JOPLIN – Strong first and fourth quarters paid off for William Chrisman’s boys basketball team in a 71-57 consolation bracket win over Neosho at the Kaminsky Classic.
The Bears (5-4) outscored Neosho 24-12 in the first quarter and 21-8 in the fourth for the victory and a spot in today’s fifth-place game.
Alex Ball, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, scored 17 of his game and career-high 29 points in the first half and had five rebounds. He hit 13 of 18 shots with two three-pointers.
Neosho trailed by as much as 16 in the first half but trimmed the deficit down to one (50-49) to start the fourth quarter. The Bears then started the fourth with a 10-0 run to earn the victory.
Senior point guard Brett Pendergist added 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Chrisman. Randall Horn added 14 points for the Bears. Ball and Pendergist also had three steals each, as the Bears tallied 15 steals as part of Neosho’s 25 turnovers.
BLUE SPRINGS SOUTH 67, RUSKIN 31: Victory No. 8 came easily for Blue Springs South, as Kevin Puryear scored 19 points, K.J. Robinson 13 and Thomas Abarca 11 to lead the visiting Jaguars.
South led 39-18 at halftime and posted its seventh-consecutive victory.
"It was a good team effort," South coach Jimmy Cain said. "We played well defensively and came out ready to play."
FORT OSAGE 60, OAK PARK 57: Fort Osage outscored host Oak Park 15-12 in overtime to post the Suburban Middle Seven victory.
Skylar Thompson scored 15 points, Josh Alt 11 and Will Penamon 10 to guide the Indians (6-5, 2-1). Bailey Williamson added eight.
Starter Brian Starr left the game in the first quarter and never returned after suffering a broken nose. He scored four points.
Williamson was fouled in shooting a 3-pointer and hit two free throws to tie the game and force the overtime. Alt hit three free throws and a three-pointer in leading the Indians in the overtime.
‘’We were up by 10 with about a minute left in the third quarter and lost the lead." Fort Osage coach Josh Wilson said. "Hayden Baumgartner, a junior varsity kid, took a charge in the fourth quarter when we were down by two. It was a huge momentum changer. We had some guys step up."
GRAIN VALLEY 60, ODESSA 51: Visiting Odessa made things interesting after trailing by 19 entering the fourth quarter, but the Eagles never let their lead slip below six to win their Missouri River Valley West opener.
Jordan Mahurin poured in 20 points to pace Grain Valley, which improved to 7-2, while Daniel Mahurin added 15 and Cody Ziegler 14.
Grain Valley led 14-4 after the first quarter, 27-17 at halftime and 43-24 entering the fourth.
"We just had one mental breakdown after another in the fourth, but in the end they made enough plays," Eagles coach Andy Herbert said. "We executed better offensively better in the first three quarter, and the last quarter we got a little tentative. Kind of the prevent defense mentality."
BARSTOW 71, VAN HORN 54: Visiting Barstow led 30-28 at halftime and slowly pulled away in the teams’ Crossroads Conference opener.
Anthony Winningham’s 20 points led Van Horn, which fell to 2-5. Samala Sua added 11, Mike Payne eight and Isaiah Gotsis seven.
"They started building their lead, and we could never chip away at it," Van Horn coach Daniel Bieser said.
LEE’S SUMMIT WEST 69, LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH 51: North trailed just 32-30 at halftime and had the game tied at 45 entering the fourth before its crosstown Class 5 power pulled away at home.
Caleb Berry’s 16 points, Jalen Ford’s 13 and Anthony Lupardus’ 11 led the visiting Broncos, who fell to 3-6.
"We couldn’t get any shots to fall, and in addition I think we just ran out of gas," North coach Mike Hilbert said of the fourth quarter. "It was a pretty intense game. We really only play six or seven guys, this was their first big-game atmosphere, and I just think we got to the fourth quarter and were out of gas.
"We didn’t execute very well, and Lee’s Summit West, to their credit, picked up their defense, and they got some runouts. I think my guys grew up a lot tonight and learned a lot."