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BILL HANSON MEMORIAL: Carthage girls fall in title game and CJ takes third; Joplin boys fall to Willard

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Turnovers plagued Carthage early and helped Kickapoo build a sizable lead by the intermission before holding serve in the second half for a 47-26 win in the girls championship game of the Bill Hanson Memorial Tournament on Saturday.

“The score may not reflect it, but I’m pretty proud of how we played today,” Carthage coach Scott Moore said to SoMo Sports. “We battled one of the top teams in the state and kept them below their season scoring average. Kickapoo is tall, talented and aggressive. They play the game with the speed that we want to play. Today, we just didn’t seem to have the legs to run with them for 32 minutes. We used a lot of energy and emotion to beat Carl Junction yesterday, so our shots fell short today and Kickapoo capitalized on that in transition.” 

Carthage moves to 8-10 on the season and the way to the second-place tournament finish. The Tigers are on the road against Seneca on Thursday.

“We wanted to bring home the championship trophy today,” Moore added. “So the girls are a little disappointed. However, they should be proud of themselves for the work they did to put us in position to compete in the championship game.”

Carthage held an early 5-2 lead off a 3-pointer from Kianna Yates before Kickapoo swung the momentum with a 10-0 run, backed by a strong defensive effort. The Chiefs turned the Tigers over three times for baskets the other way in the surge, which was highlighted by two buckets and two free throws from Kaya Goldsby. 

Kickapoo took a 14-9 lead into the second period and pulled out to a double-digit cushion after limiting Carthage to one field goal and a free throw in the quarter. The Chiefs used a 13-0 run to build a 31-11 lead before going into halftime up 19 points. Mikayla Pilley highlighted the run with seven points on three field goals.

Carthage opened the second half on an 8-2 run started by 3-pointers from Landry Cochran and Maggie Boyd to trim the lead down to 13, but Kickapoo closed the period with the final six points to push the lead to 19 to start the fourth quarter.

The Chiefs pushed the lead to more than 20 points in the fourth quarter and held the pace down the stretch. 

Ysabella Fontleroy finished with 16 points to lead the Chiefs in scoring. Goldsby added 10 points and Pilley finished with seven.

Yates had seven points to lead Carthage, while Boyd had five. Cochran and Lauren Choate each finished with three in the loss.



After getting outscored 9-3 in the third quarter to trail 25-24, Carl Junction used a game-changing run to open the fourth quarter to build a double-digit lead on the way to a 44-32 win over Blue Valley Northwest in the third-place game of the Bill Hanson Memorial Tournament.

Down one heading into the fourth, Carl Junction (13-5) opened the final eight minutes with an 11-0 run to completely flip the momentum. Klohe Burk started the run with a bucket inside to give the Bulldogs the 26-24 lead before Destiny Buerge scored the next four on a mid-range jumper and a pair of free throws before Kylie Scott closed out the run with three straight buckets in the paint to give the Bulldogs a 36-25 advantage with 4:52 left in regulation.

After a 3-pointer from BVNW’s Brynn Grosdidier, Buerge added two more free throws before Scott followed with a three-point play. Buerge added an up-and-under score as Carl Junction built a 44-28 lead in the closing minutes.

Carl Junction scored 24 points through the first three quarters before the 20-point outburst in the fourth. The Bulldogs limited the Huskies to seven points over the final eight minutes.

Buerge led all scorers with 26 points, while Scott finished with 12, nine coming in the fourth quarter. 

Grosdidier led Blue Valley Northwest with nine points.



Willard built a small lead by the intermission before pulling away down the stretch for a 71-54 win over Joplin in the boys fifth-place game of the Bill Hanson Memorial Tournament. 

The Eagles (12-4) took a 17-16 lead into the second quarter before the Tigers outscored Joplin 13-6 in the second period to take a six-point lead into the intermission. Willard pushed the lead to nine to start the fourth and pulled away in the final eight minutes of action.

Gavin Davis finished with a game-high 34 points, 21 coming in the second half, to lead Willard. Trey Pulford added 13 points.

