The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

February 21, 2014

Beason's late scoring burst sparks Webb City

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City senior Kaitlin Beason scored eight points in the game’s final three minutes as the Cardinals held on to defeat Nixa 59-50 Thursday night in a Central Ozarks Conference Large Division game.

After Webb City (19-4, 5-1 COC Large) squandered a 14-point lead in the third quarter, the Eagles (17-8, 4-2) took a 47-45 lead off a pull-up jumper by Toshua Leavitt with 4:21 left.

Webb City’s Mikaela Burgess hit a pair of free throws to knot the game at 47.

Then Beason took over.

Off a screen, Beason drilled a 3-pointer to give the Cardinals a 50-47 lead with 2:58 remaining. Soon after, the Cardinals ran another screen for Beason at the top of the key. This time, Beason faked the shot and drove the lane to give Webb City a 52-47 lead with 2:00 left. The senior, who finished with 16 points, followed by making 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch.

“Coach (Walter) Resa suggested we call that play,” Webb City head coach Brad Shorter said. “That was a great call by him at a perfect time. Kaitlin stepped up and hit the 3-pointer off the back screen the first time. At the timeout we said we were going to run it again, and I told her they were going to close in tight on you, so you should have a good lane to the basket.”

Burgess, who led all scorers with 28 points, scored 19 in the first half to help Webb City take a 36-23 halftime lead.

A Beason 3-pointer gave the Cardinals a 39-25 lead with 6:12 left in the third quarter.

Nixa countered with a 22-6 run. Leavitt, who scored 14 of her team-high 19 points in the second half, hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 45 with 5:27 left.

“They’re a great team,” Shorter said. “You have to expect them to make a charge, and they did.”

Nixa coach Jennifer Perryman said defense was the key in the second half.

“We got a lot of heart,” Perryman said. “We did a better job on Burgess in the second half. We gave up 19 to her in the first half, and that’s too much. We were more aggressive and did a better job on her in the second half.”

Beason said the Cardinals need to do a better job of closing teams out after gaining a big lead.

“We need to keep our intensity up,” she said. “We need to do a better job of moving the ball around and playing as a team.”

Several players stepped up for Webb City beyond points in the box score. Shorter pointed out strong defensive efforts by Beason and Megan Heman, as well as smart play by junior post Desirea Buerge.

The 6-foot Buerge, who is Webb City’s only player taller than 5-8, picked up her fourth foul in the third quarter. Needing her presence inside, Shorter put Buerge back in to start the fourth quarter. Buerge played the entire fourth quarter without fouling.

“They made their run while she was out of the game,” Shorter said. “We needed her rebounding ability, her ability to score and all of the things she does.

“She did a nice job of not putting herself in a position to where she could pick up a foul.”

Webb City will be at home Monday against Neosho.

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