The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

January 11, 2014

Harris sparks Statesmen past Joplin

Webster Groves reserve Stephen Harris entered the Kaminsky Classic averaging about 6 points per game.

However, it was Harris who helped the Statesmen pull away in the second half and defeat the Joplin Eagles 75-48 in the tournament’s championship game Saturday at Missouri Southern’s Robert Ellis Young Gymnasium.

Harris scored 18 of his team-high 22 points in the second half, and 16 of the Statesmen’s 18 points in the third quarter. The win gave Webster Groves (9-2) its ninth overall and third consecutive Kaminsky Classic title.

“We knew he was going to be one of their keys,” Joplin coach Jeff Williams said. “We thought he was one of their best players, because he’s so active and we didn’t have an answer.”

Joplin senior guard Charlie Brown, who scored a game-high 24 points, hit two 3-pointers in the game’s first minute to help the Eagles take an 8-0 lead. Joplin held the lead until midway through the second quarter and trailed only 32-29 at halftime.

“We knew Joplin was going to come out with a lot of energy,” Webster Groves coach Jay Blossom said. “We get down 0-8, and I’m really proud with how our kids responded.”

Harris scored Webster Groves’ first 16 points of the third quarter, helping extend the lead to 48-33 with about a minute left in the period. Harris converted two three-point plays, scored four inside baskets and one drive to the hoop. Joplin (7-3) had a difficult time blocking out the 6-foot-2 long-armed junior with good leaping ability.

“He’s got that great length,” Blossom said. “He’s hard to defend when he gets going.”

Webster Groves outscored Joplin 43-19 in the second half. The Statesmen shot 65.4 percent from the field in the second half and held Joplin to 29.4 percent from the field.

“Webster Groves is good,” Williams said. “Webster Groves is the type of team I think we can be. Our team has to be able to step up to the challenge against teams like this. We talked about the need to be able to finish games. We’re getting ready to start conference play, and we’re going to need to be able to do that.”

Jace Braker added 11 points for Joplin. Brown and Braker were named to the all-tournament team. Brown earned the honor all four years. Harris, Sam Craig and Alex Floresca all earned the honor for Webster Groves.

Joplin opens Ozark Conference play at Camdenton on Friday.

Jefferson City 58, Word of Life 46

After Thursday’s win against William Chrisman, Jefferson City coach Blair Thompson referred to his 6-foot-6 forward, O.G. Anunoby, as a matchup problem.

You can say that again.

Anunoby capped a strong three-day performance at the Kaminsky Classic, contributing 17 points and nine rebounds to beat Word of Life in the third-place game.

Anunoby, who has drawn interest from such NCAA Division I schools as Missouri, Kansas State and Iowa State, finished the three-game tournament with 77 points. He scored the majority of his points inside, but also hit nine 3-pointers. Anunoby represented Jefferson City on the all-tournament team.

“He’s just scratching the surface at how good he could be,” Thompson said. “I don’t know if he even realizes it yet. As his body matures, he’s just going to get better.”

Jefferson City (7-6) limited Word of Life (2-7) to 29.4 percent from the field.

Three players scored in double figures for Word of Life. Luka Radosevic led with 11 points, while Antwane Hicks and McKale Crawford had 10 each.

Francis Howell 64, William Chrisman 55

Francis Howell’s Nic Perkins recorded 21 points and nine rebounds as the Vikings defeated the William Chrisman Bears for fifth place.

Perkins, a 6-foot-3 senior center who has committed to play baseball at Ole Miss, was 9-for-12 from the field and good on his only 3-point attempt. Perkins was named to the all-tournament team for the second consecutive year.

Sam Hefner added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Vikings.

Francis Howell (7-5) shot 61.4 percent from the field, while limiting William Chrisman (5-5) to 39.1 percent.

Chris Horn led the Bears with 16 points, while Ka’Ron Manor contributed 12.

Neosho finished seventh place with a forfeit victory against Vashon. The St. Louis team forfeited all three of its tournament games because of weather conditions.

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