By Ryan Atkinson
Globe Sports Writer
WEBB CITY, Mo. —
The Webb City Cardinals put on a powerful display on Tuesday night and head into the Christmas break proving that — for now, at least — they’re the team to beat in this area.
The Cardinals were dominant on the glass and effective offensively and rolled to a 66-41 win over the Carl Junction Bulldogs in a much-anticipated matchup at Webb City High School.
Tuesday’s win comes four days after a dominant win over Joplin and boosts the Cardinals’ record to 5-1.
“We’re feeling real good,” said Webb City senior Kohl Slaughter, who scored a team-high 19 points. “Getting two wins close to home really establishes what we can do and lets everybody know how good we are. That’s big for us.”
Webb City used two of its biggest strengths — rebounding and the transition game — to run away with the win.
The Cardinals outrebounded Carl Junction 40-21, and 20 of their 27 field goals were either layups or, in Slaughter’s case in the second quarter, a dunk.
“That’s our focus. We should go dominate people on the boards,” Webb City coach Logan Cornish said. “We should get second-chance points and limit the other team’s opportunities to score. We get rebounds and we’re turning and sprinting and going into our transition game.”
Carl Junction (5-2) struggled shooting the ball, hitting just 37 percent of its shots and going 2-for-18 from 3-point range.
The Bulldogs were also unable to gain any traction with their full-court pressure.
“I think from the get-go we didn’t do what we do,” Carl Junction coach Kyle Williams said. “We didn’t get into our press. It almost looked like we were slightly intimidated from the beginning. We never got into anything that we normally do.”
Travis Vogt led Carl Junction with 19 points, but he was the only Bulldog to score more than six points.
Webb City, meanwhile, had four players in double figures. After Slaughter’s 19 points, Jalen Vaden had 15 while Phoenix Johnson added 12. John Roderique went 4-for-8 from the field and had 10 points.
Webb City went on an 11-2 run in the second quarter to push its 20-15 lead to 31-17 with 1:25 to play before the half.
Carl Junction scored six of the half’s final eight points — including J Thomas’ 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining — to stay within striking distance at 33-23.
But Webb City scored 14 of the second half’s first 19 points — all of which came on either layups or putbacks — and Carl Junction never threatened again.
“The first three minutes of the third quarter is always our emphasis coming out of halftime,” Cornish said. “We want to come out well and not let their guys get hot and get going.”
Webb City is idle until Dec. 26 when the Cards face West Memphis, Ark., in the Neosho Holiday Classic. Carl Junction travels to Willard on Friday.