The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 2, 2012

Webb City girls win CJ tourney

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — With 5 minutes and 20 seconds left in the third quarter, the Webb City Cardinals were forced to sit their point guard and eventual tournament MVP Mikaela Burgess with four fouls.

However, the Cardinals held a seven-point lead when Burgess left the game and were able to maintain that lead when she returned to open the fourth quarter. The effort by the Cardinals over that stretch helped propel them to a 51-43 win over the Carthage Tigers on Saturday in the championship game of the Mercy Sportscare CJ Classic.

“Mikaela is a huge player for us, but all of our kids are,” Webb City coach Brad Shorter said. “We got into some bad foul trouble. When that happens, you’re forcing kids into positions they don’t want to play necessarily. But I thought our kids just did a good job of hanging tight.”

Webb City (3-0) 32-25 when Burgess was called for a charging foul with 5:20 left in the third.

With Burgess out of the game, sophomore Desirea Buerge took over a lot of the ballhandling duties and helped the Cardinals go on a 6-0 run to go up 38-25 and then hold on for a 38-31 lead to enter the fourth quarter.

Carthage cut Webb City’s lead to as little as 40-35 with 6:22 left, but the Cardinals then used a free throw and an inside bucket from Buerge, a jumper from Burgess and an inside basket from Casey Heger to go on a 7-0 run and extend the lead to 47-35.

The Cardinals held on in an extremely fast-paced and physical game.

“It was very physical,” Shorter said. “I kind of thought it was the Webb City and Carthage football game. It was two teams wanting to win a championship, so they’re going to get after it and play as hard as they can.”

Heger led the Cardinals with 14 points, while Buerge scored 12 and Burgess had 10.

The Tigers were led by 10 points from junior guard Leigh Ann Craig. Senior guard Chloe’ Shepherd and junior guard Vanessa Pawlak scored nine points each for Carthage.

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