Always Wright finished with 23 points, while All Wright had 16 points to lead Joplin in scoring. Terrance Gibson finished with 12 points to give the Eagles three players in double figures.

Joplin hosts Kickapoo on Tuesday.

PREP HOOPS ROUNDUP: Webb City, College Heights boys will play for tourney titles; Neosho boys roll on the road; Fanning leads CHC girls; TJ girls suffer loss



FRONTENAC, Kan. — For the fourth straight season, the Webb City Cardinals will play for a tournament championship in Frontenac. 

Webb City knocked off Christian Heritage Academy 81-62 on Friday night in a semifinal contest of the Four State Raider Classic at Frontenac High School.

Webb City will meet Life Prep Academy at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the invite’s championship game. 

Ranked eighth in Class 5 by the MBCA, Webb City improved to 11-4. 

Cohl Vaden led the Cardinals with 18 points and eight assists, while Trey Roets contributed 16 points and eight rebounds. Kaden Turner also reached double figures with 14 points.

Dante Washington and Barron Duda scored nine points apiece, while Max Higginbotham had eight points and Dupree Jackson added five.

The Cardinals, who never trailed, made 30-of-51 field goal attempts (59 percent), including 12-of-22 from long distance. 

Oklahoma-based Christian Heritage Academy fell to 6-8. Heritage was held to 39 percent shooting (21-of-53). 

Ranly Huff and Noah Rindermann scored 23 points apiece for Heritage. 

In the first-ever meeting between the schools, Webb City built a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter at 23-13.

The Cardinals were up 43-32 at halftime, but they extended their advantage to 70-52 by the end of the third quarter. 

Life Prep defeated Frontenac 76-64 in the other semifinal.

In other action at the tournament, Nevada’s boys suffered a 46-42 loss to Providence Academy. The Tigers will play Owensville at 1 on Saturday for seventh place. 



FORSYTH, Mo. — Neosho built a 21-point advantage by the intermission en route to a lopsided 74-46 win over Forsyth on Friday in a non-conference boys basketball clash. 

“I’m proud of all the kids’ effort,” Neosho coach Zane Culp said. “It was a great team road win. I’m really proud of Michael Day and Carter Baslee stepping in and playing huge minutes with Carter Fenske being out.”

K’dyn Waters led the Wildcats with 21 points, while Day had 12 points and Baslee added 11 points. Day made four 3-pointers. Brock Franklin, Isaiah Green and Kael Smith all contributed nine points apiece for Neosho.  

Ryder Blevins scored 13 points for Forsyth. 

The Wildcats took control early. 

Neosho took an 18-6 lead after Franklin’s 3-pointer and Smith’s hoop and free throw. The Wildcats led 18-9 at the end of the opening quarter. 

Waters threw down a dunk in transition and then hit a corner trey to extend Neosho’s lead to 43-20 in the second quarter. 

By the break, Neosho was up 46-25.

The Wildcats took a commanding 61-34 advantage into the fourth period.

Receiving votes in the MBCA’s Class 5 poll, Neosho (13-5) hosts Lamar on Tuesday.



CHEROKEE, Kan. — College Heights Christian’s boys basketball team will play in the championship game of the Lancer Classic.

College Heights claimed a convincing 61-36 win over host Southeast in the semifinals of the tourney on Friday night.

College Heights led 26-19 at halftime. The Cougars outscored the Lancers 35-17 in the second half.

The Cougars (12-2) will meet Columbus at 7:30 on Saturday night in the invite’s championship game. Columbus beat Erie 47-43.

In a Lancer Classic consolation semifinal, Baxter Springs defeated McAuley Catholic’s boys 60-24.

The Lions held a 15-5 lead by the end of the first quarter and continued to pull away. 

Baxter Springs led 34-12 at the half and the Lions were up comfortably 50-20 at the end of the third period. 

Michael Parrigon, Jeffery Horinek and Noah Black scored six points apiece for the Warriors.

