From staff reports
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. —
Fourth-seeded Central ousted Joplin’s girls 40-35 in the opening round of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 12 Tournament on Saturday.
Central’s boys, also seeded fourth among five teams, eliminated Neosho 55-51 in the second game.
The girls portion of the tourney at Parkview High School resumes on Monday with Central challenging No. 1 seed Parkview at 6 p.m. and third-seeded Neosho meeting No. 2 Willard at 7:30.
Tuesday’s schedule in the boys division is Central vs. Parkview (1) at 6 p.m. and Joplin (3) tackling Willard (2) at 7:30.
The Joplin girls were hoping to avenge a 42-33 home setback on Dec. 17.
Savannah Rush, a 5-foot-6 junior, sparked Central by scoring 22 points. She had 11 in the second quarter as the Bulldogs outscored Joplin 19-12 to lead 23-20 at the half. Rush had nine in the fourth as Central posted a 13-9 advantage.
Danielle Falor, Joplin junior varsity coach for head coach Dustin Larsen, said the contest was “neck-and-neck” the last two minutes with Central pulling out the win.
“I thought we played well,” Falor said. “I also thought we played aggressively and as a team. We kind of ran out of time. We played much better than we had in our previous two games.”
Bailey Taylor, a 5-9 sophomore tallied 16 for the Eagles (2-23).
The Central boys led 32-25 at halftime and relied on balanced scoring to triumph. The Bulldogs got seven or more points from four players. Steven Jones led with 14.
Neosho coach Jason Horn said the Wildcats were missing freshman point guard Brett Williams and hurt themselves by hitting only 7 of 17 at the foul line.
Neosho (1-25) received 22 points from 6-2 freshman Darrian Guillory and 20 from 6-1 sophomore Caden Hendricks, who had four treys.