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PREP WRESTLING ROUNDUP: Neosho tops Joplin; Carl Junction, Carthage, McDonald County earn wins




Neosho (2-0) finished with a 72-12 win over Joplin and a 40-32 win over Nixa to highlight a triangular match hosted by Joplin on Tuesday.

In the win over Nixa, the Wildcats saw Fisher Butler (113 pounds) earn a fall 1:08 into the first round over Nixa’s Sam Mayes, while Wyatt Black (120) earned a fall 1:02 into the first round over Nixa’s Bradyen Villarreal.

Hayden Crane defeated Nixa’s Aidan Ward by an 11-2 major decision at 138, while Nate Copeland (145) defeated Dylan Webster by fall 29 seconds into the third period. At 152, Bostyn Patterson won a 10-8 decision over Nixa’s Nate Brower, while Neosho’s Trent Neece needed just 37 seconds to win by fall over Alexander Bewley in the first period. 

Eli Zar earned a fall 31 seconds into the second period over Nixa’s Cole Crahan at 170, and Neosho’s Eric Renner earned a 6-5 decision over Nixa’s Charles Speake at 220 pounds.

Against Joplin, Raymond Hembree (120), Johnny Chrisco (126) and Butler (113) all earned wins by forfeit, while Braden White (106) earned a win by forfeit for the Eagles.

Neosho’s Jack Lankford (132) defeated Joplin’s Alex Short by fall 1:38 into the second period, while Crane earned a win by fall over Orion Norris 1:06 into the second period.

Patterson defeated Joplin’s Ethan Bentz by fall, while Neece earned a win by fall over Jack Stanley. 

Zar defeated Drew VanGilder by fall, with Collyn Kivett defeating Brayden Thomas by fall at 182 pounds. Rener added a win by fall over Travis Shofler, with Nico Olivares pinning Joplin’s Gunner Price at 285 pounds.

Joplin’s Draven VanGilder was the brightspot for the Eagles, defeating Neosho’s DeLeon Ulysses by fall at 182 pounds.

Joplin fell to Nixa 70-0.




Carl Junction improved its dual record to 3-0 with a 45-27 win over the Seneca Indians on Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs won by forfeit at 106 pounds and Lukas Walker won by fall over Seneca’s Elyas Potts at 113.

Seneca’s Keatin Burleson earned an 11-6 decision over Drake Richardson at 120, while Brady Roark pinned Max Matthews at 126.

Carl Junction won by forfeit at 132, Seneca’s Brayden Thiel won by fall at 138 and Andrew Manley picked up an 8-3 decision over CJ’s Dexter Merrell at 145.

The Bulldogs won the next three matches by fall, as Arlen Wakefield pinned Landen Commons at 152, Tony Stewart won by fall over Jeremy Williams at 160 and Lucas Watkins pinned Austin Stephens at 170.

At 182, Seneca’s Gabriel Commons earned a 5-2 decision over Chance Benford, while teammate Dane Napier won by forfeit at 195.

Carl Junction’s Cayden Bollinger pinned Nash Crane at 220, while Kameron Bennett won the heavyweight matchup 4-1 over Jacob Gravner. 

Carl Junction will host the CJ Classic on Saturday, with Seneca among the teams competing. 




The Carthage Tigers recorded their first dual wins of the season. 

Carthage beat Cassville 54-18. 

The Tigers won by forfeit at 106, but Cassville’s Kurt Deaver won by fall over Wyatt Hole at 113.

Carthage won by forfeit at 120 and 132, while Bradyn Tate pinned Jaret Hinson at 126.

Cassville’s Akhileus Arguelles pinned Byron Lopez at 138 and the Tigers won by forfeit at 145 and 152. 

Carthage’s Davion King won by fall over Jake Anthonysz at 160 and teammate Gabe Lambeth pinned Hunter Morris at 170. 

There was a double forfeit at 182 and 220, while Cassville won by forfeit at 195.

At 285, Carthage’s Jesua Coquij pinned Bryson Hendrix.

The Tigers also defeated Miami (Okla.) 60-21. 

Carthage won by forfeit at 106.

Hole (113), Christian Brown (120), Bradyn Tate (126), Kip Castor (132), Lopez (138), Eli Sneed (145), Braxdon Tate (152), King (160) and Lambeth (170) all won by fall for the Tigers. 

Miami won by forfeit at 195 and 220. 

At 285, Miami’s Hayden Miller earned a 4-2 decision over Coquij. 

Carthage (2-1) will compete at the Farmington Invitational on Saturday. 




The Mustangs took care of business against the Houn’ Dawgs. 

There was a double forfeit at 106 before the Mustangs won by forfeit at 113 and 120.

At 132, McDonald County’s Dominic Cervantes pinned Caymen Cornelison. Aurora’s Shaun Finnegan won by fall over Ayden Ball at 138. 

McDonald County’s Cross Spencer won by fall over Luke Miller at 145 and the Mustangs won by forfeit at 152.

John Clemons pinned Aurora’s Dalton Brisco at 160 before the Mustangs won by forfeit at both 170 and 182. 

Aurora’s Kyle Anderson pinned Cole Thomas at 195 and teammate Ian Jackson won by fall over Mac County’s Dwayne Tihpen at 220. The Mustangs were open at 285. 

McDonald County will compete at the CJ Classic on Saturday.

PREP HOOPS: Lady Eagle Classic, Carthage Invitational begin on Thursday

Two area prep basketball tournaments are set to begin on Thursday, as Joplin High School will host the Lady Eagle Classic and Carthage will host its annual boys invitational. 

Schedules for both events are posted below.



(At Joplin High School)

Thursday’s schedule

2—Joplin vs. Blue Valley West

3:30—Leavenworth vs. Farmington

5—Carl Junction vs. Rogers

6:30—Pea Ridge vs. Blue Valley North


Friday’s schedule

4:30 and 6—Consolation games

7:30 and 9—Semifinals


Saturday’s schedule

1—Seventh place

2:30—Fifth place

4—Third place

5:30—Championship game



(At Carthage High School)

Thursday’s schedule

4—Webb City vs. West Plains

5:30—Joplin vs. Leavenworth

7—Carthage vs. Ft. Smith Southside

8:30—Raymore-Peculiar vs. Nevada


Friday’s schedule

4 and 5:30—Consolation games

7 and 8:30—Semifinals


Saturday’s schedule 

Noon—Seventh place

1:30—Fifth place

3—Third place

4:30—Championship game


GIRLS HOOPS: Carl Junction suffers first loss of ’21-22 season


CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Carl Junction had its chances late, but Girard (Kan.) left town with a 50-48 victory over the Bulldogs on Tuesday night in an interstate girls basketball clash.

It was Carl Junction’s first loss after three wins. 

After a slow start, the Bulldogs overcame an eight-point deficit to pull ahead briefly in the fourth quarter, but foul trouble, empty possessions and missed free throws cost the hosts down the stretch. 

“I don’t think we came out very intense tonight,” Carl Junction coach Brad Shorter said. “I don’t think we came out with very good energy. We didn’t rebound and we gave them multiple chances. And we turned it over too much. I think we had 12 turnovers in the first half. But we just have to be better. We definitely have to rebound better.” 

The Trojans from Southeast Kansas used an 11-2 run in the first quarter to take an 18-10 lead. By the break, Girard’s lead was 26-19.

Carl Junction stormed back in the third quarter, as the Bulldogs scored the first eight points of the second half. 

But during the period, Carl Junction’s Kylie Scott picked up her fourth foul and teammate Destiny Buerge, the team’s primary ball-handler and go-to scorer, was whistled for her third foul.

A hoop from Hali Shorter gave the Bulldogs a 32-30 lead, but the Trojans finished the third quarter on a 9-1 run for a 39-33 advantage heading into the fourth period.

The Bulldogs picked up the defensive pressure and began to force the Trojans into some turnovers early in the fourth quarter. 

Carl Junction put together a 10-0 run, with Buerge and Scott accounting for all 10 points, to give the hosts a 46-44 lead. Many of the points came by converting Girard turnovers into layups the other way. 