Kaden Niday scored 23 points for Baxter Springs, while Weston Shafer added 11 points. 

McAuley (3-12) meets Riverton at 2:30 on Saturday for seventh-place. Baxter Springs plays Parsons for fifth-place at 1 on Saturday. 



Libby Fanning’s double-double led the College Heights Christian girls basketball team to a 57-43 win over Lockwood on Friday night.

A freshman, Fanning recorded 21 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Cougars, who improved to 6-5.

“We had a great team effort tonight, but obviously, Libby’s 21 points and 19 rebounds was key for us,” College Heights coach John Blankenship said. 

Also for CHC, Jayli Johnson compiled 13 points, five assists and three steals, Lauren Ukena had eight points, five steals and four assists, while Molly Long chipped in 10 rebounds, five points and three assists.  

In a regular-season make-up game, College Heights took control in the second quarter. Up 14-13, the Cougars outscored the Tigers 20-5 in the game-changing second period.

“We really picked up our defensive intensity in the second quarter,” Blankenship said. “Our ball pressure was great, which allowed us to jump the passing lanes for several steals which led to easy transition points. Our offensive execution was excellent, especially in the second quarter.” 

The hosts led 51-29 entering the fourth quarter en route to victory. 

The Cougars (6-5) will conclude play at the Lancer Classic at 11:30 on Saturday against Riverton in the invite’s fifth-place game. 



LIBERAL, Mo. — Bronaugh defeated Thomas Jefferson’s girls 51-35 on Friday at the Tony Dubray Classic.

Tannah Cassatt and Alivia Beard scored 10 points apiece to lead the Cavaliers. Lannah Grigg added eight points and Gabbi Hiebert contributed seven points for TJ.

Nicole Hagerman scored 25 points for Bronaugh.

The game was deadlocked at the end of the first quarter, 10-10.

Up four at the break, the Wildcats pulled away in the third quarter at 33-22.

Bronaugh outscored Thomas Jefferson 18-13 in the fourth quarter for the final margin.

The Cavaliers host Sheldon on Monday.




ROGERSVILLE, Mo. — Webb City’s girls basketball team suffered a 64-49 setback to tourney host Rogersville on Thursday night at the Lady Wildcat Classic.

Kate Brownfield scored 18 points to lead the Cardinals, while Gracie Kirby had 18 points for the Wildcats. 

Webb City will meet COC rival Branson at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the seventh-place game. 



LIBERAL, Mo. — St. Mary’s Colgan defeated Thomas Jefferson 57-36 on Thursday night in a boys semifinal of the Tony Dubray Classic.

Jay Ball scored 10 points for the Cavaliers, while Drew Goodhope added eight. 

In the other semifinal, Galena beat Liberal 58-32.

Thomas Jefferson will meet Liberal for third-place at 3:30 on Saturday, while Colgan and Galena will meet for the championship at 6:30 on Saturday. 


BILL HANSON MEMORIAL: Carthage girls take down Carl Junction in tourney semifinals

PITTSBURG, Kan. — After a seesaw battle in the first half, Carthage was able to gain a footing on the lead in the second half on the way to a 53-45 win over Carl Junction in the semifinals of the Bill Hanson Memorial Tournament on Friday in non-conference action.

The first half saw double-digit lead changes without either team distancing itself from the other, with Carthage (8-9) taking a three-point lead into halftime. The Tigers pushed the lead to double digits early in the third quarter before Carl Junction (11-5) used a scoring run to trim the lead to one possession to start the fourth. Carthage pushed the lead back to eight early in the fourth and made free throws down the stretch.

“What an amazing team win tonight!,” Carthage coach Scott Moore said to SoMo Sports. “It’s been a long time since Carthage girls have beaten Carl Junction and we are so proud of the girls for executing the game plan tonight.

“We walked through a new game plan today before we left and the girls executed perfectly. I’m proud of all 14 girls for their efforts and focus in practice and in games. That’s a major key to our success.”

Carthage advances to take on Kickapoo in the championship game at 1 p.m.

