By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
Joplin Eagles girls basketball coach Dustin Larsen knew exactly where to direct the blame for his team’s 47-29 loss to Marshfield on Thursday night at the 16th annual Freeman-Lady Eagle Classic at Missouri Southern State University.
And that would be rebounding. Or a lack thereof, rather.
“They (Marshfield) had 16 offensive rebounds,” Larsen said. “You take away the offensive rebounds, and it definitely changes the game. I’m not for sure, but I’m thinking at least 16 to 20 points came off those rebounds. The first shot isn’t what kills you. It’s those second and third opportunities.”
Joplin’s initial defense wasn’t the issue. The Eagles held Marshfield to 22 points in the first half, but the offensive rebounds eventually took a toll.
The scrappy Jays squad boxed out well and seemingly got to nearly every loose ball.
Joplin (1-2) pulled within 22-16 on a driving bucket by Samantha Stout early in the third quarter. However, Marshfield responded with an 8-0 run capped by a 3-pointer from Makenna Smith to take a 30-16 lead with 4:18 left in the third.
The Jays had a diverse offensive attack with eight players scoring. Smith led Marshfield with 12 points. Allison Van Diggellen, Madison Clark and Samantha French scored eight points each.
Junior post Danielle Hollingshead led the Eagles with 10 points.
Joplin will face Neosho at 5:30 tonight in the loser’s bracket. Marshfield will play Har-Ber at 8:30 in the tournament semifinals.
“We’re just in the early stages of building this program,” Larsen said. “We just need to take this one possession at a time and one game at a time.”
Har-Ber 55, Neosho 27
Neosho Wildcats freshman Brooke Stauffer made a jump shot at the 1:10 mark of the first quarter to tie the game at 8. From that point on, the Har-Ber Wildcats dominated.
Har-Ber responded with a 6-0 run and outscored Neosho 16-3 for the rest of the first half to take a 24-11 lead into the locker room.
Junior Samantha Webb helped Har-Ber extend the lead even more by scoring nine of her 13 points in the third quarter. Har-Ber led 41-20 entering the final quarter.
Har-Ber led by as many as 31 points when Har-Ber’s Carlyle Bohannan hit a free throw with 1:52 left to make it a 53-22 game.
Webb and Caylee Wright led Har-Ber with 13 points each. Sophomore Bailey Schalk added eight points.
Sophomore Chelsey Henry led Neosho with 11 points.