But the Bulldogs misfired on three straight free throws before Buerge fouled out with 2:17 remaining.

A pair of free throws from Girard’s Bailey Troike tied the game before teammate Danica Lopez connected on a go-ahead 3-pointer with just two minutes to play.

Carl Junction’s Klohe Burk scored on a putback and drew a foul, but the free throw was off the mark, keeping the visitors in front by a single tally. 

After the Trojans’ empty possession, the Bulldogs had the ball down one with 19 seconds left. After a timeout, the Bulldogs’ entry pass into the post was tied up, and the jump ball gave possession to Girard.

Girard’s Faith Poland made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe with 4.7 seconds showing on the clock for a two-point cushion. 

A last-second heave from Burk was no good at the buzzer.

The Bulldogs, who did not score in the final 1 minute, 30 seconds, missed nine free throws in the game, including four in the final frame. 

Coach Shorter noted the game should be a good learning experience for his squad.

“It was a good opportunity for our kids to learn,” Shorter said. “I think we can gain a lot from this ballgame about ourselves moving forward for sure. The season’s not just about this one game. It’s about a lot of things ahead of us. But you have to tip your hat to Girard. They played hard and they played well.”

Buerge scored 17 points to lead the Bulldogs, while Scott had 13 and Burk added 11. 

Kinley Smith scored nine points for Girard (2-0), while Emmaline Senecaut had eight. 



Carl Junction is among the eight teams competing at this week’s Lady Eagle Classic at Joplin High School.

The Bulldogs take on Rogers (Ark.) at 5 on Thursday in an opening-round contest inside Kaminsky Gymnasium. 

“It’s a great tournament, so it doesn’t get any easier for us,” Shorter said. “Our kids better be ready to play.” 

In Thursday’s other opening round games, Joplin takes on Blue Valley West at 2, Leavenworth meets Farmington at 3:30 and Pea Ridge plays Blue Valley North at 6:30.


 RELATED STORY:  CJ CLASSIC: Carl Junction claims championship with convincing win over Nevada – SoMo Sports (

BOYS HOOPS: Webb City opens season with win at Lamar


LAMAR, Mo. — In a game where neither team was at full-strength due to the success of their respective football programs, Webb City defeated Lamar 58-40 on Tuesday night. 

Both schools played for a state football championship on Friday in Columbia, with Webb City winning the Class 5 crown and Lamar falling short in the Class 2 Show-Me Bowl. 

As a result, both teams were missing key performers.

Taking the court in the season-opener, Webb City led 10-7 at the end of the first quarter, and the Cardinals outscored the Tigers 16-8 in the second quarter to take a 26-15 halftime advantage.

The visitors put up 18 points in the third quarter and led 44-28 entering the fourth period. 

Webb City took a 20-point lead with 7:28 remaining.

Kaden Turner led Webb City with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Dupree Jackson added 10 points for the Cardinals, while Trey Roets and Dante Washington contributed eight points apiece. Roets grabbed 10 rebounds. 

Jason Horn’s Cardinals shot 48 percent from the field, making 23-of-50 shots.

Horn noted the team had two days of practice with the full squad. Webb City senior guard Cohl Vaden missed the game due to an injury. 

Lamar (3-1) made 15-of-47 field goal attempts, 32 percent shooting.

Conner Shoff scored 15 points to lead the Tigers, while Mason Gastel added 10. 

Webb City (1-0) meets West Plains at 4 on Thursday in an opening-round contest of the 75th Carthage Invitational. 


FULL STATS: Webb City HS (

BOYS SOCCER: Athletes from College Heights, Carthage, Neosho named all-state


The Missouri Soccer Coaches Association has released its all-state teams for the 2021 season.

College Heights Christian with McAuley had two players recognized in Class 1. 

Sophomore midfielder Rolen Sanderson was a first team all-state selection, while Michael Parrigon, a freshman midfielder, was a second team pick.  

College Heights finished sixth in the Class 1 power rankings.

Carthage senior forward Adrian Garrido was an honorable mention all-state pick in Class 4. Carthage and Joplin finished the season ranked 25th and 26th, respectively, in the Class 4 power rankings.

In Class 3, Neosho’s Juan Perez (F), Gabriel Zapete (F) and Yeison Vasquez (MF) were named second team all-state.  The Wildcats were listed at No. 9 in the final Class 3 power rankings.

Cassville goalkeeper Peter Littlefield was an honorable mention pick in Class 2.

GIRLS HOOPS: Defense leads College Heights past Purdy


Easy hoops in transition propelled the College Heights Christian girls basketball team to a 57-27 win at Purdy on Monday night.

“Our defense was the difference last night,” College Heights coach John Blankenship told SoMo Sports. “We had great ball pressure and jumped into the passing lanes, which led to easy transition baskets. The team played very unselfish and made the extra pass to open teammates, leading to high percentage shots. We shot 51% from the floor.” 

Converting turnovers into hoops the other way, the Cougars (2-3) raced out to a 21-2 lead by the end of the first quarter. College Heights’ led 35-8 at halftime.

The visitors were up comfortably 51-18 entering the fourth quarter.

Addie Lawrence led College Heights with 21 points, three assists and two steals. Jayli Johnson and Libby Fanning scored 14 points apiece.

Fanning also had seven rebounds, while Johnson handed out six assists to go with four steals. Lauren Ukena grabbed seven boards and had three steals.

College Heights travels to New Covenant on Friday.



PREP FOOTBALL: A look back at Webb City’s memorable run to the state championship


Why not us?

That’s the question John Roderique posed to his Webb City Cardinals at the conclusion of an up-and-down regular season.

The Cardinals adopted a ‘Why not us?’ mentality for the postseason—and the rest is history. 

“I remember saying it to them during practice that week…we weren’t playing that Friday,” Roderique recalled after last Friday’s 26-21 win over Holt in the Class 5 Show-Me Bowl. “I made the comment, ‘Why not us?’ I could see something in our kids’ faces when I said that. I’ve never been more proud of a group that has come so far from the beginning to the end.”

With the ‘Why not us?’ mantra and a seven-day contract in mind each week, Webb City won five straight games in the postseason to claim the school’s 16th state championship. 

In arguably the program’s most improbable run to the state title under Roderique, Webb City went through a gauntlet of undefeated and highly-ranked teams en route to the championship.

Ahead of their games with Webb City, No. 1 Jackson was 12-0, No. 2 Carthage was 10-0, No. 3 Holt was 13-0 and No. 7 Lebanon was 10-1.

Embracing an underdog role again and again, and highly motivated to leave their mark, the Cardinals knocked them all off. 

“One thing we told our kids is it’s always about what happens in the latter part of the season,” Roderique said. “In Week 10, and getting into the district, you want to be playing your best football at that time. Our kids really believed.” 

The Cardinals were sitting at 4-3 at one point and entered the postseason with a record of 6-3. An improved defense was key to the late season surge. 

The Cardinals gave up more than 40 points in each of their three regular season losses—41 points to both Joplin and Nixa and 42 to Carthage. And the Cardinals gave up nearly 50 points in a 63-48 win over Ozark.

But from that point on, the Cardinals would never allow more than 21 in a game.

“We just knew the last couple games before that we’d let up a pretty big number,” senior linebacker Cooper Crouch said after Friday’s win. “We knew that if we wanted to keep winning football games we were going to have to make that number a lot smaller. We hustled and we grinded hard every single day at practice.”

After the bye week, Webb City began the postseason with a convincing 35-7 win over an improved Republic squad

Next came the team’s biggest test, a rematch with rival Carthage. 

After the Tigers pounded the Cardinals 42-14 in Week 4, Webb City made the necessary adjustments and showed how much they’d improved by beating the Tigers 28-21 for the district championship. 

A convincing 35-13 win over Lebanon put the Cardinals in the semifinals, where they were once again seen as the underdogs to Jackson, an undefeated defending state champion that came to town with plenty of confidence and a lot of hype.

The Cardinals got off to a great start, took care of business and won 35-21.

Webb City was in control of the state title game, leading 26-7. Holt rallied for 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter before a late defensive stand secured the crown for the Cardinals. 

