WEBB CITY, Mo. — Terrell Kabala hadn’t suited up for the Webb City boys basketball team since the end of his freshman campaign in March of 2017.
On Tuesday night, Kabala looked anything but rusty.
A versatile junior guard who missed all of last season because of a knee injury, Kabala scored 18 points to lead Webb City to a convincing 69-42 victory over Lamar in nonconference action inside the Cardinal Dome.
“That was the best thing ever,” Kabala said. “I was smiling the whole game. I missed it.”
Webb City coach Jason Horn noted Kabala was thrilled to be back on the hardwood.
“He had a great game,” Horn said. “He was excited, but he didn’t get caught up in the moment. He kept a level head. We’re just really happy to have him back. He’s a great kid, and he gives us a different dynamic. His conditioning isn’t quite there, and some of those shots he missed around the rim he’ll make in a couple of weeks.”
Kabala scored 11 points in the first half, converting a number of steals into layups the other way while also knocking down a pair of treys.
“I think I played solid, but I could have done better,” Kabala said, noting some fouls. “I think our team’s performance was outstanding.”
Junior guard Tanner Rogers added 16 points for Webb City, knocking down four 3-pointers.
“Tanner shoots it really well and he’s put in a lot of time in the gym,” Horn said. “We’re going to count on him to spread the defense out.”
Junior guard Austin Bash also reached double figures for Webb City with 12 points.
In its season opener, Webb City hit 11 3-pointers. According to Horn, that’s the second-most made 3-pointers in program history.
A 6-foot-5 senior forward, Truman Kaderly led the Tigers with 12 points, including a couple of dunks, while senior guard Landon Hardman added nine points.
Webb City led 15-7 after one period of play, but the Cardinals sped up the game and started the second quarter on a 14-2 burst, capped by a Kabala 3-pointer.
Lamar responded with an 8-0 run, but the Cardinals led 30-18 at intermission.
With good ball movement and hot shooting, the Cardinals used an 11-2 run in the third quarter to take a 41-20 advantage, with Rogers drilling three 3-pointers during the surge.
Kabala’s hoop in transition gave the Cardinals a 48-27 lead late in the third period.
“We were able to get into transition, and I thought our guys did a good job of running the floor,” Horn said. “We were active on defense early. Overall, I was really happy with our effort.”
With four key performers back from last year’s team that won 17 games — J.D. Bishop, Travis Bailey, Hardman and Kaderly — the Tigers entered the night with three games under their belt after going 2-1 at the Dennis Cornish Classic.
“We had a lot of turnovers and our transition defense wasn’t great,” first-year Lamar coach Matt Powell said. “Both teams are in the same boat. We haven’t had a lot of practices. There were some positives for us tonight, but we just have to get better. We’re looking forward to getting some practice time in this week.”
Lamar (2-2) hosts Galena on Dec. 11. Webb City (1-0) meets Fort Smith (Arkansas) Southside at 4 p.m. on Thursday at the Arvest Hoopfest in Rogers, Arkansas.