By Brennan Stebbins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Thursday evening was pretty much as good a time as any for Carl Junction’s 30-game profitable streak – the longest lively streak within the state – to come back to an finish.
Higher December than March.
“Precisely,” Carl Junction coach Brad Shorter stated.
Visiting Nixa performed spoiler because the Eagles earned a hard-fought 63-53 victory within the championship recreation of the CJ Basic, handing the Bulldogs their first loss since March 5, 2019.
“We’ve received so much to be taught,” Nixa coach Jennifer Perryman stated. “I feel we’ve received a variety of skillset and a variety of potential however we’re not even near the place we wish to be. We discovered a variety of classes tonight and any time you may be taught these classes and nonetheless come out on prime it’s a very good factor so I’m pleased with our youngsters. I’m pleased with our mindset. This time final yr we’d have folded however our mindset tonight was to stay collectively and pull it out.”
The Eagles (4-0) constructed a 10-point lead halfway by the third quarter and nonetheless led 49-39 early within the fourth earlier than the Bulldogs (2-1) pulled inside some extent within the ultimate minutes.
5-straight factors by Carl Junction sophomore Hali Shorter keyed a 14-5 run. Sophomore Future Buerge grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to make it 54-49 with 4:22 left within the recreation, then scored on a pull up jumper the following time down the ground to make it a one-possession recreation.
After two Nixa turnovers, Carl Junction junior Jessa Hylton made a free throw with 2:48 remaining and added one other on the 2:15 mark to make it 54-53.
The Eagles have been clutch on the free throw line, although, making 9 of 12 within the fourth quarter. A pair of free throws by junior Rhianna Gibbons made it 56-53 with 1:49 left.
Nixa employed full-court stress and compelled a turnover seconds later and sophomore Norah Clark scored with 1:41 on the clock to make it 58-53.
The Bulldogs got here up empty handed on their ultimate 5 possessions of the sport, whereas Nixa added a free throw by junior Alison Kamies after which 4 extra by junior Macie Conway to seal it.
“The actual fact they whittled it all the way down to (one) is a matter we have to discuss,” Perryman stated. “I don’t assume our determination making was superb tonight and a part of that’s due to their defensive stress and Brad’s preparation on us. I really feel like each time we received to a degree the place we might break free we made selections that allow them again in. We’ve received to get to a degree the place we will nonetheless play our recreation and our tempo of play however make higher selections. I feel our press, each time we misplaced the lead our press and our protection received us again in it.”
Carl Junction led 15-13 after the primary quarter and twice led by as many as 5 factors within the second quarter as Nixa struggled offensively. The Eagles dedicated six turnovers within the second and made only one subject objective within the first six minutes.
Freshman Jacy Bray grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 2:03 left within the half, then Gibbons added a 3 pointer lower than a minute later. Senior Adelyn Weaver tied the sport at 24 with a free throw on the 40-second mark, and Kamies made a free throw with 7.4 seconds left to present her staff a one-point lead on the break.
Nixa shot 68-percent from the road, making 19 of 28 free throw makes an attempt.
Carl Junction, in the meantime, made 15 of 23 for 65 p.c. The Bulldogs solely made 3 of 8 within the fourth quarter, although.
“I’m simply tremendous pleased with our youngsters for taking part in as exhausting as they did tonight,” Shorter stated. “I believed they performed extraordinarily exhausting in opposition to a really well-coached staff, a really proficient staff. We knew they have been proficient once they received within the match due to what we noticed final yr they usually add the Conway sisters into the combo. Nice basketball staff. I feel it was a one-point recreation with about two minutes to go, so we had a shot. Our youth got here by slightly bit however on the similar time we simply missed just a few. We’ll get there. I’m very pleased with our youngsters.”
Perryman credited the Bulldogs with taking part in extra bodily than her staff, one thing that caught the Eagles off guard.
“We knew what they have been going to come back out in x’s and o’s however they have been additional bodily on the ball,” she stated. “They have been within the passing lanes, they have been bodily beneath the basket and that’s the place we actually lack. We’ve been preaching rebounding and physicality all summer season and all fall and I feel tonight was a extremely good lesson for our youngsters.”
Macie Conway led Nixa with 17 factors, Gibbons added 14 and Kamies scored 12.
Buerge led all scorers with 27 factors for Carl Junction. Hylton and Shorter each scored eight.
Future Buerge, Carl Junction
Kylie Scott, Carl Junction
Tylin Heathman, Nevada
Olivia Hixson, Neosho
Norah Clark, Nixa
Ali Kamies, Nixa
Match MVP: Macie Conway, Nixa