Indians take second place at Strafford Invitational
The Strafford Invitational brought the Ava Bears, Waynesville Tigers, Willow Springs Bears, Sparta Trojans, Buffalo Bison, Mountain Grove Panthers, and the Cassville Wildcats all to one court for one of the best boys basketball tournaments in the area from Monday, Nov. 27 to Saturday, Dec. 3.
After defeating Ava on the first day, the Indians took on the Willow Springs Bears for their second-round matchup. Strafford defeated the Bears in a blowout 70-35.
On Saturday, Dec. 2, Strafford took on the Sparta Trojans for first place. Led by six-foot-five forward Jacob Lafferty, the Trojans had defeated Buffalo and Mountain Grove in previous rounds.
The opening tip was won by Sparta.
The first quarter saw the Indians take an early lead, with Sparta slow offensively. Momentum continued to favor the Indians until seniors Brady Ripp and Cody Voysey both picked up two fouls before the quarter’s end. Both sat for most of the quarter, and a significant part of the first half.
"Our bench stepped up for us in a big way," said head coach Tyler Ryerson. "The foul trouble disrupted our offensive flow, but we've got 10 guys on our team that can play varsity, and we're not afraid to use them."
By the end of the first, the Indians trailed 18-16. The Indians attempted to dig into their bench to deal with the lack of Ripp and Voysey on the court, but the Trojans never let off the gas pedal.
Lafferty picked up 26 points in a game-high for the forward. However, the Trojans struggled at the line, going 12-for-25 on the night, which helped keep the Indians in the game.
Voysey picked up 23 points despite the foul trouble. In the fourth quarter alone, he scored 17 points as the Indians rallied back into the game. Jourdyn Edelstein, a senior, picked up 11 points.
The final score of the game was 67-61.
"I'm really happy with our kids," added Ryerson. "We battled the whole tournament despite the adversity."
The Indians take on El Dorado Springs on Thursday, Dec. 7.
"El Dorado is tough," explained Ryerson. "We're going to try and out run them on the open floor. They've got some good athletes, so we're going to turn up our pace."
9th Annual Fordland Tournament
The Fordland Tournament took place from Monday, Nov. 27 to Saturday, Dec. 2.
The Fordland Eagles entered their own tournament as the number one seed. After defeating Bradleyville, they beat the Hartville Eagles 43-22 to advance to the championship round.
The Mountain Grove Lady Panthers met the Lady Eagles in the championship round.
Though the Eagles played hard, with Lauren Bojko racking up 17 points and Emma Trotter getting 12, the Lady Panthers won 55-50. Fordland took second place.
“We had three great quarters,” said head coach Kevin McDaris. “Mountain Grove has a lot of upperclassmen and are well coached. We missed some free throws and had some bad timed turnovers.”
The Lady Eagles faced Ava on the road for their next game on Tuesday, Dec. 5.
The Conway Lady Bears fell in the first-round last week to a good Mountain Grove team 22-60. They matched up with the Houston Tigers for the first round of the consolation bracket.
In a hard-fought game, Conway emerged victorious over Houston 38-30.
Freshman Arianna Hughes racked up 15 points. Trista Simpson, a senior, finished with 10 points.
The Lady Bears advanced to the consolation championship against Greenwood.
“Greenwood is a well-coached team that can get to the rim a lot,” added Wilson. “We put them on the line a lot with our fouling.”
The game was neck and neck for the entirety of the game. In the final minutes of the fourth quarter, Simpson fouled out, leaving the Lady Bears without their main ball-handler.
Greenwood went to the line, but the Bears’ bench noticed that the free throw shooter was not the one who was fouled. The referees fixed the play, and had the correct shooter re-shoot the free throws. Greenwood’s shooter went 1-1, leaving the game tied.
The Bears took possession. Maddy Officer, a senior, drove and dished to Maddie Thompson, who scored a layup to put Conway up by two points.
Conway left Fordland as the consolation champions of the Fordland Tournament with a final score of 38-36.
Hughes picked up 17 points. Simpson got eight points.