Remarkably, this is Webb City’s 16th state championship in football, tops in Missouri history. It’s the 13th title under Roderique, the most by a head football coach in state history. It’s Webb City’s first title in Class 5, as the previous championships were in Class 4. 

The Cardinals have won three championships in the last five years (2017, ’19, ’21). 

“It’s a lot of history and this team just won a state championship and these kids got to fulfill a lifelong dream,” Roderique said. “But it’s not like we wake up every day and talk about trying to win 16. We just want to be better than we were yesterday. When I’m done coaching and looking back, it is pretty amazing and says a lot about our program. Certainly there are thousands of guys, hundreds of guys (that contributed).”

Roderique noted the 2021 team will be remembered fondly.

“I’ll remember their will to win and their will to prepare to win,” Roderique said. “I’m going to have great feelings about this team. This is a special group.”

Webb City senior QB Cohl Vaden looks for running room against Jackson. Photo by Shawn Fowler.


Senior Cade Wilson rushed for 1,556 yards and 27 touchdowns. Senior Dupree Jackson ran for 1,028 yards and 19 touchdowns.

In 10 games, Cohl Vaden passed for 968 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions. Vaden also ran for 458 yards. Landon Johnson passed for 457 yards during his four games under center. 

Leading receivers were juniors Dante Washington (612 yards), William Hayes (375 yards) and Trey Roets (160 yards). 

Team leaders in tackles were Crouch (129), Lucas Ott (119), Kaylor Darnell (110), Brentan Wilson (73), Billy Wolfe (71) and Gavin Stowell (69). Washington had five interceptions and Wilson had three. 

Washington made 28 of 31 PAT kicks, while Crouch converted 16 of 22.


Webb City’s state championships
1989, 1992, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019, 2021

COLLEGE SIGNINGS: Joplin distance runners sign letters of intent


Three Joplin High School distance runners made their college decisions official at a signing ceremony on Monday.

Jennalee Dunn is taking her talents to Cornell University in New York, while Zaben Barnes and Evan Matlock signed to join the Missouri Southern track and cross country program. 

Dunn said competing at the NCAA Division I level while also obtaining an Ivy League education at Cornell was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“It’s an incredible opportunity,” Dunn said. “For a long time, I didn’t know if I could run at the college level. But coming to Joplin, they really helped me with my training and with dropping my PRs. It’s a huge honor and I couldn’t be happier.

“I was looking at a lot of highly-academic schools in the Northeast,” Dunn added. “Cornell really stood out as a good fit. It felt like home when I visited and met the girls on the team.” 

Dunn noted academics were a big factor in her college decision. She plans to major in philosophy.

“Philosophy is something I’ve always been interested in and I have a lot of questions about the world,” Dunn said. “I wanted to go to a serious academic school where I’ll be surrounded by people who are just as passionate about what they’re studying.”

Dunn said she’s interested in doing missionary work or becoming a human rights lawyer after college. 

Dunn is coming off a stellar cross country season. She placed 14th place at the Class 5 state meet with a school record time of 18:36. Dunn was fifth at the district meet and was the runner-up at the Central Ozark Conference Meet.

Dunn advanced to the state cross country meet every year of high school. 

“It’s so cool for our program and for Jennalee,” Joplin coach Dustin Dixon said of having an athlete sign with a D-I school. “She came to us as a sophomore from Thomas Jefferson and no one had any idea she would end up setting the school record and running eight of the 10 fastest times ever here. I can’t say enough good things about her.” 

In last spring’s track season, Dunn finished eighth in the 1,600 at the Class 5 state meet while also placing 11th in the 800. She’ll look to go one step further this spring. 

Barnes and Matlock are continuing the Joplin to MSSU pipeline that recently included Evan Northcutt.

“It feels pretty good to know that I’m good enough to go on to the collegiate level and compete with some of the greatest runners in the nation,” Barnes said. “I’m excited to join (MSSU). I know they’ll push me to be better. I ran with some of their guys over the summer and their team chemistry was outstanding. I thought that was something I would enjoy.” 

“It means a lot to me to be able to continue to run,” Matlock said. “I love running and I love competition. They are ultra-competitive at Missouri Southern. They have an amazing team. It’s always been a goal ever since I started running on the varsity. It’s been so much.” 

Barnes finished 64th at the state cross country meet after an 18th place showing at the district event and an 11th place finish at the COC Meet.  Matlock was 124th at state and 44th at the district meet. The two contributed nicely as Joplin won a conference title this year and advanced a full squad to the state meet for the second straight season. 

Dixon, a former All-American runner at Missouri Southern, was pleased to see Barnes and Matlock sign with MSSU. 

“It’s cool to send kids to the school that I ran for,” Dixon said. “I know Zaben has wanted to go to Missouri Southern from the time he could walk. Those boys have been instrumental to everything we’ve done the past few years. Zaben and Evan are a testament to hard work. They worked hard and developed.” 


PREP FOOTBALL: Final state rankings of ’21 released


The final Missouri Media football rankings of 2021 have been released.

Joplin, Webb City, Carthage, McDonald County, Seneca and Lamar are all ranked at the conclusion of the season.

The statewide high school football rankings are compiled by a 10-member panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. The panel is made up of Dion Clisso, PrepsKC; Cody Thorn, The Examiner; Dave Kvidahl,; Tom Rackers, Jefferson City News-Tribune; Chris Parker, Ozone Sports; Brandon Zenner, The St. Joseph News-Press; J.B. Connoley, KRES radio; Matt King, The Daily Journal; Jason Peake,; Brian Rosener, Poplar Bluff Daily American Republic.



First-place votes in parenthesis.

Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW
1. CBC (10), 13-1, 100, 1
2. Liberty North, 11-2, 89, 2
3. Lee’s Summit North, 11-2, 81, 3
4. DeSmet, 8-3, 54, 4
5. Joplin, 10-2, 53, 5
6. Park Hill South, 11-1, 48, 6
7. Troy Buchanan, 10-3, 47, NR
8. Nixa, 8-3, 28, T7
9. Raymore-Peculiar, 8-3, 23, 9
10. Francis Howell, 10-2, 14, T7
Dropped out: No. 10 Marquette
Also receiving votes: SLUH (7-4), 13

Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW
1. Webb City (10), 11-3, 100, 4
2. Holt, 13-1, 89, 3
3. Jackson, 12-1, 75, 1
4. Carthage, 10-1, 72, 2
5. Fort Osage, 11-2, 56, 9 5
6. Lebanon, 10-2, 42, 7
T7. Platte County, 9-3, 31, 5
T7. Rockwood Summit, 11-1, 31, 8
9. Chaminade, 7-6, 22, NR
10. Jefferson City Helias, 9-2, 17, 6
Dropped out: No. 10 Ladue
Also receiving votes: Grain Valley (8-4), 13; Eureka (9-3), 2

Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW
1. Smithville (10), 13-0, 100, 1
2. MICDS, 12-1, 86, 2
3. Hannibal, 13-1, 82, 3
4. Lincoln College Prep, 11-1, 64, 6
5. West Plains, 10-2, 63, 4
6. North County, 12-2, 49, NR
7. Vashon, 9-2, 35, 9
8. St. Dominic, 8-5, 30, NR
9. Union, 10-1, 23, 5
10. McDonald County, 10-2, 8, 8
Dropped out: No. 7 Hillsboro, No. 10 Nevada
Also receiving votes: Hillsboro (9-2), 7; Nevada (9-3), 3

Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW
1. St. Mary’s (10), 12-1, 100, 1
2. St. Pius X, 12-2, 85, 3
3. Valle Catholic, 10-1, 71, 2
T4. Cardinal Ritter, 7-7, 63, NR
T4. Mexico, 10-3, 63, NR
6. Park Hills Central, 10-2, 53, 7
7. Lutheran North, 7-4, 38, 5
8. Blair Oaks, 9-3, 27, 8
9. Pleasant Hill, 7-6, 15, NR
10. Seneca, 8-5, 13, NR
Dropped out: No. 4 Odessa, No. 6 Boonville, No. 9 Center, No. 10 Aurora
Also receiving votes: Odessa (8-2), 11; Owensville (9-3), 7; Boonville (8-3), 3; Center (5-4), 1

Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW
1. Lutheran St. Charles (10), 12-2, 100, 6
2. Lamar, 13-1, 90, 1
3. Richmond, 11-2, 78, T8
4. Lafayette County, 12-2, 58, 7
5. Ava, 11-1, 55, 4
6. Bowling Green, 11-1, 44, 10
7. Fair Grove, 11-1, 42, 2
8. Hallsville, 10-1, 26, 3
9. Lift For Life, 8-5, 25, NR
10. Duchesne, 8-3, 14, T8
Dropped out: No. 5 Butler
Also receiving votes: Butler (10-1), 11; Maryville (7-5), 6; New Madrid County Central (8-2), 1

Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW
1. East Buchanan (10), 14-1, 100, 5
2. Marceline, 12-2, 87, 6
3. Hayti, 12-1, 74, 3
4. Thayer, 10-4, 60, NR
5. Mid Buchanan, 10-1, 58, T1
6. Windsor, 12-1, 46, T1
7. Fayette, 11-2, 36, 8
8. Monroe City, 11-2, 35, 7
9. Hamilton-Penney, 9-4, 33, NR
10. Marionville, 11-1, 12, 4
Dropped out: No. 9 West Platte, No. 10 Skyline
Also receiving votes: West Platte (8-3), 4; University Academy (8-4), 3; Mark Twain (10-2), 1; Skyline (8-4), 1

PREP FOOTBALL: Local players named to All-Central Ozark Conference team  


Below is the 2021 All-Central Ozark Conference Football Team.



Offensive Player of the Year: Luke Gall, Carthage

Co-Defensive Players of the Year: Micah Lindsay and Luke Gall, Carthage

Coach of the Year: Jon Guidie, Carthage


First Team Offense

OL: Garrett Lilienkamp, Carthage; Dontrell Holt, Joplin; Buddy Belcher, Webb City; Thomas Schulte, Nixa; Trysten Hart, Republic.

RB: Luke Gall, Carthage; Cade Wilson, Webb City; Connor Sandridge, Republic.

WR: Kael Combs, Nixa; Hudson Moore, Carthage; Terrance Gibson, Joplin.

TE: Tyler Willis, Carthage.

QB: Always Wright, Joplin.

Athlete: Caden Kabance, Carthage

Kicker: Joseph Ipsen, Joplin


First Team Defense

DL: Micah Lindsey, Carthage; Donovahn Watkins, Joplin; John Gholson, Nixa; Max Williams, Carthage.

LB: Luke Gall, Carthage; Cooper Crouch, Webb City; Draven VanGilder, Joplin; Zach Lansford, Carthage; Ty Hartman, Nixa.

DB: Davion King, Carthage; Jace Easley, Ozark; Chase Buford, Republic; Evan Overstreet, Joplin.

Punter: Kyler Perry, Carl Junction.

Returner: Dante Washington, Webb City.


Second Team Offense

OL: Gavin VanGilder, Carthage; Brian Bullard, Ozark; Joe Don Kirkland, Branson; Christian Kinney, Webb City; Jett Steele, Joplin.

RB: Jared Siler, Neosho; Quin Renfro, Joplin; David Hadaller, Branson.

WR: Dante Washington, Webb City; Cooper Saxton, Branson; Cale Patrick, Carthage.

TE: Dean Marcum, Republic.

QB: Connor Knatcal, Nixa.

Athlete: Avery Moody, Republic.

Kicker: Kaleb James, Nixa.


Second Team Defense

DL: Brody German, Webb City; Luke Hulse, Ozark; Josh Cory, Carl Junction; Joe Jasper, Joplin.

LB: Jaden Aven, Nixa; Colton Cooper, Branson; Daniel Kotov, Republic; Jonathan Williams, Joplin; Landon Atwood, Branson; Carter Kennedy, Carl Junction.

DB: Kaylor Darnell, Webb City; Clay Kinder, Carthage; Korey Read, Joplin; Cody Breeden, Nixa.

Punter: Isaac Meadows, Joplin.

Returner: Ayden Bard, Carl Junction; Bruce Wilbert, Joplin.


Third Team Offense

OL: Darris Hill, Carl Junction; Carter Baslee, Neosho; Angel Velasquez, Webb City; Derrick Hicks, Willard; Garrett Davidson, Nixa; Drew Musche, Carthage.

RB: Spencer Ward, Nixa; Kanon Krol, Republic; Jake Beets, Ozark.

WR: Isaiah Green, Neosho; Jace Whatley, Ozark.

TE: Landen Atherton, Joplin. 


Third Team Defense

DL: Michael Phipps, Carl Junction; Gunner Price, Joplin; Avry Rutherford, Nixa; Brayden Thomas, Joplin; Marcus Duncan, Neosho; Lucas Ott, Webb City; Alex West, Willard.

LB: Cade Grimm, Branson; Cooper Douglass, Republic; Gavin Stowell, Webb City; Sylas Browning, Carthage.

DB: Chance Benford, Carl Junction; Blaine Willard, Willard; Jacob McCright, Branson; Carter Jenkins, Branson; Wyatt Woods, Republic; Braxdon Tate, Carthage; Garrett Ballard, Ozark.

GIRLS SWIMMING: Webb City wins Valkyrie Invite, Carthage takes third


With their overall team depth on full display, the Webb City High School girls swimming and diving squad claimed the team championship at the Valkyrie Invitational on Saturday in Springfield.

The Cardinals compiled 314 points and Logan-Rogersville was a distant second with 209. 

Carthage finished third at the 15-team event with 163 points. 



In a meet hosted by Parkview, Webb City had 16 top-five finishes, including five event wins.

Sophia Whitesell took first in both the 200-yard individual medley (2:24) and the 100 breaststroke (1:17), while Camryn Klosterman finished first in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:10. 

The Cardinals won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:49, with Skylar Powell, Ella Holt, Hally Philpot and Avery Mitchell competing. 

Webb City also placed first in the 400 freestyle relay, as Mitchell, Klosterman, Powell and Whitesell recorded a time of 4:01. 

The Cardinals were third in the 200 medley relay, with Klosterman, Makenize Storm, Whitesell and Olivia Honey competing. 

Also for the Cardinals, Storm placed third in the 100 breaststroke, Holt and Alix Davis finished third and fourth, respectively, in the 100 backstroke, while Mitchell and Powell placed third and fourth in the 100 freestyle. 

Webb City’s Allie Eggleston finished fifth in the 200 freestyle, Klosterman was fifth in the 100 butterfly and Morgan Robinson took fifth in the 500 free. 

Mitchell and Powell tied for sixth in the 50 free.

In the diving competition, Webb City’s Kelli Tollefson, Mia Barone and Breanna Woods finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.  



Carthage’s Madison Riley won the 200 freestyle in 2:05 and was the runner-up in the 100 butterfly in 1:03. 

Cassidy Smith took second in the 100 freestyle and was also fifth in the 50 free. 

Carthage’s 200 medley relay finished second in 2:02, with Ava Lacey, Smith, Riley and Hope Fultz competing.

The Tigers were also second in the 400 freestyle relay, with Riley, Smith, Lacey and Fultz finishing in 4:02.

Victoria Martinez finished fifth in the 200 IM and sixth in the 100 fly, while Fultz placed sixth in the 100 free and Elena Wright took sixth in the 500 free. 



Nevada’s Avery Morris was the runner-up in the 100 backstroke.

Monett’s Ava Fritts and Nevada’s Chloe Morris placed third and fourth in the 200 freestyle.

Lamar’s Audrey Osterdyk was fourth in both the 200 IM and the 500 free. 

Logan-Rogersville’s Lauren Hammons won the diving competition. 


