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HOOPS ROUNDUP: Joplin, Carthage, Nevada boys end tourneys with wins; Carthage girls, TJ boys suffer losses



PITTSBURG, Kan. — Joplin jumped out to a big lead in the first quarter and preserved that cushion all the way to a win over Willard in the seventh-place game of the Bill Hanson Memorial basketball tournament on Saturday.

The Eagles jumped out to a 12-point lead following the first eight minutes after outscoring Willard 26-14. The Tigers rallied back to cut Joplin’s lead to one by halftime, 39-38, but the Eagles pushed the lead to six to start the fourth and held on for the win.

Terrance Gibson led Joplin with a game-high 32 points, while All Wright finished with 16 points. Whit Hafter had 10 points, while Quin Renfro closed with eight.

Joplin is at Springfield Central on Tuesday.



LIBERAL, Mo. — The Galena Bulldogs from Southeast Kansas remained undefeated by beating Thomas Jefferson in the boys championship game of the Tony Dubray Classic on Saturday night at Liberal High School.

“Galena is a great team,” Cavaliers coach Chris Myers told SoMo Sports. “Though outmatched, I felt our kids did a good job of competing in the second half. As a coach, you hope playing teams like this help prepare you for big games down the stretch.”

The Bulldogs raced out to a 21-7 lead. Galena was up 38-16 at halftime and 64-33 by the end of the third quarter.

Thomas Jefferson fell to 11-4. 

Tyler Brouhard scored 21 points and hit six 3-pointers for the Cavaliers. Jay Ball added 10 points.

Brouhard and Ball were both all-tourney selections.

Galena’s Tyler Little scored 15 points and was named tourney MVP. Maverick Harmon also scored 15 points for the Bulldogs.

Thomas Jefferson travels to Jasper on Tuesday night.



CHANUTE, Kan. — Carthage outscored host Chanute 19-2 in the first quarter and never looked back in a win to wrap the Ralph Miller Classic on Saturday. 

The Tigers scored 19 points in the second period, 22 in the third and closed the win with a 14-4 fourth quarter against the Comets. 

Max Templeman, named to the all-tournament team, finished with 24 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Justin Ray knocked down four 3-balls on the way to 16 points, while Britt Coy finished with 14 points, also making two triples. 

Carthage is at Nevada on Friday.



FRONTENAC, Kan. — Nevada’s boys won the Four State Raider Classic’s seventh-place game in convincing fashion on Saturday at Frontenac High School.

Nevada held a 27-19 lead at halftime.

The Tigers outscored the Dutchmen 20-2 in the third period to take a comfortable 47-21 advantage into the final frame.

Three players reached double figures for the Tigers (7-11), as Jack Cheaney scored 13 points, Brice Budd added 12 and Drew Beachler had 10. 

Nevada (7-11) is at Carl Junction on Tuesday. The two teams met earlier this season, with Nevada winning on a buzzer-beater.



PITTSBURG, Kan. — The Carthage girls basketball wrapped up play in the Bill Hanson Memorial basketball tournament with a 57-53 loss to Olathe North in the fifth-place game. 

Carthage (8-8) trailed by four heading into the second period before outscoring Olathe North 14-7 in the second period for a 25-22 lead by the intermission. Olathe North took a two-point cushion into the fourth quarter and held off Carthage down the stretch to earn the win. 

“That was a great high school basketball game,” Carthage coach Scott Moore said to SoMo Sports. “Two teams fighting tooth and nail for 32 minutes. I’m really proud of how our team battled this weekend. However, there are some little things we need to get fixed to make sure the lessons we learn in these tournaments help us down the road when we have similar battles in the COC.”

Kianna Yates led Carthage with a game-high 27 points, which included two 3-pointers and seven free throws. Lauren Choate added 10 points, while Jaidyn Brunert finished seven.

“Kianna Yates had a phenomenal game,” Moore said. “Every time that Olathe North made a little run, Kianna got us a basket to stop their momentum and swing it back our way.”

Carthage hosts Seneca on Thursday.



CHEROKEE, Kan. —  The College Heights Christian boys basketball team defeated Riverton 58-52 in the third-place game of the Lancer Classic.