“Hughes is special already,” said head coach Matt Wilson. “She’s great on the defensive end with getting in passing lanes.”
The Lady Bears will face Greenwood again at home on Thursday, Dec. 7.
Lady Wildcats take third place at Fair Grove Invite
The Logan-Rogersville Lady Wildcats opened up their season with the Fair Grove Invitational. They took on the Lebanon Yellowjackets for the first-round on Tuesday, Nov. 28.
The Lady Cats took the win over Lebanon to advance to the next round. Perry dropped 27 points in her senior debut. Hailey Buckman got 17 points. Eden Kibby picked up 15. Reagan Rasummen finished with 14.
Rogersville took on the West Plains Zizzers for the next round on Thursday, Nov. 30. A tough match left the Lady Cats with a loss. They advanced to play for third place.
In the third-place game, the Lady Cats took on Springfield Catholic.
“We played well as a team,” said head coach Cory Watts. “We corrected some things from the West Plains game and figured it out to get third in the tournament.”
Buckman and Kibby picked up 14 a piece, while Perry and Rasmussen both finished with seven points to clinch the third-place finish in a blowout with a final score of 52-22.
Conway Bears take second at the 52nd Morrisville Tournament
The Conway Bears entered the Morrisville Tournament as the seventh seed with their first game against the host of the tournament, the Marion C. Early Panthers. Teams from Ash Grove, Greenfield, Pleasant Hope, New Covenant Academy, Stockton, and Walnut Grove also competed in the tournament.
In the first round, the Bears shocked the tournament by defeating the second seeded Morrisville Panthers of Marion C. Early. Morrisville couldn’t keep up offensively, and senior Issac Freeman, of Conway, hit six-three-pointers to give the Bears the win.
Stockton, the third seed, defeated Pleasant Hope in the first round and met Conway in the semi-finals.
“We couldn’t score for most of the game and our defense was lacking,” said head coach Dayton Robison. “We had a really good fourth quarter where we outscored them 22-12 in the fourth which made all the difference.”
Tyler Vaughn, a senior, scored 28 points. Brixon Bilyeu, a junior, finished with 23 points on the night.
The Bears went on to play Pleasant Hope for the championship. Though they played hard, they fell short to the Pirates 72-87.
“Pleasant Hope was really fast,” added Robison. “They got up on by 25 points at one point, which we cut down to about 13 points. We couldn’t bring it back from that.”
Vaughn ended the night with 20 points. Bilyeu picked up 23 points.
The Conway Bears are now in the Mansfield Tournament. They had their first game on Monday, Dec. 2 against the tournament host, the Lions.
Lady Indians win consolation bracket at Willard Classic
After falling to Rock Bridge by 30 points on Thursday, Nov. 30, the Lady Indians fell into the consolation bracket for the remainder of the Willard Classic.
Their next matchup was against Harrison.
They Lady Indians won the game 58-46 to send themselves to the consolation championship round against Blue Springs.
Blue Springs previously lost to the Republic Lady Tigers in the first-round to send themselves into the other side of the tournament. After beating Willard in a close 49-44 game, they met Strafford in the championship.
The Lady Indians took the win against Blue Eye to clinch the fifth-place consolation championship.
"We grew as a team each game," said head coach Dustin Larsen. "Each night we got better. We've got a lot of depth we're trying to figure out how to work with. It was a good learning experience to grow through."
Strafford's girls play at the Norm Stewart Classic at Mizzou on Saturday, Dec. 9.
The Norm Stewart Classic is named after famous coach Norm Stewart, a Missouri native who was drafted into both the NBA and the MLB before coaching for Missouri University. His name-sake tournament is a celebration of basketball, with teams from out of state and in-state competing. The tournament also benefits cancer research.
The Lady Indians take on Lyon County, a team out of Kentucky.
"We're looking forward to it," added Larsen. "They're a younger team with some good talent. It should be a good test for us."
Check next week's edition of The Marshfield Mail for a wrap up on the Lady Indians' performance at the Norm Stewart Classic.
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