Valkyrie Invitational

Team scores: Webb City 314, Logan-Rogersville 209, Carthage 163, Springfield Central 151, New Covenant 117, Monett 103, Lebanon 88, Nevada 61, Bolivar 40, Camdenton 31, Lamar 26, Waynesville 20, Hillcrest 20, Marshfield 15, Parkview 13.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Atteberry’s late free throws lift Thomas Jefferson to Gem City Classic title


DIAMOND, Mo. — On Saturday morning, Kip Atteberry traveled to Columbia for an all-state orchestra audition.

On Saturday night, Atteberry made the game-winning free throws to lift the Thomas Jefferson Cavaliers to a thrilling 56-54 victory over Lighthouse Christian in the championship game of the Gem City Classic at Diamond High School.

The back-and-forth clash was deadlocked at 54 with 10 seconds left when Atteberry connected on two clutch free throws—his lone points of the night. 

“You live for moments like that,” Atteberry said. “I was pretty excited and pretty scared at the same time. I’ve been up since really early this morning, so I was pretty tired. I don’t know, maybe that helped.” 

Atteberry, a junior guard, was admittedly a little worn out by the time Saturday night arrived.

After he auditioned for a spot on the Missouri All-State Orchestra at the University of Missouri early in the day, Atteberry made the long trip home just in time to join the Cavaliers ahead of their short drive to Diamond.

“I got back about 30 minutes before the game,” Atteberry said. 

But if Atteberry was worn out, it didn’t show when he stepped to the charity stripe with the game on the line.

“Kip had a heck of a day,” Cavaliers coach Chris Myers said. “He had his audition and then a four-hour drive back here before the game. And then he comes in off the bench and hits two big ones for us.” 

The Cavaliers, who improved to 5-0 with the win, overcame a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter. 

“We knew it was going to be a good, competitive game,” Coach Myers said. “We were evenly matched for the most part. Things weren’t going our way. Our big man was in foul trouble, which hurt us and got us out of our rhythm. But for the second game in a row, our kids showed their tenacity. They stuck with it and battled all the way until the end.”

It was Thomas Jefferson’s second straight thriller, as the Cavs won 48-46 two nights earlier on Caden Myers’ late layup.

Saturday’s tourney finale was close all the way.

The Chargers were up 16-15 at the end of the first quarter and they were up 27-25 at halftime.

TJ’s Jay Ball had to go to the bench during the third quarter after picking up his third foul, but a trey from Drew Goodhope and a midrange jumper by Tyler Brouhard gave the Cavaliers a 39-38 lead.

Lighthouse Christian’s Carter Marciniak and Cade Bethea both drilled 3-pointers at the end of the frame, giving the Chargers a 44-39 advantage.

Lighthouse Christian took a 48-41 lead with 6:25 to play, but the Cavaliers responded with seven straight points to tie it up.

The Chargers led by five with two minutes to play, but Thomas Jefferson received back-to-back hoops in the paint from the 6-foot-6 Ball with just over a minute to play.

Lighthouse Christian had the ball and a one-point lead with 38 seconds to play when the Cavaliers committed a foul.

Bethea made 1-of-2 at the line for a 54-52 cushion

Thomas Jefferson’s Brouhard, who had what could be called a breakout performance, scored a game-tying bucket with 25 seconds on the clock.

After a TJ foul, the Chargers not only missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 11 seconds to play, but also fouled Atteberry after the miss.

That’s when Atteberry, the school’s cross country and track standout, calmly sank both shots at the line that ended up the difference. 

Down two, the Chargers never got up a shot before time expired. 

A 6-1 junior, Brouhard scored 22 points to lead the Cavaliers. 

“Tyler had a great game,” Coach Myers said. “Like we talked about in the preseason, Tyler has a lot of upside and potential…he can sneak up on some guys. But if he keeps playing like this, he won’t be sneaking up on too many people.”

Ball added 14 points, while Caden Myers had 10 and Goodhope contributed eight. 

Marciniak scored 25 points for the Chargers, while Bethea added 18.

Thomas Jefferson returns to Diamond on Monday to take on the Wildcats. 


Note: In the tourney’s third-place game, Diamond defeated Wheaton 56-54.


The Thomas Jefferson Cavaliers won the Gem City Classic on Saturday night at Diamond High School.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: McAuley finishes strong to capture Gem City Classic title


DIAMOND, Mo. — When crunch time arrived, the McAuley Catholic girls basketball team was the team that made crucial plays on both ends of the floor.

As a result, the Warriors were the team celebrating a tournament championship.

McAuley Catholic finished strong to earn a 39-32 victory over Diamond in the championship game of the Gem City Classic on Saturday.

“We’ve never made it to the championship game here and I’ve had some pretty decent squads my last three or four years,” McAuley coach Mike Howard said. “For this team to not only get to the championship game and face a really tough Diamond team, but to win it really means a lot.”

The Warriors kept their record unblemished at 4-0 by getting the job done down the stretch.   

“We’ve got a short bench…we’re without our starting post player,” Howard noted. “We’ve got some girls out, so we only really had six girls for this game. To be able to play the entire game, and to do what we told them, I have to give our girls all the credit in the world. I’m so proud of them.” 

The tourney’s championship game was a nail-biter. 

A back-and-forth first half ended with Diamond clinging to a 17-16 lead. 

The momentum swung in McAuley’s favor in the third quarter. The Warriors began the second half on a 10-2 run to take a 26-19 advantage. 

Mcauley forced several turnovers and began getting good looks inside while also getting to the foul line during the surge. 

“We kept saying if we played good defense our offense would eventually come,” Howard said. “We drew up some plays that we didn’t do in the first half. They executed them well and they just kept playing hard.”

Diamond freshman Lauren Turner hit a 3-pointer to trim McAuley’s lead to 26-22 at the end of the third quarter and sophomore guard Grace Frazier buried a trey early in the final frame to make it a one-point game. 

After two teams traded six-point scoring runs, with four straight from McAuley’s Kennedy DeRuy, the Warriors were clinging to a 32-31 lead with two minutes to play. 

In a key sequence, McAuley senior guard Kayleigh Teeter drew a foul and connected on two free throws, the Wildcats misfired and fouled, and Teeter sank two more at the stripe, making it 36-31 with just 35 seconds remaining.

Diamond’s Makaylynn Lafferty made 1-of-2 at the line, but Teeter knocked down two more charities with 17 seconds on the clock.

After a Diamond turnover and foul, Teeter made one final free throw attempt for the final margin. 

DeRuy scored 17 points to lead the Warriors, while Teeter added 15.

Teeter made 9-of-10 free throws in the fourth quarter. 

“I told them to get the ball in Kayleigh’s hands and let her do her thing,” Howard said. “That’s who we want on the free throw line at the end of games. She showed why she’s clutch. And she showed how she’s scored more than 1,200 points in her career.” 

Avery Gardner added five points for the Warriors and Avery Eminger had two points, while Kloee Williamson rounded out the starting five. 

Frazier scored 14 points to lead Diamond (2-2). 

McAuley hosts Sarcoxie on Thursday, while Diamond returns to action on Monday night with a home date with Thomas Jefferson. 


The McAuley Catholic girls basketball won the Gem City Classic on Saturday night at Diamond High School.

SWEET SIXTEEN: Webb City holds on late, beats Holt for 16th state championship

COLUMBIA, Mo. — In a game that appeared all but over just minutes earlier, Webb City needed an interception near the goal line as time expired to preserve a historic victory.

With a late defensive stand, Webb City held on for a thrilling 26-21 victory over Holt on Friday night in the MSHSAA Class 5 Show-Me Bowl at Faurot Field.

“I’ve never been more proud of a group,” Webb City coach John Roderique said. “They’ve come so far from the beginning to the end. These kids were so resilient and tough. Hats off to them. I’m just so proud of our players and coaches. These kids got to fulfill a lifelong dream.” 

It’s Webb City’s 16th state championship, the most in state history. Before Friday, Valle Catholic and Webb City were tied with 15 titles apiece.

“Someday, we’ll look back and say that’s pretty amazing,” Roderique said. “It says a lot about our program. But it’s not something we talk about every day.” 

Webb City head coach John Roderique consoles Holt Indians’ Austin Bone (53) following the Indians’ 26-21 loss to the Cardinals on Friday in the Class 5 Show-Me Bowl at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. [Don Shrubshell photo]
The Cardinals were 4-3 at one point this season, and it’s safe to say not many people outside of Webb City expected this year’s group to capture another trophy.