The Cougars improved to 12-4.

The College Heights girls suffered a 41-38 setback to Riverton in the tourney’s third-place game.

“For the second game in a row, we dug ourselves in a hole with a slow start,” College Heights coach John Blankenship said. “We trailed 9-0 before we slowly began chipping away at their lead.”

CHC’s Libby Fanning hit a 3-pointer to pull the Cougars within four at halftime. 

“We took the lead late in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hold it down the stretch,” Blankenship said. “Jayli Johnson almost tied the game on a halfcourt shot that spun out of the basket. We have played two larger schools this week and competed down to the wire. I am proud of my players. I have no doubt we got better this week, which is our primary objective heading into conference games and postseason play.”

Fanning scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and recorded a double-double in every game of the tournament.

Addie Lawrence hit a pair of 3-pointers for six points.

Johnson and Fanning were named to the all-tournament team. 

The CHC girls are now 9-8.

The Cougars are at Verona on Tuesday night.

GIRLS HOOPS: Nevada takes 2nd at Raider Classic

FRONTENAC, Kan. — A solid effort wasn’t enough for the Nevada High School girls basketball team in the championship game of the Four State Raider Classic.

A strong finish led Blue Springs to a 55-44 victory over Nevada in the tournament’s title game on Saturday afternoon at Frontenac High School.

Up one entering the fourth quarter, the Wildcats outscored the Tigers 15-5 in the final frame to secure the event’s championship for the second straight season.

“I’m super proud of our girls,” Tigers coach Blake Howarth said. “The effort was there, they competed well. Blue Springs is a tough team. They’re a Class 6 school, we’re a Class 4 school, and we competed down to the wire.”

The Tigers had to finish the contest without the services of standout junior guard Clara Swearingen, who fouled out.

“It was tough,” Howarth said of finishing the game without Swearingen. “She’s our leading scorer and I think she’s only eight points away from 1,000 career points now. We needed her on the floor. I thought Maddy Majors did a good job of stepping up once Clara went out. Clara has to understand how they’re calling the game and not to pick up silly fouls. But that’s something we’ll be able to take away from this game and learn from.” 

Nevada held a 31-27 halftime advantage, but the Wildcats outscored the Tigers 13-8 in the third quarter for a 40-39 lead.

Blue Springs started the fourth quarter on a 9-2 surge to take control. Nevada was plagued by empty possessions in the fourth quarter.  

Nikole Schnell and Jayla Cornelius scored 15 points apiece for the Class 6 Wildcats (9-7).

Senior guard Maddy Majors led Nevada with 17 points. Katie Johnson scored 13 points and Swearingen added 11 points. Swearingen was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. 

Nevada slipped to 15-4.

Howarth noted there’s a lot to like about how his team is currently playing.

“I’m happy with where we’re at right now,” Howarth said. “We’ve shown a lot of growth since last year. I’m happy with what we accomplished in this tournament. There were years where we left here winless or with just one win. This year, we won two competitive games and played for the championship here, so I’m super proud.”

GIRLS HOOPS: Carl Junction rallies big to win Bill Hanson Memorial on last-second free throws by Burk

PITTSBURG, Kan. — With one second left in regulation and the game tied at 39-39, Carl Junction’s Klohe Burk stepped to the charity stripe and drilled a pair of pressure-packed free throws to send the Bulldogs home with a 41-39 victory as well as the claim to the Bill Hanson Memorial basketball tournament title on championship Saturday at Pittsburg High School.

“There are not a lot of people who would like to be in that situation because it is pretty nerve-racking,” Carl Junction coach Brad Shorter said about Burk’s clutch free throws to clinch the tournament championship win. “She just walked up there with ice in her veins and just knocked them both down. Nothing but net, like she’d do it every time. She would, too. She is such a great kid and she works so hard. It couldn’t have happened to a better person right there.”

The win over the Chiefs (12-5) facing more than a 20-point deficit was quite a journey for the Bulldogs (15-1), who ultimately trailed 31-13 after an energy-deprived first half. But Carl Junction righted the ship in the third quarter, and it started on the defensive end. The Bulldogs held Kickapoo off the scoreboard completely in the third period, shrinking the deficit to eight points to start the fourth quarter. CJ used a quick surge with three minutes left to tie the game down the stretch before Burk’s free throws sealed the win.

