A fast start, a strong finish and 15 first-half points by senior Nathan Reid were enough to give Carthage a 20-point lead at the break Friday night as the Tigers boys basketball team rolled to a 70-41 win against Neosho at Carthage High School.
The Tigers scored the first six points of the game and led 10-3 after a steal and a lay up by sophomore Ralston Schramm less than three minutes into the first quarter. With 4:10 remaining, Reid grabbed his own offensive rebound and scored, making it a 12-5 game. He was fouled on the play, and made the extra free throw to give Carthage an eight-point lead (13-5).
The Tigers’ lead grew to 10 shortly after, when Schramm’s basket made it 15-5. Neosho quickly closed the gap to 18-14, helped out by two 3-pointers, but Reid scored again after grabbing his own rebound and the Tigers led 20-14 after eight minutes.
The Tigers closed out the half on a 17-3 run and took a 43-23 lead at the half.
“They’re a really young team, but they kept getting better and better this season,” Carthage head coach Steve Ray said. “We got to see them play early in the season and they’re getting better. They’re going to be a load down the line. We wanted to focus the last couple of days on getting out fast, trying to take care of the basketball, taking good shots and limiting them to one shot.
“In the first quarter there were maybe three or four long rebounds they won, and that’s tough for us,” he said. “We can’t give up long rebounds. We addressed that and I thought that really helped. Anthony Turk came in and made some three’s for us, that was a big lift. We did a good job rebounding the basketball and limiting them to one shot, that helped us out on the other end.”
Turk’s first 3-pointer came at the 4:31 mark in the first half, and started Carthage’s big run. He hit another with 3:18 left that made it 34-23, while Reid scored seven of the Tigers’ final nine points of the half.
Sophomore Jaryd Coss scored the first six Carthage points of the third quarter as Carthage took a 49-26 lead, then a steal and a lay up by senior Levi Saving and four consecutive points by Reid gave the Tigers a 28-point advantage.
Carthage was led by Reid’s 22 points, while Coss scored 14 and Schramm added 10. Junior Cory Prevost added eight, as did Turk, and sophomore Jesse Martini had six and Saving had two.
Carthage, now 9-12, hosts Nixa on Tuesday night.
Page 2 of 2 - “COC wins,” Ray said. “It’s such a tough league. Neosho’s only going to get better. I thought we needed this. We played really hard Tuesday night down in Mt. Vernon but we didn’t play particularly well. I thought tonight we came out and we were able to put together some plays. I think we have a chance to be pretty good, we just need some guys to develop and get better. Just like Neosho has a high ceiling, I feel like we have a high ceiling, too.”
Caden Hendricks led the Wildcats with 12 points, while Chris Paullus had three, Preston Johnson five, Darrian Guillory six, Logan Stuart three, Andy Lett two, Brett Williams three and Lukas Werneke seven.