By Ryan Atkinson
Globe Sports Writer
CARTHAGE, Mo. —
In a game of alternating runs, Carl Junction — with its full-court pressure and 3-point shooting — had the upper hand over Joplin on Saturday.
The Bulldogs forced Joplin into 21 turnovers and hit 10 3-pointers — including five in a key third-quarter stretch — and beat the Eagles 73-58 in the championship game of the 66th annual Carthage Invitational.
“This is big because Coach (Kyle) Williams has been preaching about intensity and starting out the season right,” said Carl Junction junior Matt Magee, who scored 14 points. “We’ve never won a district title and that’s our main goal. This tournament was the first goal and then conference and then the district tournament. So it’s nice to start out right.”
Carl Junction (3-0) put full-court defensive pressure on the Eagles (2-1) from the start, forcing Joplin into nine first-quarter turnovers that culminated in a 22-12 Bulldog lead after Cody Vogt’s 3-pointer in the opening minute of the second quarter.
“The big problem was us not running our press offense,” Joplin coach Jeff Williams said. “We moved forward for a week and a half doing some good things but tonight we didn’t fall back on those things like communicating on defense and ball pressure.”
When the Eagles did break Carl Junction’s press, they were able to get high-percentage shots — they hit 22 of their 36 shots from inside the 3-point line — which allowed them to stay in the game.
Charlie Brown — who scored a game-high 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field — hit a pair of layups and a free throw and Connor McCord drained a trey for an 8-0 run that cut Carl Junction’s 22-12 lead to 22-20 with 2:58 in the half.
But Brown was whistled for his third foul and spent the final three minutes of the half on the bench and Carl Junction responded with an 11-4 run that was capped by Ryan Devore’s trey and sent the Bulldogs into the locker room with a 33-24 lead.
Joplin got the deficit down to four midway through the third quarter before Carl Junction hit four treys in two-minute span — two from Dustin Satterlee, one from Vogt and another from Devore — as part of a 14-6 run that stretched the lead to 53-49 with 1:51 left in the third.
“They shot pretty well but part of that was us,” Joplin’s Williams said. “We didn’t put enough pressure on them. They’re a good shooting team and when you give them looks, they’ll hit them. My hat is off to Carl Junction. They played better than us.”
Joplin had one run left — an 8-0 spurt that included five points from Tucker Wallace and sliced the Carl Junction lead to 53-47 early in the fourth — but the Bulldogs outscored the Eagles 20-11 down the stretch to pull away.
“We still have not learned to step on the pedal when the opportunity is there,” Carl Junction coach Kyle Williams said. “We had a few times when we were up 13 or 14 and had a chance to put it away and we couldn’t. But we got it done.”
Travis Vogt led Carl Junction with 14 points — eight from the foul line — while J. Thomas and Devore added 13 each.
Wallace had nine for Joplin to add to Brown’s 25 and Adam St. Peter had eight.
Rogers Heritage 47,
Wyatt Kinnamon corralled a long rebound and drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the War Eagles past Carthage in the third-place game.
It was Kinnamon’s fourth trey of the night — he had one each quarter — and he finished with a team-high 12 points.
Carthage was led by Nathan Reid’s 15 points while Dawson Allmoslecher had eight.
Springfield Central 47
Kyler Ng scored a 19 points and Seneca used a solid first quarter to build a lead in the fifth-place contest.
Seneca led 15-4 after the first eight minutes and led 46-32 heading into the fourth quarter.
Bradley Jumper added 13 for Seneca while Central was led by D’Angelo’s 19 points.
Nevada 55, Monett 43
Nevada outscored the Cubs 21-10 in the fourth quarter to pull away in the seventh-place matchup.
Nevada led just 34-33 after three quarters but got a pair of 3-pointers from Silas Smith — who scored 36 of the Tigers’ 55 points — in a dominant fourth quarter.
Smith hit five treys on the night.
Kyle Woods led Monett with 23 points.