SPRINGFIELD, Mo. —
The Webb City Cardinals are bound for Columbia.
Webb City’s girls basketball team defeated the Sullivan Eagles 55-39 in the MSHSAA Class 4 quarterfinals on Saturday at Drury University. The Cardinals will play Smithville in the semifinals at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
“It means everything to us,” said Webb City junior forward Casey Heger, who posted a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. “We started the season unsure, not having any seniors, but we’ve come together and we’re playing as a team. We’re real excited.”
The Cardinals (24-5) overcame a slow start. Sullivan (24-5) jumped out to a 7-0 lead after Aleyssia Lucas scored twice inside and Demi Reed hit a 3-pointer.
“We just didn’t come out with the intensity that we had in the games before,” Webb City junior Kaitlin Beason said. “We were kind of flat, and we knew that. In the huddle, Coach Shorter said, ‘You got to get fired up.’ And we did. We answered.”
The Eagles still led 17-10 when Megan Brandt scored on a putback with 4:10 left in the first half.
Webb City answered with a 13-2 run to take a 23-19 lead into halftime. Heger started the run with a short jumper and a 3-pointer that both came after offensive rebounds.
Webb City coach Brad Shorter said he didn’t want the momentum to end, so he kept the team’s time in the locker room brief.
“That was an important part of the game,” Shorter said. “We talked as a coaching staff making sure that we got back on the floor, because we had the momentum. We didn’t want to stay in there and then come out and start again. We wanted to keep shooting and keep that momentum and ride it. That was big. The kids did a good job of focusing and making some baskets.”
The strategy seemed to work as Webb City freshman guard Lexey Kneib opened the third quarter with a pair of 3-pointers and Mikaela Burgess followed with another trey to stretch the Cardinal lead to 32-22.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals were playing exceptional defense, preventing Sullivan from making a field goal over a nine-minute stretch. Reed scored on a driving bucket to take a 19-17 lead with 2:08 left in the second quarter. The Eagles didn’t make another field goal until Lucas scored inside with 1:08 remaining in the third quarter. By that time, Webb City led 39-26.
“Their objective was trying to pound it inside,” Shorter said. “That is a very fundamentally sound basketball team. What I wanted our kids to understand was to box out, get the rebound and not give them second chances. In the first half, I felt like they got a lot of second chances we didn’t have to let them have. We came out on fire in the third quarter because we were playing to win.”
The Cardinals held Sullivan to 15 of 57 shooting (26.3 percent) for the game.
“They’re big and strong,” Sullivan coach Jason Merkel said. “Sometimes we’re able to kind of grind it out and get some things going in the paint. We weren’t able to do that very well. Plus, a lot of shots weren’t falling. We were pretty dismal shooting it.”
The shots were falling for Webb City as it made 10 of 19 shots in the second half.
Burgess led Webb City with 13 points. Desirea Buerge contributed nine, and Beason and Kneib scored eight each. Lucas led Sullivan with 15 points.
Webb City now must get ready for Smithville (25-4), which beat Notre Dame de Sion 44-43 on Saturday. The Cardinals are now two wins away from a state title.
“You can’t be happy with just getting there,” Shorter said. “If you’re happy with just getting there, you’re going home with fourth. We want to go up there with a mission. Our No. 1 goal this year was to win a state championship. A lot of people I don’t think put us in this position, but sometimes this time of year chips fall where they may. We’re playing well, and hopefully we can keep it up for another week.”
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. —
The Webb City Cardinals are bound for Columbia.
- Top Stories
Donations helping JHS music programs rebuild after tornado
Building a repertoire for the Joplin School District’s orchestra program is a challenge for Kylee VanHorn. “Every time I get on the Internet and look at the music sites, there are so many pieces I want to purchase, and I just don’t have the money,” VanHorn said.
MSSU board approves settlement agreement with fired president
Bruce Speck, whose contract as president of Missouri Southern State University was terminated last week, will receive the equivalent of a year’s salary as well as housing and health insurance benefits through the end of the year.
Former Jasper County official's sentencing slated today in fraud charges
Rita Hunter, former Jasper County public administrator, is to be sentenced today in federal court in Springfield. Hunter, who held office from January 2005 through December 2008, pleaded guilty last November to document fraud, a charge related to illegal obtaining of federal benefits.
Defendant chooses not to testify in Miami murder trial
Donna Shirley testified Wednesday that Dustin Boggs had blood all over his hands and clothes when she encountered him in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store the afternoon Danyel Borden was killed.
Pevely woman wins $1M Powerball prize
An eastern Missouri woman is the winner of a $1 million Powerball prize.
Proposal would reduce 20th Street to two lanes
A design proposal that would convert much of 20th Street into two lanes instead of four from Main Street to Campbell Parkway to make room for streetscape and green features did not draw much public support on Tuesday.
Local runners show support for Boston in cross-country relay
After completing the Boston Marathon on April 15, Ashleigh Beyersdorfer made her way through the throngs of runners to retrieve the bag she had checked in and was on her way to meet up with her family when she heard the explosions.
MSSU board to complete terms of president’s departure
The Board of Governors of Missouri Southern State University will meet Wednesday to complete the terms of the agreement that terminated President Bruce Speck’s contract, board Chairwoman Sherry Buchanan said.
Bruce Speck to receive equivalent of year’s salary under settlement in MSSU departure
The departing president of Missouri Southern State University, Bruce Speck, will receive the equivalent of a year’s salary as well as housing and health care benefits through the end of the year.
Swimmers join worldwide effort to try for world record
A group of youngsters was part of a worldwide attempt Tuesday to set a record for the world’s largest swimming lesson.
- More Top Stories Headlines
- Donations helping JHS music programs rebuild after tornado