The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

December 12, 2013

Marshfield tops Harrison at Joplin tournament

— Seeds four and five are supposed to engage in spirited competition in the first round of a basketball tournament, right?

Well, that’s what happened between fourth-seeded Harrison and No. 5 Marshfield in the opening round of the annual Joplin Freeman/Lady Eagle Classic on Thursday at Missouri Southern State University.

Marshfield, opening its season, pulled away in the second half to triumph 51-37 against the Goblins (1-2) in a clash of veteran teams.

No. 1 Olathe South (1-0) trimmed Blue Valley West (0-2) 60-7 in a meeting of Kansas Class 6A schools to open the four-game session in Robert Ellis Young Gymnasium.

Marshfield coach Shelly Jones indicated the Class 4 Blue Jays performed about the way she expected for an opener.

“We had some peaks and valleys and we were loose with the basketball,” Jones said. “I was very proud of our effort and the way they worked together. I’ll take that performance.”

The teams were 11-11 in the second quarter before Marshfield used a 12-1 surge to take 23-12 control. It was 27-20 at the half.

All-stater Lauren Aldridge’s trey made it 21-12 and Sammie French’s two free throws capped the charge.

Said Harrison coach Doug Young: “We looked like we had been off for 16 days — which we had — and we were out of sync. We were sluggish.

“Marshfield, an outstanding team, played a good game,” Young said. “It wasn’t a good effort on our part. I also thought we didn’t play hard.”

Harrison, which missed by a game to reach the Arkansas Class 5A Tournament last season, returned eight veterans and five players with starting experience.

The Goblins, who spoiled the Nixa debut — winning 61-60 — also had lost 65-56 to Fort Smith Southside entering the 17th classic.

Blue Valley West and Olathe South are some 10 miles apart. But BVW is a member of the Eastern Kansas League and South belongs to the Sunflower League.

BVW, coached by Frank Lapointe, started two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior against Olathe South. Olathe South, coached by Steve Ingram, started two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore against the Jaguars.

South, in 2012-13, finished 20-2 overall, shared league honors and lost in the first round of the state tourney.

The Jaguars, in their previous game this season, lost to defending Kansas Class 5A champion St. Thomas Aquinas.

South led 19-0 after one quarter and it was 4:04 in the second quarter before Lane Marrs, a sophomore, sank two free throws to break the BVW scoring drought.

Said the Falcons’ Ingram: “We could have been better in our half-court offense. We had some of our young kids playing different roles. Hopefully, we can play better next game.”

That will be against Marshfield at 7 p.m. today in the first semifinal.

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