“That was one of the worst first halves we played all year,” Shorter added about the win. “We didn’t come out with very good energy. We didn’t rebound the ball. We just didn’t play very tough. I challenged them in back to back timeouts and again at halftime. 

“I thought we came out with more toughness in the second half, obviously. Holding them to no points in the third quarter was a big piece of that victory. Klohe was phenomenal defensively—just phenomenal defensively, and so was Kylie (Scott) in the second half. And she was grabbing rebounds, and so was Dezi (Williams).

“A program as rich in tradition as Kickapoo, and they were 21 up, you start to think, ‘I don’t know if we can do this.’ It was getting to that line where you start to waver a little bit. Man, our kids fought back, we were really tough and we got some good things accomplished in the second half to get this win.”


Kickapoo knocked down four 3-pointers in the first half and led by as much as 21 points, 29-8, with 2:36 left in the first half before a Burk 3-pointer and a bucket in the paint from Scott helped trim the deficit to 18 by the break.

The momentum flipped almost instantly out of the locker room, as Williams knocked down a 3-pointer early and the Bulldogs began to chip away at the Chiefs’ advantage. Destiny Buerge followed with two free throws before Scott buried a corner 3-pointer with 3:50 to play to cut the deficit to 10, 31-21. Burk closed the third-quarter scoring with a steal and score on the break with 1:21 left to send the Bulldogs into the final eight minutes down 31-23.

“At times, we have been able to do that to some teams—some quality teams,” Shorter said about keeping the Chiefs off the scoreboard for the entire third quarter. “A lot of it is just getting locked in and knowing we are all on the same page. There were countless times in that first half that we weren’t on the same page. Our kids weren’t communicating or talking, our body language was pretty poor, and we discussed that. I said I wasn’t going to be a part of this if our body language was going to be that bad because our program prides itself on good body language, good chemistry and being a class-act team. We did that in the second half. We turned it around and played tougher, and that was a huge reason for our run to cut into their 18-point lead.”

After the Chiefs pushed the lead back to 10 early in the fourth with a pair of 1-for-2 trips at the three-throw line, Scott put CJ on her back to jumpstart the final push towards the lead—knocking down a 3-pointer from the top of the key before drawing contact on several straight possessions attacking the basket that culminated in a perfect 6-for-6 shooting at the stripe to trim the lead to 37-32 with three minutes left. 

“It’s incredible what she is able to do,” Shorter said of Scott’s play in the second half, particularly down the stretch in the fourth quarter. “When you look at our team, with the exception of Kylie, everybody is about (5-foot-8), 5-6 or 5-7. The teams we are seeing here—last night was 6-4, 6-foot, 6-foot and 6-1. Kickapoo—6-3 and a number of girls who are 6-foot. She is working against a lot of big kids in there. The key for her early is if she feels a double, to kick it out and get back. In the second half, she was able to do some things outside and she is a monster inside. Her toughness was incredible late.”

Buerge came up with a steal and a layup on the break the other way to cut the lead to three with two and a half minutes to play before Williams buried a 3-pointer from the wing with 1:43 left to tie the game at 37-all.

The Chiefs briefly jumped out in front after a pair of three throws from Makayla Pilley with 50.8 seconds left. Scott, who finished with 11 points in the fourth quarter, tied the game up almost immediately into the next possession. 

Kickapoo missed a mid-range bucket and a putback attempt on the next trip down with 15 seconds left, with Scott grabbing the defensive rebound and finding Burk with the outlet pass, who drove to the hoop as time dwindled and drew the foul with one second left to set up the game-winning makes at the charity stripe.


Scott led Carl Junction with a game-high 19 points to go along with 14 rebounds for a double-double. Williams finished with nine points, while Burk closed with seven in the win. Buerge closed with six.

Pilley finished with 10 points in the loss to lead Kickapoo in scoring. Josie Salazar finished with eight points.


Carl Junction takes part in the I44 Lady’s Classic hosted by Lebanon with a matchup against Warrensburg (10-5) on Thursday.