The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

February 28, 2014

Vikings' heroics spoil senior night for Joplin

Springfield Parkview spoiled “Senior Night” for the Joplin boys in stunning fashion on Thursday night in a makeup Ozark Conference game in Robert Ellis Young Gymnasium at Missouri Southern State University.

Junior guard Autry Acord, who scored 31 points, sank two free throws with 6.4 seconds left for a one-point lead before stealing the ball at midcourt and feeding 6-foot-8 classmate Zach Cameron-Chodes for a dunk at the buzzer for a 56-53 final.

Senior guard Charlie Brown’s trey had given Joplin a 53-52 lead with 18 seconds remaining.

“We’ve been putting on entertaining games but we’ve been coming up a little short,” Joplin coach Jeff Williams said.

Joplin (12-13, 3-6) and Parkview (13-11, 4-5) resume in the Class 5 District 12 Tournament at Willard. Joplin, seeded fourth, faces Neosho at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Second-seeded Parkview and No. 3 Springfield Central are scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the five-team event.

Added Williams: “They (the Vikings) made clutch free throws. I was hoping we’d get the game into overtime. I thought we could get them. It seems like we weren’t able to get a break.

“It was a great high school game,” Williams said. “I’m so proud of the effort by our guys.”

Said Viking coach Bill Brown: “Charlie Brown is a heck of a player. Joplin has improved and the players around Charlie have improved. That was a tremendous game. Our guy, Acord, is a junior and 6-1 like Charlie.”

Charlie Brown, who tallied 26, and Acord each sank five 3s.

Brown, who appeared to cry during the pregame ceremony, hiked his career points total to 1,847.

Other senior players, manager Jeremiah Brown (Charlie’s brother) and cheerleaders also were recognized. Other senior players: Keiondre Adams, Spencer Layne and Dillon McVay.

Parkview took a 44-39 lead early in the fourth period before the Eagles quickly caught up and the game became a see-saw struggle.

Adams’ quick hands — resulting in several steals — and the scoring of Brown sparked the Eagles in the final quarter. They split the Eagles’ 16 points.

Acord’s trey boosted the Vikings ahead 52-50 with 44.5 left. The Eagles called time at 26.9, they came out of it and Brown promptly delivered from out on top.

Parkview needed to move the ball the length of the floor. The ball was inbounded to Acord — much to the dismay of the Joplin fans —and he kept it. His backing in eventually picked up the foul and he cleanly nailed the free throws.

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