The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 28, 2012

Cardinal, Tiger girls to play in separate title games

By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer

NEOSHO, Mo. — Webb City and Carthage advanced to separate girls championship games by completing three-day sweeps Friday in the Neosho Holiday Classic at Neosho Middle School.

Webb City used a 24-point second quarter to get past Springdale (Ark.) 63-46, while Carthage quickly took control in an 82-43 victory against Forrest City (Ark.).

Carthage will face Pierce City in the Gold Division championship game at 4 p.m. today, followed by Webb City against Bentonville (Ark.) for the Black Division championship at 5:30 p.m. Both games will be at Neosho High School.

Bentonville, the two-time defending tournament champion, outlasted Pierce City 51-30. Krishna Merriman led Pierce City with 12 points.

Webb City guard Mikaela Burgess sank four 3-pointers against Springdale and led the Cardinals (10-2) with 20 points. Casey Heger had two 3-pointers among her 14 points, and Megan Heman and Desirea Buerge each had nine points.

“We came out and shot well in the first half,” said Webb City head coach Brad Shorter. “Our kids got after it and rebounded. Our kids beat a good team.

“Springdale brings a lot of speed to the game,” he said. “They’re a tough team to guard. They can put you in a mismatch situation, but we can put them in a mismatch situation, too.”

Webb City’s second-quarter surge gave the Cardinals a 38-19 halftime lead.

Jayvonda Daniels led Springdale with 12 points and teammate Brittany Jurgens scored 11 points.

Carthage (10-1) made quick work of Forrest City with defensive pressure that resulted in a series of layups. Carthage built a 21-2 lead in 5 1/2 minutes.

“Definitely, we wanted to come out and play our game, dictate the pace of the game,” said Carthage head coach Jim Moore. “We got several easy buckets early and just took off from there.”

Senior guard Chloe Shepherd led Carthage with 22 points. Vanessa Pawlak scored 21 points, including three 3-pointers, and Quincy Charleston scored 12 points. Carthage’s reserve players combined had 21 points.

“I’ve really been pleased with our bench play,” Moore said. “Those girls have been stepping right in. I think that bodes well down the stretch.”

In consolation round games today at Neosho Middle School, McDonald County will play Forrest City at 10 a.m., Neosho will play Purdy at 11:30 a.m., Seneca will face Van Buren at 1 p.m. and East Newton will play Springdale at 2:30 p.m.

Seneca, 5-5, outscored Purdy 18-2 in the second quarter of their game Friday and defeated the Eagles 50-41. Mollie Cooper led the Indians with 11 points, including three 3-pointers.

“We had a great team effort in the second quarter,” said Seneca head coach Bob Coffey. “I thought it was two evenly matched teams, but our bench gave us a strong lift in the second quarter.”

East Newton, 6-5, overcame a sluggish first half and defeated McDonald County 47-24 in a game East Newton led 15-8 at halftime. Whitney Thomlinson led the Patriots with 14 points.

“In the second half, we played closer to our potential,” said East Newton head coach Marty Rinehart. “Defensively, we made a pretty good effort.”