By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
The Webb City High School girls and boys basketball teams play their first home game of the season on Tuesday night.
Guess which teams are going to “help” the Cardinals debut?
It’s those rival Carl Junction Bulldogs just down the road.
The varsity boys game at approximately 7:30 is the headliner with Carl Junction 5-1 and Webb City 4-1.
But it’s a five-game night with the freshman boys tipping off at 5 p.m. in the auxiliary gym. The junior varsity girls and jayvee boys will follow in that venue, The girls varsity contest will start at 6 p.m.
“We should have a good crowd,” Webb City boys coach Landon Cornish said. “There are good players on both sides (both girls and boys). Wouldn’t it be great to have a capacity crowd?”
The Carl Junction and Webb City boys, meeting for the only time during the regular season, are assigned to the Class 4 District 12 Tournament at Carthage with the Tigers, McDonald County, Monett and Nevada.
Carl Junction and Webb City — both have won a tournament already this season — are coming off impressive wins on Friday night. The Bulldogs, playing at home, beat Pittsburg St. Mary’s-Colgan 84-52. The Cardinals, playing at Missouri Southern, defeated Joplin 65-37.
Nevada has handed Carl Junction its loss. Silas Smith, a 6-foot-2 senior, scored 28 points as the Tigers beat the visiting Bulldogs 67-52 on Dec. 4.
“Silas Smith was very good. I think he’s averaging more than 20 points,” Carl Junction coach Kyle Williams said. “Plus, we didn’t shoot well — 22 percent from the field — and we didn’t execute well on our defensive press.”
Webb City lost 64-53 last Tuesday night at Bentonville. Those Tigers, Class 7A in Arkansas, won their first seven games before losing 78-52 at defending 4A champion Clarksville.
Said Cornish: “It was a tough game. We had our chances to win. They’re a very good team, getting 25 points from (6-8) Nick Smith, and they were unbeaten when they played us.”
The game at Missouri Southern wound up a plus — in addition to a win — for the Cardinals, Cornish said.
“We were excited to have that many people — family, friends and fans — come out to see us play,” Cornish said.
Williams, who’s in his first season as head coach at Carl Junction, started simply with “which team can make the shots” when asked for keys to victory.
“Secondly, which team can sustain short runs and weather the storms (similar runs). Both teams are capable of scoring in bunches.
“No. 3 will be the play of the benches,” Williams said.
Said Cornish: “We need to control their guards (6-0 junior Matt Magee and 6-2 senior Travis Vogt). They’re quick and are able to shoot the ball very well.
“We need to rebound, contest shots and limit their second chances,” Cornish said. “We’d like to get some extra possessions on offense.”
Probable starters for the Bulldogs are Vogt, Magee, 6-1 senior J. Thomas, 6-1 junior Dustin Satterlee and 6-5 senior Hunter McPherson.
Likely to counter for Webb City are seniors Phoenix Johnson (5-9), Jalen Vaden (6-0), Nate Brown (6-3), Kohl Slaughter (6-3) and John Roderique (6-5).
Coming off the bench for Carl Junction probably will be 6-5 senior Andrew Wilson, 6-3 junior Gaige Crockett, 5-11 sophomore Cody Vogt, 6-0 freshman Ryan Devore and 5-9 freshman Ethan Frack.
“Andrew Reed, a (6-0) sophomore, has been sick and we aren’t sure about his status,” Williams said. “Hopefully, he’ll play.”
Cornish plans to use 6-3 senior Logan Williams, 5-9 junior Trey Parra, 6-3 senior Alec Basye and 6-0 junior Clay Gardner.
Added Williams: “It will be a good test for both teams. We have similar styles. We both have good senior athletes. We both want to play a fast-paced game. We both want to apply defensive pressure and get up and down the floor.”
Added Cornish: “It should be a game both teams can use as a gauge.”