“Six to eight weeks ago, we never thought we’d be in this position of playing in this game,” said Roderique, who has now led his alma mater to 13 championships, the most by a football coach in state history. “You always want to be playing your best football when the district tournament arrives. Our kids really believed. During that week we adopted a mantra. I remember making the comment, ‘Why not us?’ I could see something in our kids’ faces.” 

The Cardinals end the season at 11-3. It’s Webb City’s first title in Class 5.

“This means a lot,” Webb City senior lineman Buddy Belcher said. “I’ve wanted to win a state championship since I was a little kid.”



Webb City’s Dupree Jackson (28) is tackled by Holt’s Zakhi Johnson (2) and Isaiah Slaughter (31) during the third quarter of the Class 5 Show-Me Bowl at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. The Cardinals defeated the Indians 26-21. [Don Shrubshell photo]
Holt took an early 7-0 lead on Kyle Wuebbeling’s 23-yard touchdown run up the middle. 

The Cardinals answered on their opening offensive series. Webb City marched 65 yards on 14 plays to tie the game. The drive was capped by Cade Wilson’s 1-yard plunge. 

It was 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.

With another methodical and time-consuming drive, Webb City took a 14-7 lead with 7:35 left in the second quarter on Dupree Jackson’s 3-yard touchdown run and Dante Washington’s PAT kick. 

The two teams traded turnovers, but neither team could take advantage. With that, the Cardinals had a one-score lead at intermission.

Webb City’s Lucas Ott (48) tackles Holt Indians’ quarterback Frank Merrell (4) during the fourth quarter on Friday in the Class 5 Show-Me Bowl at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. The Cardinals defeated the Indians 26-21. [Don Shrubshell photo]
Webb City manufactured a nearly eight-minute drive after the break. The series was finished off by Jackson’s 6-yard scamper. The PAT was off the mark, and the Cardinals led 20-7 with 4:22 left in the third period. 

Next, Webb City’s Kaylor Darnell recovered a Holt fumble on the ensuing drive. It was caused by Gavin Stowell.

A few plays later, Wilson sprinted 13 yards to the end zone. The 2-point conversion failed, but the Cardinals went ahead 26-7 at the 1:25 mark of the third quarter.

Webb City appeared to be in position to put the game away on the next series, but a Cohl Vaden pass was picked off by Caden Duke near the end zone.

Roderique blamed himself for the play. 

“Terrible call,” he said. “That’s on me.”

Holt scored twice in the final frame, as Jackson Smith hauled in an 18-yard touchdown pass with 2:32 left before the Indians recovered an onside kick.

Isaiah Slaughter’s TD reception from 31 yards came with 1:46 left and trimmed Webb City’s lead to 26-21.

Webb City was unable to run out the clock. The Cardinals punted with 1:20 left.

Webb City head coach John Roderique talks to his crew during the second quarter on Friday. [Don Shrubshell photo]
Braxton Surber had a key sack on the last drive for the Webb City defense. The Indians moved the ball to the 28-yard line. On the final play, Frank Merrell’s potential game-winning pass was intercepted by Jackson on the 3-yard line as the final horn sounded.
“Our defense had a chance to win the game for us and they did,” Roderique said. 

Roderique also credited Holt for making things interesting late in the game.

“They competed on every down,” he said. “Those guys are gritty. Hats off to those guys. What a battle.” 

The Indians suffered their first loss of the season after 13 wins. 




Webb City compiled 342 yards, with 277 rushing and 65 passing. 

A senior running back, Cade Wilson had 162 yards on 31 carries with two touchdowns. Jackson finished with 104 yards on 21 carries. 

Vaden completed 5 of 12 passes for 65 yards. Brentan Wilson, a senior linebacker, made six tackles to lead the Webb City defense. 

For a large part of the night, Holt could never get its defense off the field, as the Cardinals sustained drives again and again. Webb City’s time of possession was 32:19, while Holt’s was 15:41.

Holt finished with 328 yards, 186 passing and 142 rushing. Wuebbeling ran for 120 yards, while Merrell passed for 173 yards on 13 completions.



As Friday night’s postgame press conference finished up, Roderique noted this year’s group will always have a special place in his heart. 

“Cade Wilson sums up this team,” Roderique said. “None of them are big enough, fast enough, strong enough. But I’ll remember their will to win and their will to prepare to win. I’m going to have great feelings about this team. I love these guys, no matter what happened tonight. This is a special group. We had fun every day. We wish we could keep playing.”


FULL STATS: MSHSAA 2021-2022 Class 5 11-Man Football State Tournament Matchup: Webb City vs. Holt


The Webb City Cardinals celebrate their 26-21 championship win over the Holt Indians Friday when the teams played in the Class 5 Show-Me Bowl at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. [Don Shrubshell photo]
Webb City Cardinals players and coaches say a prayer following their 26-21 win over the Holt Indians Friday when the teams played in the Class 5 Show-Me Bowl at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. [Don Shrubshell photo]
Webb City’s Dupree Jackson (28) blocks for Cade Wilson (8) as he runs the ball during the third quarter Friday when the Webb City Cardinals played against the Holt Indians in the Class 5 Show-Me Bowl at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. The Cardinals defeated the Indians 26-21. [Don Shrubshell photo]
Holt Indians’ Frank Merrell (4) makes a pass before he is tackled by Webb City’s Lucas Ott (48) during the second quarter Friday when the Webb City Cardinals played against the Holt Indians in the Class 5 Show-Me Bowl at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. The Cardinals defeated the Indians 26-21. [Don Shrubshell photo]
Holt Indians’ Scott Ginnever (83) can’t reach a pass from quarterback Frank Merrell (4) during the second quarter Friday when the Webb City Cardinals played against the Holt Indians in the Class 5 Show-Me Bowl at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. The Cardinals defeated the Indians 26-21. [Don Shrubshell photo]
Webb City’s Braeden Jakson (72) celebrates Cade Wilson’s (8) touchdown during the third quarter Friday when the Webb City Cardinals played against the Holt Indians in the Cass 5 Show-Me Bowl at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. The Cardinals defeated the Indians 26-21. [Don Shrubshell photo]

GIRLS SWIMMING: Tigers, Eagles, Cavaliers compete at Carthage All-Relays invite


Carthage High School hosted its annual All-Relays Meet on Thursday at the Fair Acres Family YMCA. 

Joplin was among the teams competing.

“This meet is a fun one because every event is a relay and the new athletes aren’t quite as nervous learning the sequence of how a meet operates,” Joplin coach Juliana Hughes said.

Joplin finished second in four different events—the 200-yard backstroke yard relay, the 600 freestyle relay, the 400 medley relay and the 300 free relay. 

Sophia Schwartz, Brooklyn Hiller, Lily Rakes and Mairi Beranek competed in the backstroke relay, while Schwartz, Hiller, Megan Walser and Allie Lawrence made up the 600 free relay. Swimming the medley relay were Taegen Smith, Rakes, Lawrence and Emma Langer.

Raelin Calderon, Avery Bermudez, Lanee Goodwin and Hiller saw the 300 free relay. 

The Eagles also placed third in the 200 breaststroke relay (Smith, Hiller, Rakes, Langer), the 200 freestyle relay (Schwartz, Walser, Lawrence, Langer), the 500 freestyle relay (Lawrence, Beranek, Walser, Rakes), the 200 medley relay (Beranek, Smith, Lawrence, Langer) and the 400 freestyle relay.  

“I’m excited to get the year started on such a positive note,” Hughes said. “Many of the girls swam their fastest times tonight based on their split. They will only progress from there, too.”

Thomas Jefferson won three events. The Cavaliers won the 200 breaststroke relay in 2:33, the 200 free relay in 1:57 and the 400 medley relay in 5:09. Sarah Mueller, Emalee Ro, Jenna Trimble and Natalie Carroll competed in all three events.

 Thomas Jefferson was second in the 200 medley relay, with Carroll, Ro, Mueller and Trimble swimming.

