes to St. Joseph Benton for third place.

“That experience is such a great thing,” Waggoner said in reference to a plus for Notre Dame. “We were so happy to get there. We were a little starry-eyed.

“But I’m still so proud of the players,” Waggoner said. “Such an achievement doesn’t happen very often.

“We beat a team (Bolivar) in the quarterfinals that was coached by a great friend (late Joplin High School graduate Gary Keeling), a great coach and a class individual.”

The 12-player roster for Waggoner and assistant Gordon Godfrey included six seniors — Candace Artym, Ann Ingram, Kristan Lee-Hinton, Kayla Shipman-Porter, Tara Waggoner-Williams and Katie Wooldridge-Crigger.

There were five sophomores in Katie Berger-Define, Alana Lyberger, Tierrah Newman, Aspen Roughton-Waters and Jasmine Western.

Freshman Meghan Waggoner, Tara’s sister and nieces of the coach, rounded out the roster.

“It’s an opportunity for us to get together, reminisce and catch up in each other’s company,” Coach Waggoner said. “We plan to watch the Carthage game. Afterward, we’ll go to Tara’s home, watch some game tapes and eat pizza.”

Waggoner, who just missed a semifinal appearance as a player (senior season at Jasper in 1966-67), spent 36 years in education with 12 at Carthage.