The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 16, 2013

Cards romp, but coach unhappy with effort

By Ryan Atkinson
Globe Sports Writer

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City coach Landon Cornish didn’t sound like a coach whose team had just registered a 32-point win on Tuesday night.

Yes, his Cardinals outmuscled Springfield Central in a 78-46 nonconference tussle, but general consensus from the Webb City bench was that they didn’t go about things in the proper way.

“I thought we just kind of went through the motions,” Cornish said. “We didn’t play with enough intensity, we didn’t play with enough emotion. It’s just that physically, we were bigger, we were stronger, we were faster.

“We didn’t play with the intensity and efficiency that we needed to.”

The Cardinals were solid offensively, with three players scoring at least 15 points.

Nate Brown led all scorers with 17 points while Phoenix Johnson and Kohl Slaughter each scored 15. The trio is half of the group of six Cardinals who Cornish says has reached double figures so far this season.

Webb City hit the 20-point mark in three of the four quarters and likely would have easily eclipsed the 80-point mark if the running clock hadn’t slowed them down a bit late.

“I thought we executed our sets well,” Cornish said. “Any time we got the ball in the half court and wanted to run something, we ran it and scored.”

The Cardinals struggled a bit defensively in the first half, allowing the Bulldogs to hang around and keep the halftime score to a manageable 42-28 deficit.

Central — which was led by Landon Shelton’s 14 points — then opened the second half with a pair of layups and make it 42-32 and prompt a Cardinal timeout.

Webb City switched to a matchup zone defense and allowed just two points the rest of the quarter while effectively putting the game away with a 13-0 run sparked by Brown’s trey.

Defensively, we were trying to get some steals and we would leak out a little bit and get out of position and they got some easy shots,” Cornish said. “That’s why we went to the matchup zone in the second half, to keep them in front and stop them from getting layups.

“I always want us to play fast and play pressure defense, but sometimes when things aren’t’ going your way like they weren’t tonight, you’re not going to stick with something that doesn’t work.”

The Cardinals now look to Friday, when they welcome Rogersville for a homecoming date.

But first, Cornish said, some work will be done on the practice floor.

“We have to come back in tomorrow and practice and compete,” he said. “There won’t be any first group going against the jayvee guys. We have to compete and get used to finishing under pressure. We have to get back to work.”