The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

January 18, 2014

Carl Junction doesn't intend to share Big 8 Conference basketball title again

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Carl Junction captured the Big 8 Conference crown in football this past fall. Now, the Bulldogs are looking for an outright title in basketball after sharing the conference title with Seneca and Mount Vernon the past two seasons.

Carl Junction (6-3, 2-0 Big 8) is off to a nice start as it earned a 55-43 win against the Seneca Indians (7-6, 0-1) on Friday night at Carl Junction High School.

“We’ve tied in each of the last two years,” said Carl Junction senior Matt Magee, who led the Bulldogs with 12 points. “Us seniors got together before the season and we made a goal that we want to win it by ourselves this year.”

The Bulldogs held off Seneca’s potent outside attack. The Indians made nine 3-pointers, which helped them keep getting back in the game.

“They’d hit a big 3, but we never panicked,” Carl Junction coach Kyle Williams said. “It seemed like every time they did, we were able to respond.”

Bradley Jumper hit two 3-pointers in the first minute to give Seneca a 6-0 lead. Carl Junction rallied with eight first-quarter points from Magee and then took the lead for good early in the second quarter.

However, Seneca’s outside shooting always kept things interesting.

Tyrell Hembree hit a 3-pointer to cut Carl Junction’s lead to 19-16 with 3:46 left in the first quarter. A three-point play by Aaron Nelson, a driving bucket by Magee and a free throw from Logan Jolly helped the Bulldogs extend the lead to 25-18.

Hembree opened the second half with a 3-pointer to make it 25-23.

Carl Junction pulled the lead back to 41-32 late in the third quarter, but Seth Harris answered with a trey to make it 41-35 to start the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run, but two more 3-pointers by Jumper kept Seneca within striking distance at 49-43 with 2:26 left.

Carl Junction held Seneca scoreless the rest of the way.

“They hit nine 3-pointers, and we were able to hold them to 43 points,” Williams said. “That was exceptional defense.”

Cody Vogt, Gaige Crockett and Aaron Nelson each scored 10 points for Carl Junction. Dustin Satterlee added nine.

Jumper led the Indians with 12 points. Chance Smith scored 10.

Seneca coach Will King said he is expecting an extremely competitive conference.

“Our conference is pretty loaded,” he said. “I think the Big 8 is as tough as it’s been in several years.”

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