Carthage won four events—the 400 medley relay, the 200 backstroke relay, the 200 butterfly relay and the 600 freestyle relay.

Ava Lacey, Cassidy Smith, Madison Riley and Hope Fultz made up the medley relay, while Joey Hettinger, Alexis Fosdick, Anne Kennedy and Lacey swam the backstroke relay. 

Riley, Victoria Martinez, Molly O’Brien and Sydney Parks swam the fly relay and Riley, Smith, Lacey and Fultz were on the freestyle relay. 

The Tigers were second in the 200 breaststroke relay, the 500 free relay and the 400 free relay.

Nevada’s Avery Morris, Avery Ogle, Chloe Morris and Abbi Baldwin won the 200 medley relay in 2:16. 


HEARTBREAKING LOSS: Lamar falls short in Class 2 title game


COLUMBIA, Mo. — A repeat wasn’t meant to be for the Lamar Tigers.

Lutheran St. Charles scored the game-winning touchdown with six seconds left to earn a 33-27 win over Lamar in the MSHSAA Class 2 Show-Me Bowl on Friday at Faurot Field.

The back and forth thriller was deadlocked when the Cougars took over with 2:45 remaining. Lutheran St. Charles marched 64 yards on nine plays. The drive was capped by a 2-yard touchdown plunge by Arlen Harris Jr.

Lamar coach Jared Beshore noted he was extremely proud of his team’s effort after a loss that could be described as heartbreaking.

“Our guys like to call ourselves The Brotherhood,” Beshore said. “We played in full belief of our brotherhood tonight. We gave everything we had. There were good things that happened in the game and bad things that happened in the game. But they never quit. I love this team and I love coaching these guys. They showed today why they’ve been successful.” 

Lamar got on the board with five minutes remaining in the first quarter on Joel Beshore’s 1-yard run. Jose Juarez’s kick made it 7-0. 

The Tigers went up 13-0 on the first play from scrimmage to start the second period when Joel Beshore connected with Trace Willhite for a 62-yard touchdown strike. 

The Cougars swung the momentum in a hurry by making the most of two Lamar turnovers. 

One play after recovering a Lamar fumble, Lutheran St. Charles QB Aaron Coffey completed a 62-yard TD pass to Kaleb Mays. 

The Cougars took a 14-13 lead with 4:23 remaining in the second quarter after CJ Holloway scooped up a Tiger fumble and sprinted 50 yards to the end zone.

Lutheran St. Charles scored on the opening drive of the third period, as Arlen Harris Jr. scampered 6 yards, to pull his team ahead, 21-13.

Logan Crockett’s 13-yard touchdown run pulled the Tigers within two with 1:51 left in the third period. The two-point conversion failed, however.

The Tigers re-took the lead with 8:47 left on Crockett’s 1-yard plunge and the two-point conversion, a pass to Willhite. 

That gave Lamar a 27-21 cushion.

The lead didn’t last long, as Charles Young returned the kick 88 yards to the end zone. The PAT was blocked, keeping the score tied with 8:33 left on the clock. 

“That was huge, it was such a game-changer,” Cougars coach Arlen Harris Sr. said of the special teams play.

“They have some big-time playmakers,” Coach Beshore said of the Cougars. “They got us a couple of times, but I thought we did a nice job for the most part.”

After Lamar was forced to punt with just over three minutes to play, the Cougars put together the game-winning drive.

Lamar had 401 yards of offense, with 271 rushing and 130 passing. Joel Beshore ran 20 times for 99 yards, Crockett had 63 yards on nine carries. Willhite ran seven times for 58 yards and Austin Wilkerson had 56 rushing yards on nine attempts. 

Joel Beshore completed 14 of 22 passes. Willhite caught two passes for 64 yards. 

Lutheran St. Charles (12-2) had 267 yards, with 197 passing and 70 rushing. Coffey completed 13 of 19 passes. Mays had four catches for 118 yards. The Cougars captured their first state championship.

Coach Beshore noted he was proud of his team for overcoming adversity throughout the season, including a couple of injuries in the title game. 

Of course, Lamar beat St. Pius X in last year’s title game in what was Coach Beshore’s first year at the helm. That was Lamar’s eighth championship.

Lamar saw its winning streak halted at 23. This year’s squad finishes with a 13-1 record and a state runner-up plaque. 

“It meant quite a bit to come back to the state championship game and represent our town,” Lamar senior lineman Jake Polodna said. “We’re brothers. We’ve been playing together since we were in second or third grade. We made a lot of memories together. We represented everything Lamar stands for.” 


FULL STATS: MSHSAA 2021-2022 Class 2 11-Man Football State Tournament Matchup: Lutheran St. Charles vs. Lamar

BOYS BASKETBALL: Neosho opens ’21-22 season with road win at Aurora


AURORA, Mo. — The Neosho Wildcats began the 2021-22 season in a big way.

Neosho earned an 86-67 victory at Aurora on Thursday night in non-conference boys basketball action.

“Good first showing of the year,” Neosho coach Zane Culp said. “We had lots of scoring up and down the lineup. We will need to clean some things up to achieve our highest quality of basketball, but the boys played a fun, exciting brand that I think we can build on as we go.”

The Wildcats had four players score in double figures. K’dyn Waters led the way with 26 points, while Carter Fenske added 16 points with four 3-pointers.

Isaiah Green contributed 14 points and Kael Smith added 12. Brock Franklin just missed double figures with nine points. 

Jaesik Friggle scored 24 points for Aurora, while James Hoffman had 12 points and Orion Welch added 11.

Neosho scored 19 points in both the first and second quarters to take a 38-26 lead at intermission.

After putting up 23 points in the third period, the Wildcats held a commanding 61-41 lead entering the fourth quarter.  

The Wildcats will compete at the Pea Ridge Tournament beginning on Dec. 9.

PREP HOOPS ROUNDUP: Cavaliers rally to victory; CHC boys advance to title game; McAuley boys fall



DIAMOND, Mo. — With Thomas Jefferson trailing the entire game, senior Caden Myers tied the game with a reverse layup with 12 seconds left before earning a steal and turning it into a go-ahead basket with 1.5 ticks remaining to send the Cavaliers (4-0) to a 48-46 win over Diamond in the Gem City Classic semifinals on Thursday.

“The kids really did a nice job of handling the early adversity,” Thomas Jefferson coach Chris Myers said to SoMo Sports. “They really kept their composure and executed down the stretch to get key stops on the defensive end and key buckets on the offensive end. I’m super proud of our team’s effort tonight, top to bottom, our kids fought for each other and found a way.”

Myers led TJ with 19 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double, while Jay Ball finished with 15 points and 11 boards for a double-double. Drew Goodhope added six and Tyler Brouhard finished with five in the win.

Thomas Jefferson will play Lighthouse Christian in the Gem City Classic championship game at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. 



Miller Long scored 25 points and Curtis Davenport added 16 as the College Heights Christian boys basketball team defeated Crane 65-52 in the semifinals of the Pierce City Tournament.

The Cougars (2-1) play East Newton at 7:30 on Saturday in the championship game. 

East Newton defeated Marshfield 31-25 in the other semifinal. 



The Warriors got down early and never recovered. Galena led 26-11 en route to victory. 

“Clearly, I did not have my team ready to play tonight,” McAuley coach Tony Witt said. “We have a quick turnaround playing Sarcoxie tomorrow. Unfortunately, we do not have time to work on our mistakes, so we are going to have to compensate by playing harder than they do and being tougher than they are to give ourselves a chance.”

Michael Parrigon, Noah Black and Jeffery Horinek scored four points apiece for the Warriors (0-3). 

Ethan Bailey scored 15 points for Galena, while Garrett Lewallen added 14. 

McAuley takes on Sarcoxie at 7:30 on Friday at the Gem City Classic. 



Hollister defeated Carl Junction 76-58 on Tuesday night at the Forsyth Tournament.

“We did some really good things,” Carl Junction assistant coach Paden Bennett said. “We played with really good pace and we handled pressure pretty well. Hollister is a good team and showed us a few things that we need to work on. We’re looking forward to our next opportunity on Friday.” 

