The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

February 1, 2014

Republic wins tourney; Dragons clip Eagles

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Republic won the championship at the expense of the host and Pittsburg subdued Joplin in overtime for consolation as the Carthage Lady Tigers Classic wound up Saturday.

Republic, which won Missouri Class 4 in 2011-12 but had no starters returning from last season’s 25-2 edition, pulled away in the second half to handle Carthage 71-47 in a clash of Central Ozark Conference Large Division members.

Joplin’s Bailey Taylor nailed two free throws with 41.2 seconds remaining in regulation for a 2-point lead. But Pittsburg’s Bethanne Elliott sank a tying pair at 25.7 — on Taylor’s fifth personal — and the Dragons cruised in the overtime for a 55-46 victory.

The event, a round robin, was the revival of a tournament some 15 years old but it was the first in the new Carthage gym.

The sweep of the three games left Republic 14-4 and solidified coach Kris Flood’s belief that perhaps the Tigers, although young, might challenge for Class 4 supremacy this season. Flood did not start a senior against Carthage.

Republic ironically entered the tourney with back-to-back losses — a 1-point decision to Marshfield and 3-pointer to Sullivam.

Three players scored in double figures for Republic against Carthage — 5-foot-10 junior Michayla Shanks, 5-9 sophomore Brooke Stanfield and 5-5 sophomore Jordan Kabetske.

Carthage (7-12), which trailed 31-24 at the half, received 21 points from 5-9 sophomore Maya Williams. Sophomore guard Emma Charleston sank three treys.

Said Carthage coach Jim Moore: “Obviously, I don’t like losing. But I’m very satisfied. Our girls battled. We’re taking steps to improve. We’re accepting the challenge. We’re so young.”

Pittsburg’s Mercedes Vogel, a 5-4 senior, opened the scoring in the overtime and the Dragons were ahead for good.

Katie Phalen, a 5-7 senior, had four of the 12 Pittsburg points in the extra four minutes. Joplin managed just three free throws.

Said Joplin coach Dustin Larsen: “We struggled throughout the game with our decision-making. We needed to be more patient and we should have had better shot selections at times. We had good defensive focus late in the game.”

Pittsburg took a  40-34 lead at 5:17 in the fourth quarter on a 3-point play by 5-7 junior Katy Short.

But Joplin quickly got back in the game on two free throws by 5-5 senior Kelsey Johnson and a 3-point play by 6-1 classmate Danielle Hollingshead.

The Eagles’ Lexi Sohosky, a freshman guard, notched two free throws at 1:18 for a 41-40 advantage. The Eagles’ Bethanne Elliott, a 5-10 senior, sank a charity to tie it a 41.

That set the stage for the late heroics by Taylor and Elliott that produced the overtime.

Kim Peterson-O’Bray’s Dragons (4-8) received 14 points from Phalen. She started the game with nine Dragon points.

Joplin (7-11), also balanced in scoring, got 14 points from  5-9 junior Taylor.

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