Your online home for Joplin area sports coverage.

BOYS HOOPS: Webb City blitzes Monett in season opener

Jason Peake


WEBB CITY, Mo. — Ahead of Tuesday night’s season-opener, the Webb City Cardinals had just four days of practice with all of their players available.

It was hard to tell.

Pushing the pace from the start, Webb City held a 20-point lead before the first quarter concluded on the way to a dominant 65-34 non-conference boys basketball victory over Monett inside the Cardinal Dome.

“I was really pleased with our effort tonight,” Webb City coach Jason Horn said. “We wanted to get the pace into a track meet and we were able to do that. Every guy that went into the game was playing at max effort. They played through mistakes, and they made an effort to share the ball. Our guys have really bought in to what we’re trying to do, and I was really pleased.”

The Cardinals once again got off to a late start to the hoops season as far as practice time with everyone, as the school’s football team advanced to the state semifinals.

“It’s not easy when you’re playing into shape,” Horn said. “This is my eighth year here and we’ve built our system up from the grade school level, so they’re used to what we’re doing. It’s more about trying to get enough practice in to fine-tune things. And you’re always nervous for the first game. We had four varsity guys who were consistently in practice. The rest of the guys just came in.”

Displaying a tenacious defense and taking advantage of its overall team speed, Webb City built a comfortable 29-8 lead by the end of the opening quarter.

From the start, the Cardinals were able to get numerous hoops in transition, often converting steals into layups. Five different players scored in the first period, as the hosts showed their depth.

“I think this is the fastest team I’ve had in 20 years of coaching basketball,” Horn said. “There’s some elite speed on the floor and that can make up for our lack of size. And they share the ball. And right now, we need to get runouts because we don’t have our legs under us yet.”

The Cubs scored the first eight points of the second quarter before the Cardinals righted the ship in a big way. Webb City closed the first half on a spirited 22-3 surge to take a commanding 51-19 halftime lead.

Webb City senior guard Barron Duda outscored the visitors by himself in the first half, 22-19.

Webb City’s lead was never in jeopardy in the second half. The Cardinals were up 65-34 entering the fourth quarter.

“Monett struggled tonight and they’re a better team than what they showed,” Horn said. “They have some nice players. We had a good atmosphere and we overwhelmed them early and it snowballed on them. I certainly don’t think it would be like that if we played them again. But that’s a credit to our kids and our student section. Those things work together and it makes it a fun environment to play in.” 

The 6-foot-3 Duda scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Cardinals. Both were game highs.

“He’s an all-conference type player and I think he’s going to have a big year,” Horn said. “He made plays when he needed to. I’m really happy with his performance.”

Three others reached double figures for the Cardinals, as junior guard Holton Keith scored 13 points, junior guard Eli Pace had 12 and senior guard Omari Jackson added 10. 

“I’m really happy with Omari Jackson,” Horn said. “He’s on four practices and he played with great pace.”

Pace handed out six assists and sophomore Trae Turner had six boards.

The Cardinals had 18 steals in the game, as Pace, Keith and sophomore Gabe Johnson recorded four apiece.

Landyn Brandt scored 11 points to lead the Cubs, while Ian Waterman added seven. 

Webb City takes on Nevada at 6:30 on Thursday night in an opening round contest of the 77th Carthage Invitational. The Webb City-Nevada winner will meet either Raymore-Peculiar or Fort Smith Southside in Friday’s semifinals.

“Nevada’s got a good crew and we know they shoot the ball very well,” Horn said. “Win or lose, you’re looking at a tough game in the next round too. It’s a really good tournament again this year. Carthage has one of the better teams in our area and they may have the best player in our area in Justin Ray. There’s a lot of talent in the tournament. It will be a good one, so we’re excited to see where we’re at.” 

Monett (0-2) will be among the teams competing at this week’s Seneca Invitational.


FULL STATS: Webb City HS (


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Table of Contents

On Key

Related Posts