The first half was as tightly contested as could be, with neither team gaining a lead greater than three points through the first two quarters. 

There were two ties and five lead changes in the first quarter, which saw Carl Junction holding a 13-12 advantage with Destiny Buerge accounting for 10 points. There were five more lead changes and another tie in the second period.

Carthage limited the Bulldogs to three field goals in the second quarter—two offensive rebounds and putback buckets by Kylie Scott and a 3-pointer from Hali Shorter—and took a 23-20 lead into the intermission. Maggie Boyd led the way with eight points, including a pair of 3-balls.

Carthage opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run to build their biggest lead of the game to that point, 34-22, near the five-minute mark. Boyd started the run with another 3-pointer while Kianna Yates added seven of the next eight points.

Buerge picked up her third personal foul at the 5:43 mark and was relegated to the bench with Carl Junction in need of someone to step up. Scott answered the call, scoring 10 of the Bulldogs points with Buerge on the bench, including a pair of three-point plays. Shorter added a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to cut the Carthage lead to 36-33 by the start of the fourth quarter.

Buerge fouled out after picking up her fourth and fifth fouls inside the first three minutes of the fourth quarter.

After a 6-2 run to start the fourth on a bucket and two free throws from Yates as well as a mid-range jumper from Landry Cochran to give Carthage a 42-34 advantage. The Tigers pushed their lead to nine on a 3-pointer from Boyd before back to back buckets inside from Scott brought Carl Junction within five, 46-41, with 1:52 to play.

Carthage shot eight free throws and made seven of them down the stretch. For the game, the Tigers were 13-of-18 shooting from the charity stripe.

“Our starting guard trio of Kianna Yates, Maggie Boyd and Lauren Choate did a great job shooting the ball tonight,” Moore said. “Equally important was their defense on CJ’s guards tonight. We limited their scoring chances and rebounded really well.”

Yates finished with 19 points, seven coming in the fourth period to lead Carthage. Boyd finished with four 3-pointers on the way to 16 points, while Choate finished with 12 points in the win.

Scott finished with 27 points, 22 coming in the second half. Buerge finished with 10 points, while Shorter closed with six.

BILL HANSON MEMORIAL: Joplin routs Wichita West in consolation semifinals

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Joplin opened the game with all of the momentum and never relinquished it in a 91-47 rout over Wichita West in the consolation semifinals of the Bill Hanson Memorial Tournament on Friday.

Joplin (12-3) opened the game on a 13-3 run and closed the first quarter on a 13-0 run to build a 21-point advantage after the first eight minutes of action. Joplin used another large scoring run in the second quarter to push the lead to 37 by halftime. The Eagles maintained that pace in the second half.

All Wright finished with 25 points, while Always Wright finished with 23 in the win to lead Joplin. All Wright was 13-of-15 shooting from the foul line, while Always Wright had 21 points in the first half, including four 3-pointers. Terrance Gibson finished with 15 points to give Joplin three players in double figures. Brantley Morris added eight, while Quin Renfro finished with six.

Joplin takes on the winner of Pittsburg and Willard at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in the consolation finals.

Joplin didn’t wait long to take the momentum in the win, outscoring Wichita West 13-3 over the first three and a half minutes of game action. Gibson accounted for seven points, including a three-point play, while Always Wright, All Wright and Renfro contributed with buckets.

After trading baskets for the next 90 seconds, the Eagles closed the first quarter on a 13-0 run over the final two minutes of action to build a 33-12 lead by the start of the second period. Always Wright had two 3-pointers to highlight the run, while Whit Hafer, All Wright and Joe Jasper also had buckets.

Holding a 41-17 lead early in the second, Joplin scored 12 unanswered points to extend the margin to 36 points, 53-17. Gibson started the run with an inside score before Always Wright knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key and followed it up with a steal for a runout layup. LT Atherton added a 3-pointer and All Wright closed the run with a baseline drive.

Joplin ultimately took a 60-23 lead into the intermission, pushed the lead to 40 early in the second half and cruised to the final horn.