The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

December 21, 2013

Seneca clips Joplin for third place in resumption of Carthage tourney

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Seneca sank four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including three in a row, and defeated Joplin 61-48 for third place Saturday in the Carthage Invitational.

Rogers (Ark.) Heritage defeated Springfield Central 60-52 in the championship game, and Neosho defeated Carthage 59-54 for seventh place.

Neither Seneca nor Joplin was at full strength. Seneca played without 6-foot-3 senior Chance Smith, who is nursing an ankle injury, while Joplin at times was without leading scorer Charlie Brown, who left the game with an injury in the first half and was limited by foul trouble in the second half.

Seneca guards Bradley Jumper, Tyrell Hembree and Seth Harris, all seniors, combined to score 48 points, including eight 3-pointers.

“When you have three guards who can shoot, it’s hard to defend all three at the same time,” said Jumper, who scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half. “Our defense helped that. Good defense leads to good offense.”

Joplin went on a 7-0 run to pull within 47-44 with 5 minutes, 23 seconds remaining. Seneca responded with consecutive 3-pointers by Harris, Hembree and Jumper and led 56-44 with four minutes to go.

“That was the summation of our night,” said Joplin head coach Jeff Williams. “We were coming off an emotional game (a 56-39 victory Friday night at Webb City). It wasn’t the way we wanted to go into Christmas. We didn’t have the intensity we needed.”

After Seneca’s three 3-pointers, Brown committed an offensive foul and fouled out with 3:51 remaining.

“Elias Roelfsema’s defense was amazing on Charlie Brown,” said Seneca head coach Will King said. “Charlie Brown is a phenomenal player. Our team defense was a big key. (Isaac) Guyer took two charges. I just can’t say enough about them.”

Joplin led for most of the first half until Roelfsema’s two free throws gave the Indians a 23-21 lead with 2:34 left. Seneca led 27-25 at halftime.

The Indians scored the first nine points of the second half and held Joplin scoreless for four minutes until a field goal by Damian Campbell.

Brown was called for an offensive foul, his fourth, with 4.9 seconds left in the third quarter. Still, the Eagles scored twice on offensive rebounds early in the fourth quarter and trailed 47-44 with 5.23 to go.

“Basketball is a game of runs. That’s just how basketball happens,” King said. “Joplin can make runs, too. I knew the lead wasn’t safe.”

Keiondre Adams, who led Joplin with 18 points, scored on an offensive rebound with 2:54 remaining that cut Seneca’s lead to 58-48, but the Indians sealed the victory at the free-throw line. Seneca made 11 of 15 free throws while Joplin was six of 12 at the line.

“We can’t ever panic,” said Harris, who led Seneca with 20 points. “We have too many guys to go to. It’s just about being smart.”

Darrian Guillory led Neosho with points. The Wildcats outscored Carthage 18-9 in the first quarter and led 30-20 at halftime. Anthony Turk was Carthage’s leading scorer with 10 points.

Seneca will play next on Friday, Jan. 3 at Nevada, while Joplin will play on Monday, Jan. 6 at Pittsburg (Kan.).

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