The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 14, 2013

Webb City overcomes sluggish start to beat Marshfield for title

It sure didn’t look like it was going to be Webb City’s night.

The Cardinals couldn’t establish anything offensively and fell behind Marshfield 9-1 midway through the first quarter.

After a timeout, Webb City regrouped and ended the quarter on a 7-1 run and went on to grab a 56-46 win during the championship game of the Freeman-Lady Eagle Classic on Saturday night at Missouri Southern’s Robert Ellis Young Gymnasium.

“We were trying to force it,” said Webb City junior post Desirea Buerge, who scored a game-high 24 points. “Once we started moving the ball around more, we started creating better shots.”

For the rest of the first half, Webb City (4-0) outscored Marshfield 22-13 after the timeout.

Webb City senior point guard Mikaela Burgess, who scored 19 points, executed a steal and layup to give the Cardinals a 23-22 halftime lead.

“Early on, we rebounded,” Marshfield coach Shelly Jones said. “By us rebounding, we were able to get out and attack. When we weren’t rebounding, they were the ones who were doing the attacking.”

Buerge was scoring on the inside in the first half, and then took advantage of her athleticism on the perimeter in the final two quarters. Webb City’s junior post opened the second half with a 3-pointer and followed with a jump shot that was just in front of the 3-point line to give the Cardinals a 28-24 lead.

“Having her out on the perimeter made her difficult to defend,” Jones said. “Their post player had a great game. She’s real difficult to defend when she can hit those shots from the outside.”

The Jays (2-1) responded with a 3-pointer from Lauren Aldridge, who scored a team-high 16 points. The the point guard, who has committed to play for the Kansas Jayhawks, then found Sammie French under the basket to give Marshfield a 29-28 lead with 4:20 left in the third quarter.

That was Marshfield’s final lead of the game.

Webb City responded with a 9-4 run, which was highlighted by a Lexey Kneib 3-pointer, to end the third quarter.

Leading 45-37 with about two minutes left in the game, Burgess went to the free-throw line for an apparent one-and-one. Burgess missed the free throw, and Marshfield grabbed the rebound. Jays senior Makenna Smith proceeded to hit a 3-pointer to make it 45-40 with 1:46 left, prompting a Marshfield timeout.

During the timeout, officials realized that Burgess’ trip to the line should have been for two free throws. Since the mistake was noticed before the second dead ball, Burgess was allowed to shoot the second free throw. Burgess made the shot, and possesion then went back to Webb City. Burgess was fouled on that possession and hit both free throws to make it 48-40 with 1:27 left.

Marshfield never recovered from the three-point swing.

“This was a good win for us,” Webb City coach Brad Shorter said. “Marshfield is a quality team. We hope we can build off this. We still need to get better. We have a lot of work to do.”

Webb City will be at home Tuesday against Joplin.

Olathe South 62, Neosho 31

Coming off a close loss to Marshfield the night before, Olathe South took control from the opening minutes in its third-place game against the Neosho Wildcats.

The Falcons jumped out to a 16-2 lead and held a 42-12 advantage by halftime.

Olathe South used a balanced attack with five players scoring eight points or more. Jordan Morton led the Falcons with 13 points. Bailey Rinehart added 11. DeJanae Robuck, Kylee Kopatich and Kala Holder scored 9, 8 and 8, respectively.

Chelsey Henry led Neosho with 14 points.

Neosho dropped its second straight game after opening the season 3-0.

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