By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
WEBB CITY, Mo. —
Webb City coach Landon Cornish made it clear he wasn’t happy with his team’s previous performance against Springfield Central on Tuesday.
Despite it being a lopsided victory, Cornish told his players that he wanted to see more intensity and emotion in the next game.
Out of the gate, it was obvious the Cardinals were paying attention.
Webb City (12-3) opened by scoring the first 15 points and cruised to a 63-50 homecoming win against the Rogersville Wildcats on Friday night.
“(Coach) really challenged us at practice this week,” Webb City senior post Kohl Slaughter said. “We knew Rogersville was going to be pretty good. So I think we had to come out early and match the tempo. We came out really going and really playing hard. We got on them early and took the momentum away from them.”
The Cardinals forced the Wildcats into three early turnovers and kept their jump shooters from getting into rhythm.
“I definitely think our focus, our intensity, our passion was there,” Cornish said. “Our guys came out and said they we’re going to lock down. The first quarter defensive effort was unbelievable. They were everywhere and we’re on everything.
“They shoot the ball really well. We talked about that when you speed up jump shooters, their shots tend not to go in as much. We pressured the perimeter and made those shots hard. We flew at them and contested shots.”
Rogersville (6-7) didn’t score until the 1:20 mark of the first quarter when Corbin Medley made a 3-pointer to make it a 15-3 game.
The Tigers matched the Cardinals 13-13 in the second quarter.
Behind 19 points from Medley, 16 from Justus Boever and a strong night at the free-throw line, the Wildcats were able to keep the game within reach. However, Rogersville couldn’t get any closer than an eight-point deficit.
“Their athleticism bothered us,” Rogersville coach Rod Gorman said. “We kind of thrive off our offense and they bothered us early. We didn’t make shots early, and we need to make shots to be successful.”
Webb City senior Phoenix Johnson led the Cardinals with 19 points. Slaughter scored 17, while posting double digits in rebounds. John Roderique added 12 points.
The Cardinals will play in the Bolivar Tournament on Wednesday.
Webb City girls 67, Skyline 48
The Cardinals used a 26-point third quarter to pull away from the Skyline Tigers.
Trailing 32-31 at halftime, Webb City made some adjustments to limit a Skyline team that made six 3-pointers in the first half.
The impact was immediate as the Cardinals opened the third quarter on a 12-4 run.
“I thought we were playing pretty hard in the first half, but they were just making shots,” Webb City coach Brad Shorter said. “We came out and tried not to help as much inside and guard out on the perimeter.”
Webb City (13-3) finished the third quarter with a 57-43 lead.
“I told the girls that Skyline shoots the ball really well,” Shorter said. “They got three losses on the year and they’re all to Class 4 and Class 5 teams. So they’re a really good team.”
It was a 3-point contest in the first half as two teams combined for 10 behind the arc. However, Webb City limited Skyline to only one more 3-pointer in the second half. The Cardinals, meanwhile, finished the game with eight treys.
Sophomore post Desirea Buerge led the Cardinals with 22 points.
“She’s an animal inside, and we used her really well,” Shorter said. “She does a lot of things for us.”
Mikaela Burgess and Kaitlin Beason scored 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Ashley Bishop led the Tigers with 15 points.
The Cardinals will travel to face McDonald County on Monday.