Josh Cory scored 22 points to lead the Bulldogs, while Ky Warren had 16 points. Also for CJ, Ayden Bard scored 13 points and Kyler Perry added seven.

Josh Barlow scored 32 points for Hollister. 

Hollister led 27-20 at the end of the first quarter and 41-32 at halftime. The Bulldogs trailed 56-41 heading into the fourth quarter. 

Carl Junction plays Forsyth at 7:30 on Friday before concluding the tourney on Saturday. 



BRANSON, Mo. — Mountain Home built a nine-point lead by halftime and held on for a 27-22 win over Mount Vernon on Thursday in the Branson Tournament.

Cameryn Cassity led Mount Vernon with seven points, while Harley Daniels finished six points and Cheyenne Bieber with five points.

CJ CLASSIC: Carl Junction claims championship with convincing win over Nevada


CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — A fast start and a smothering zone defense propelled Carl Junction to a convincing 60-41 win over Nevada in the championship game of the 45th annual CJ Classic on Thursday night.

The Bulldogs raced out to a 12-3 lead, withstood Nevada’s second-quarter surge and then put the game away with a strong third quarter. 

“I feel good about this one,” Carl Junction coach Brad Shorter said. “That’s a really good team. I thought our kids played hard and played well. Our kids played really hard and I’m proud of them. They stepped up and did some good things.”

Throughout the night, Carl Junction’s active 2-3 zone defense gave the Tigers fits.  

“We’ve been working a lot on man defense,” Shorter said. “It helps our matchup (zone) tremendously because of the man principles in it. Our kids are doing a good job of knowing who the scorers are and who the shooters are. They talk to each other and they’re communicating better than they were last year. That’s the extra year of experience and just enjoying playing with each other.” 

Carl Junction’s Destiny Buerge puts up a midrange jumper against Nevada during the championship game of the CJ Classic. Buerge was named the tourney’s MVP. Photo by Shawn Fowler.

Junior guard Destiny Buerge led the Bulldogs with 22 points. Buerge, the tourney’s MVP, made 10 field goals (one trey) and a free throw. 

“I’m glad we pulled through, played as a team and kept the good chemistry that we have,” Buerge said. “We just played our game. We wanted to put it on them from the beginning.”

Carl Junction junior guard Klohe Burk scored 11 points, while sophomore forward Kylie Scott added 10 points, dominated the boards and was named to the all-tourney team. Junior guard Hali Shorter added six points on two 3-pointers. 

Nevada was led by sophomore guard Clara Swearingen’s 18 points. Junior guard Maddy Majors added 12 for the Tigers (3-1). Both players were named to the all-tourney team. 

The Bulldogs led 12-3 out of the gates, with Buerge scoring seven during the early surge.

Nevada’s Swearingen drilled a long 3-pointer at the buzzer, and her team’s lone field goal of the opening frame cut CJ’s lead to 12-6.

Carl Junction’s Klohe Burk shoots a 3-pointer against Nevada’s Clara Swearingen on Thursday night.

The Bulldogs went up 24-10 after treys from Ellie Lawson and Burk and a charity from Buerge, but Nevada went on a 10-0 run to pull within four. Majors hit two 3-pointers during the spurt, while Swearingen and Abbey Heathman added baskets.

Buerge’s runner in the lane gave Carl Junction a 26-20 halftime advantage. 

“There were some points in the first half where we could have done some things better,” Coach Shorter noted. “Nevada got a few extra looks and we had a few turnovers. A lot of that’s my fault. The line change wasn’t exactly what we wanted. We’re trying to figure that out as a staff right…what’s going to be our best look and our best rotation and at what times.” 

After the Tigers won the second quarter 14-13, the Bulldogs outscored the visitors 33-21 in the second half. 

The hosts caught fire from beyond the arc in the third period. Scott, Hali Shorter and Burk all hit treys and the Bulldogs went up 43-24.

A putback by freshman Dezi Williams gave Carl Junction a comfortable 52-31 lead with five minutes remaining, and the outcome was never in doubt. 

The Bulldogs won all three games of the tourney by double figures. 

“It feels good,” Shorter said. “This is a very competitive tournament with some good teams. It’s not going to get any easier. The Joplin tournament is going to be a bear with some really good teams. But I’m proud of my girls. They’ve come a long way since last year and hopefully they can keep it up.”

Carl Junction (3-0) will take on Rogers (Ark.) at 5 on Thursday at Joplin’s Lady Eagle Classic.



Destiny Buerge, Carl Junction (MVP)

Clara Swearingen, Nevada

Aliya Grotjohn, Seneca

Tara Masten, Parkview

Maddy Majors, Nevada

Kylie Scott, Carl Junction

Brynn Driver, Joplin


Carl Junction freshman Dezi Williams puts up a shot in the lane against Nevada on Thursday night.


The Carl Junction Bulldogs pose with the CJ Classic championship trophy after beating Nevada on Thursday. All photos by Shawn Fowler.

CJ CLASSIC: Joplin ends tourney with solid win; Wildcats top rival Mustangs


CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — The Joplin Eagles definitely ended the CJ Classic on a positive note.

Joplin rode a strong second half to a 59-42 win over Springdale (Ark.) in the 45th annual event’s fifth-place game on Thursday night at Carl Junction High School.

“That was a good win,” Eagles coach Luke Floyd said. “I’m just extremely proud of these girls. From where we’ve come from last year to this year, we’re heading in the right direction and I’m excited to see what’s next.”

Joplin raced out to a 9-1 start, but the Bulldogs responded with a 12-0 run. Four straight points from Ella Hafer tied the game, but the Bulldogs led 17-15 at the end of the first quarter.

Joplin’s Brynn Driver scores in the lane against Springdale on Thursday night at the CJ Classic. Driver was named to the all-tourney team. Photos by Shawn Fowler.

Brooke Nice’s five straight points, along with Emma Floyd’s hoop just before the buzzer, gave Joplin a 29-26 lead at intermission.

“We got off to a great start, they came back and took the lead, but our girls just battled back,” Coach Floyd said. “They were able to make adjustments throughout the game without us stopping the game to make the adjustments for them. That’s the sign of a good program.”

The Eagles finished the third quarter on an 11-5 run. Nice knocked down back to back 3-pointers from the left corner and Brynn Driver converted an old-fashioned 3-point play and then made a driving layup to extend Joplin’s lead to 44-35 at the end the third quarter.

The Eagles went up 51-37 with six minutes to play after four points from Hafer and a trey from Izzy Yust. 

A junior guard, Driver led the Eagles with 18 points. A senior guard, Nice added 16 and her classmate Hafer added 12 to give Joplin three players in double figures. 

“We missed some free throws and bunnies to allow them to hang around a little bit, but our effort, especially on the defensive end and on the boards was phenomenal tonight,” Floyd said. 

Joplin (4-1) will host its own tournament next week, with the opening round set for Thursday inside Kaminsky Gymnasium.



Freshman guard Beclynn Garrett scored a game-high 21 points and hit four 3-pointers to lead the Neosho Wildcats past McDonald County 40-32 on Thursday for seventh place in the CJ Classic. 

Junior forward Karlee Ellick added nine points for Neosho, while classmate Reagan McInturff had seven. 

Samara Smith scored 11 points to lead the Mustangs and Addy Leach had eight. 

Neosho was clinging to a 13-10 lead at the end of the opening quarter, but the Wildcats scored the first 11 points of the second period. Garrett hit three 3-pointers and McInturff scored inside to start the frame. 

Neosho’s lead was 26-12 at halftime and the Wildcats were up 36-13 entering the fourth quarter.

The Mustangs erupted for 16 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough, as the Wildcats claimed seventh place. 


Joplin’s Emma Floyd puts up a shot in the lane against Springdale on Thursday night at the CJ Classic. Joplin won the game 59-42.


Joplin’s Izzy Yust looks to score in the paint against Springdale during the fifth-place game of the CJ Classic on Thursday night at Carl Junction High School. Photos by Shawn Fowler.