The Carthage Lady Tigers defeated the Seneca Lady Indians Thursday night, 71-47, during the second round of the 58th annual Neosho Holiday Classic at Neosho Middle School.
From the duration of the game, spectators watched both teams put on defensive showcases. A hard fought contest, turnovers plagued both teams.
The Tigers took the lead right from the start and kept the lid on the Indians throughout the game. At the end of the first quarter the Tigers were leading 22-12, with Seneca scoring most of their points toward the end of the quarter.
The Indians had and took good looks at the basket, but could not seem to put the ball through the net. Carthage had better luck with their shots and the score reflected the higher shooting percentage.
Addressing the rough start, Seneca Coach Bob Coffey said, “We dug ourselves a deep hole right from the start and lost track of their shooter. We picked it up later, in the first half, but lost it again later in the game.”
Seneca whittled the Carthage lead to seven points, 36-29, by halftime.
The momentum that the Indians carried into halftime continued into the third quarter, sparked by Rachel Butterfield. Butterfield quickly picked up some points, stole the ball from Carthage twice and nabbed some rebounds early in the quarter.
Seneca seemed headed in a new direction. The Tigers’ Chloe Shepherd, who had a good game up to that point, stepped up and put an end to Seneca’s move, scoring baskets and covering the entire court on offense, stealing the ball and fighting for rebounds on defense.
The Tigers outscored the Indians 17-10 in the third quarter and an additional nine in the fourth. Carthage earned its second win of the tournament.
Vanessa Pawlak led the Lady Tigers with 20 points while Shepherd finished with 18, Quincey Charleston 12, Regan Gartner four, Emily Goeken four, Maya Williams two, Leigh Ann Craig three, Amy Keller one, Mariah Thrasher three and Sierra Barrett four.
Molli Cooper led the Lady Indians with 14 points while Bailey Skelton turned in 10, Willow Rhoades four Mirana Heath six, Annie Howard four, Rachel Butterfield seven and Elena Wood two.
“Carthage has a good ball club,” Coffey said. “I was proud of our team. (We) had good intensity and never quit.”