By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
In Tuesday night’s victory against Lebanon, Joplin senior post Abe Hueller recorded 19 points and 14 rebounds. This time, it was Adam St. Peter’s turn to take charge inside.
St. Peter scored 30 points — 24 in the second half — and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead Joplin to a 60-46 win against Camdenton on Friday night at Missouri Southern’s Robert Ellis Young Gymnasium.
“That’s the way our big guys work,” Joplin coach Jeff Williams said. “With Abe (Hueller), St. Peter and Tucker (Wallace), they all can have big nights. And they all work together. They don’t care which one gets the credit.”
The play of the Eagles’ big men has helped propel them to 8-3 overall and 2-0 in the Ozark Conference.
“It’s a great start,” St. Peter said. “We wouldn’t want it any other way. We want to build off each game. If we keep getting better, it can be a great season for us.”
Joplin built a 25-18 halftime lead by going 5-for-9 from 3-point range. In the second half, the Eagles wanted to look inside first.
St. Peter converted a three-point play and two inside baskets, and Hueller also scored down low as Joplin opened the second half with a 9-2 run to go up 34-20 with 5:16 remaining in the third quarter.
After a basket by Camdenton’s John Hyde and a free throw by Bobby Johnson, the Eagles countered with an 8-0 run behind five more points from St. Peter and a three-point play by Charlie Brown. The scoring burst gave Joplin a 42-23 advantage at the 3:15 mark of the third quarter.
“They have some big bodies, and it’s tough once they get going to the basket,” Camdenton coach Kenny Ash said. “It was a tough matchup for us. Quick isn’t always quick, but big is always big.”
Joplin outrebounded the Lakers 32-21, including 21-10 in the second half. Ten of St. Peter’s 13 boards came in the second half.
With most of his attempts coming from point-blank range, St. Peter was 14-for-17 from the field.
“He had a heck of a night for us,” Williams said. “But you have to give a lot of the credit to our guys getting him the ball.”
Brown scored 15 points and dished out five assists for the Eagles. Connor McCord, who made two 3-pointers in the first half, scored eight.
Joplin’s defense kept Kullen Carlock, who had been leading Camdenton with more than 20 points per game, in check with 15. After scoring eight in the first quarter, Carlock was scoreless in the second when Joplin started to build a lead.
Ryan Elliott and Hyde added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Lakers (6-9, 0-3 Ozark).
Joplin will play at Neosho on Tuesday before competing in the Ralph Miller Classic at Chanute, which starts Thursday.
The Eagles will look to keep improving before conference play resumes.
“It means a lot,” Williams said of starting the league 2-0 a year after winning only one conference game. “We’re getting stronger in conference. We feel like if we play defense like we’re capable of playing, we can compete with anybody.”