WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City and Parkview played at a back-and-forth pace over the first two quarters before the Cardinals distanced themselves late in the third period behind a strong defensive effort on the way to a 60-49 Senior Night win over the Vikings on Monday inside the Cardinal Dome.
“I thought early in the game, especially in the first half, we were just trading buckets with them,” Webb City coach Lance Robbins said. “We weren’t guarding to our potential, and that was one of the main things we talked about at halftime. … We made some adjustments defensively … and we were able to generate some turnovers out of that, which led to some easy buckets. I am just proud of the kids’ effort defensively in the second half and being able to adjust.”
Webb City honored three seniors before the game with a Senior Night ceremony—Jaydee Duda, Sierra Kimbrough and Raven Vaughn.
“Sierra, Raven and Jaydee have done a good job all four years they’ve been here,” Robbins said. “Their leadership on and off the floor is something we appreciate. We know all three of them have bright futures ahead of them, but we are certainly going to miss them. We’re glad we were able to send them out on a positive note on Senior Night tonight.”
Duda led Webb City with a game-high 23 points, while Kimbrough added 13. Kate Brownfield scored nine, while Josie Spikereit closed with eight.
Kamri Ouck led Parkview with 20 points, while Mikaela Whalen finished with 19. After both players combined to score 29 in the first half, Webb City limited the duo to 10 points in the final two quarters.
“I think we decided to help off of a player we felt wasn’t going to be as effective offensively to just to put somebody else in the lane so whoever was guarding (Whalen or Ouck) had help,” Robbins said. “Early in the game, we didn’t have that and they were able to get by us. That was the biggest adjustment—just sticking somebody in the lane to clog it and take away their angles to score the basketball.”
The first half saw seven ties and six lead changes with both teams heading into the intermission knotted up at 32-32. Webb City (6-8) held the largest lead of the first half — five points — when Duda knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner with 57 seconds left in the opening quarter to make the score 16-11.
One hindrance to the Cardinals in the first half, and ultimately the game, was free-throw shooting. Webb City finished 6-of-13 from the stripe in the first half and closed the win shooting 10-of-25 from the free-throw line.
“Free throws and layups are huge,” Robbins said. “They win you basketball games. We’ve preached that to our kids since day one. We have struggled in those two areas—free throws and easy layups. If we continue to improve in those areas, we will continue to have more success in the win-loss column.”
Whalen scored the first two baskets out of halftime to give Parkview a four-point lead, which it held onto through the first four minutes of action in the second half.
Coach Robbins called a timeout near the four-minute mark, and you could see the adjustment instantly, as the Cardinals went into a full-court, trapping press on the defensive end. The adjustment worked, as Webb City closed the third quarter on a 12-0 run to build the first real cushion of the game, 49-41, with one quarter to play.
“Anytime you can make a 12-0 run on somebody, obviously it gives you momentum, but I felt like our confidence started to grow,” Robbins said. “We started making some jumpers outside and moving the ball well offensively—playing outside and inside. Once we got that lead, our kids felt confident in themselves to manage the game in the fourth quarter.”
The Cardinals forced five turnovers on defense in the run, while Duda and Kimbrough both knocked down 3-pointers on offense to kick off the spurt. Webb City closed with baskets from Mia Robbins, Spikereit and Kimbrough.
Webb City’s defense didn’t let up in the final eight minutes, limiting the Vikings to two field goals as a team in the fourth quarter en route to the win.
“I thought we had kids who stepped up and did a good job defensively,” Robbins said of his team’s finish. “We’ve played a lot of zone lately. Tonight, we probably played 90 percent man-to-man throughout the course of the game. For our kids to adjust and have the toughness to guard the way they did in the third and fourth quarter speaks volumes.”
Webb City takes part in the Camdenton Shootout on Saturday.