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GIRLS HOOPS: Seneca rallies late to knock off Joplin

SoMo Sports staff reports


SENECA, Mo. — Trailing by five with four minutes to play, Seneca finished the game on a 14-0 run to earn a 55-46 non-conference girls basketball victory over Joplin on Friday night. 

Joplin fell to 5-4 on the season, while Seneca improved to 5-2.

“We got beat by a good Seneca team,” Joplin coach Luke Floyd said. “The girls played hard all night, but as the game progressed Seneca made great adjustments and I did not. I have to do a better job of putting our girls in position to close out games. Hats off to the Seneca coaches and players for having a great game plan and sticking to it. I have to do a better job of preparing and game planning…especially after having a full week of practice.”

Aliya Grotjohn scored 27 points to lead Seneca, while Hazley Grotjohn added 12 and Samarah Mittag chipped in eight. 

Emma Floyd scored 12 points to lead Joplin, while Brooke Nice had 11 and Ella Hafer contributed 10 points. 

The Eagles led 10-2 after an old-fashioned three-point play by Hafer, but the Indians eventually tied it up at 11 after a trey from Hazley Grotjohn and a hoop in the lane by Aliya Grotjohn. 

Nice hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Joplin a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. 

The Eagles went up nine at 20-11 after free throws from Izzy Yust and Brynn Driver, but the Indians used a 9-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Mittag, to pull within two. 

Buckets from Driver and Emma Floyd kept the Eagles in front, but a last-second trey from Aliya Grotjohn cut Joplin’s lead to 26-25 at halftime.

Seneca finished the first half on a 14-6 run, trimming a nine-point deficit down to one. 

The game was tied at 36 entering the fourth quarter. 

Seneca took its first lead of the night early in the final frame on Aliya Grotjohn’s 3-point play, but Joplin went back ahead 41-39 with 4:40 remaining after five straight points from Emma Floyd.

Joplin led 46-41 after a trey from Nice and a layup from Hafer. But Hafer fouled out moments later, and the Eagles would not score again. 

The Indians finished strong, as Hazley Grotjohn converted a conventional 3-point play and Aliya Grotjohn hit a trey.

Free throws from both Grotjohn sisters and a transition layup from Aliya Grotjohn accounted for the final score.  

Joplin travels to Chillicothe on Tuesday night in the final contest of 2021. 

Seneca is now off until a Jan. 3 date at Clever.


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