District play ends Barry County basketball

Friday, March 9, 2007
Handling the ball Southwest sophomore Stacy Hobbs brings the ball down the court during the Lady Trojans' district game against Seneca. Although small in stature, Hobbs provided plenty of spark for Southwest this season. Democrat Photo (b)

Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 basketball teams began play in their district tournaments this past week. Of the eight Barry County teams competing in these three districts, none were able to advance to the state play-offs.

The Purdy and Wheaton girls met each other in the Class 2, District 12 Tournament in Joplin. The teams had split games during the regular season, and the district game was very back and forth until the end.

The score was knotted up going into the third quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs came up big and outscored Purdy 15-9 in the final frame to capture a 37-31 victory. Purdy was led by Avery Roller's 14 points. Megan Littlefield also had 14 for Wheaton. Purdy finished the season with a record of 12-13.

The Lady Bulldogs advanced to the district semi-finals where they faced off against second-seeded McAuley Catholic. Wheaton had three opportunities to beat the Lady Warriors in the regular season but could not do it.

McAuley took an early lead in the game and extended it to 15 going into the fourth quarter. Wheaton made a furious rally in the fourth, and with 50 seconds remaining, tied the game at 35 with a Littlefield trey, but the Lady Warriors rallied back and won the game 41-36. Littlefield again led scoring for the Lady Bulldogs with 13. Wheaton ended their season with a record of 12-16.

Exeter began their district tournament at Willard. The Lady Tigers were seeded second in the contest and faced Verona in their first match-up. Exeter used a big first quarter to keep the Lady Wildcats out of it, and despite a late rally, the Lady Tigers won 58-41.

For their second contest, Exeter took on Lockwood. The Lockwood ladies struck quickly and left Exeter trailing 17-8 after the first quarter of play. The Lady Tigers edged their way back into it down the stretch and were able to cut the deficit to 5 going into the final frame. However, Lockwood pulled away there and won 51-44. Whitney Edie scored 25 points for Exeter, who finished their season with a record of 14-8.

The Southwest Lady Trojans hoped to further their future while playing at Aurora High School last week. The fifth-seeded Lady Trojans drew fourth-seeded Seneca in their first round game.

Despite an early Southwest lead, it was Seneca who led the game after three quarters of play at 51-50. In the fourth quarter, the Lady Indians, who had pressured the Lady Trojans the entire game, finally broke through and exploded for 23 points in the fourth while holding Southwest to just 9. Seneca won the game 74-59.

Brittany Clifton scored 16 points to lead Southwest. The Lady Trojans end their season with a 21-3 mark and an Ozark 7 Championship.

On the boys side of the action, Purdy took on Miller. The Eagles never led by more than 5 in the contest and with 5 seconds remaining on the clock Miller scored off an offensive rebound to take the lead at 45-43.

Purdy, inbounded the ball to Blake Williams, who drove the length of the court and put up a three-point shot. Williams, only an 18 percent three-point shooter on the year, hit the shot and gave Purdy an unbelievable victory 46-45.

Both Mason Roller and Williams scored 18 points for their team. Williams also shot 5-5 from the line and had six assists. Purdy only turned the ball over six times in the contest.

In the semi-final game, Purdy faced McAuley Catholic, a team they had faced twice in the regular season. The Warriors came out quickly in the contest and led 19-10 after one frame. Purdy closed in the second quarter and trailed by just one, 31-30, at the break. The Eagles took the lead in the third, but only briefly, as McAuley rallied and won 72-55. Roller scored 13 to lead the Eagles. Purdy finished their season with a record of 17-10.

The Wheaton Bulldogs were the other Barry County team in the Class 2, District 12 tournament and they faced off against Liberal in their first game. Liberal led all the way until the fourth when Wheaton tied it and forced the game into overtime. The Bulldogs gave just enough in the extra period and won 47-44. Chris Musick and Craig Davidson scored 10 a piece for Wheaton.

In their second game, the Bulldogs faced top-seeded Jasper. Wheaton held pace with Jasper in the first quarter, but the favored team pulled away down the stretch and won 68-49. Musick scored 14 in the contest. Wheaton ends the season with a record of 14-12.

The Southwest boys had possibly the hardest draw of all the Barry County teams this week. The Trojans took on the #1 ranked Mt. Vernon Mountaineers.

Mt. Vernon jumped on the underdog quickly, scoring the first 14 points in the game and cutting off much hope of an upset. The Trojans had a great second quarter to stay in it, but the Mountaineers pulled away in the second half and won 80-46. Rocky Hall led the Trojans with 20 points. The Southwest boys finished the year with a 4-20 record.

Exeter faced top seeded Billings in its first round match-up. Billings broke loose in the second quarter and led at the half 38-10. Exeter could not rally and lost 22-68. Zach Wubker led scoring with 7 points. Exeter ends its season with a record of 2-20.

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