By Anvil Welch
Globe Staff Writer
JOPLIN, Mo. —
The Carl Junction girls junior varsity and the Springfield Catholic boys reigned on Saturday in the annual McAuley Catholic Warrior Classic.
Carl Junction beat Miller 67-52 and Springfield Catholic, repeating, finished 3-0 in the boys round robin by defeating the host Warriors 51-36.
In other girls games, College Heights Christian beat Exeter 27-20 for third place and McAuley turned back Wheaton 33-24 for fifth.
The boys standings, following Springfield Catholic, were 2-1 for Carl Junction B, 1-2 for McAuley and 0-3 for College Heights.
The Irish, leading 22-19, opened the third period with the first 10 points to take control.
“We finally made some shots,” Catholic coach Tony Armstrong said. “Will Hennessey, a senior, really shot the ball well for us throughout the game.
“I believe McAuley struggled with our box-and-1 defense against No. 21 (sophomore guard Shaw Robertson).” Armstrong said.
Armstrong, Aurors High School/Missouri State graduate who’s returned to southwest Missouri after several years coaching in the Kansas City area, believes the Irish have won 6 of 8 games in climbing to 10-12.
“It’s been a learning experience,” Armstrong said. “It’s been more about me understanding them.”
A Tyler Johnson trey and a Tyler Ast layup opened the scoring for the Irish in the second half. Hennessey drilled a trey and Brayton Ballenger produced a steal and layup to cap the surge.
Shaw Robertson ended the Warriors’ third-quarter scoring drought with a basket with about three minutes left.
“We didn’t have a good week (in going 1-2 in the classic),” McAuley coach Randy Robertson said. “We didn’t play well. We ran up against a couple of teams that wanted to win more than we did.
“Actually, it wasn’t a pretty display of basketball for either team,” Robertson said. “We missed easy shots. We didn’t rebound. We didn’t shoot.”
Hennessey finished with six treys, and Ballenger scored 13 points.
Cole Lowry and Shaw Robertson each tallied 12 for McAuley (9-12).
Carl Junction girls, 67-52
A 23-13 scoring advantage in the second quarter — padding a 13-11 lead after one — paved the way for Mandy Lybeck’s fledgling Class 4 Bulldogs.
“We gave up a big second quarter,” Class 2 Miller coach Cleveland Williams said. “They put us down by eight points at the half.
“They were aggressive. They were deeper. They had good fundamentals. They got after us,” Williams said. “I’m very proud of the way we played. We battled in the second half. We hung with them.”
Said Lybeck: “I’m very pleased. Our players responded after not playing that well on Friday night. We didn’t execute the way we wanted.
“We had good bench play, too. Taylor (Beck) certainly provided a spark.”
The Bulldogs received 18 points from impressive freshman forward Lindsey Showalter and 17 from junior Beck.
Jessica McAdams was a force for the Cardinals by working the inside for 28 points.
College Heights CHRISTIAN, 27-20
A 14-7 advantage in the second quarter gave the Cougars an 18-10 halftime lead and was the key against Jason Cole’s Tigers.
“The girls were sensational on defense,” CHC coach John Blankenship said. “That’s our best effort on defense this season. Rebounding was another key.”
Exeter rallied within four points in the fourth quarter at 21-17 with six minutes before the Cougars, after a Tiger miss from the field, built a safe lead starting with two Kirsty Green free throws at 4:50.
Bri Shores’ trey and 2-pointer for the Cougars snapped a 7-7 deadlock in the second quarter. Green hit two more 3s for the halftime lead.
Green finished with 10 points, 2 steals and 2 assists. Shores had eight points and six caroms and Brogan Ward snagged nine rebounds.
Rayanna Fare scored six points to pace Exeter.
The Warriors, fueled by Victoria Foley’s three treys, led 15-4 after the first quarter against Jason Webb’s Bulldogs.
“That win — our fourth — doubles our total of last season,” Warrior coach Greg Wilks said. “It was a good start. We usually do well when Victoria hits a couple.
“I thought we also played well on defense (a 3-2 zone),” Wilks said. “The kids — all of them — were working and hustling.”
Foley, a senior, finished with 15 points in hitting her first three casts from 3. Freshman Jera Prewitt tallied nine for Wheaton.