The Neosho Wildcats ended their nine-game losing streak and improved to 2-10 overall this season with a 66-49 win Thursday over Memphis Middle College in the second day of the 63rd annual Neosho Holiday Classic.

The Wildcats won all four quarters, played arguably their best and most consistent game of the season, and the dynamic duo of senior Brady Wise and junior A.C. Marion combined for 51 points, in the process scoring more points than the guests from Memphis.

Neosho debuted in the new junior high gymnasium and the Wildcats play Memphis Sheffield in a consolation semifinal at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

“We played hard and we did what we needed to do to get the win,” Neosho head coach Tony Branscum said. “We’re happy about that but on to the next game. We’re glad that we won but we’re already focused on the next one and what we can do to be successful (today).

“Defensively, we held them in the first quarter. That was good and we got a little loose defensively in the second half. Overall, we outplayed them in all four quarters and that’s what we’ve got to do to be successful.”

Wise scored a tournament-high and career-high 32 points, rebounding from a difficult shooting performance Wednesday against Kansas City Ruskin. Wise netted his 32 points on 12 of 20 shooting from the field and 8-9 free throws, and his floor game included six rebounds, five assists, and one steal in 29 minutes.

Marion grabbed 14 rebounds for a double-double, including four on the offensive glass.

Wise and Marion helped Neosho finish 24-50 shooting (48 percent) from the field, an improvement of nearly 10 percent from Wednesday. The Wildcats scored 40 points inside the paint, as a result of Wise’s relentless assault of the rim and second-chance or breakaway opportunities for Marion.

“A.C. did a good job of clearing the boards,” Branscum said. “He played a lot of minutes and so we expect him to grab them, and he did.

“Brady got to the rim. He decided that he was going to shoot the ball close to the rim and as a result, he got to the line and he hit eight out of nine of those. That was a positive and that’s what we need to see happen.”

Wise and Marion sparked a 11-0 run in the third quarter that put the Wildcats ahead 40-24. Middle College only tasted the lead for all of seven seconds at 2-1 Thursday.

Kevon Ferguson led Middle College with 21 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 27 minutes. Curtis Braden added 12 points and three rebounds.

 

NEOSHO 66, MIDDLE COLLEGE 49

Neosho 11 14 22 19 — 66

Middle College 5 12 21 11 — 49

NEOSHO (2-10) — Brady Wise 12-20 8-9 32, Cole Seward 2-4 0-3 4, Kaden King 0-3 1-2 1, A.C. Marion 7-13 5-7 19, Sean Moran 0-0 0-0 0, Yeej Lee 0-0 0-0 0, Cade Lyerla 0-0 0-0 0, Quincey Willis 0-0 0-0 0, Ben Massey 1-1 0-0 2, Sam Cook 0-0 1-2 1, Gage Zrubek 0-0 2-4 2, Cade Cradduck 0-3 0-0 0, Mason Gammons 2-6 0-1 5. Totals: 24-50 17-28 66.

MIDDLE COLLEGE (3-13) — Curtis Braden 5-12 0-0 12, Kevon Ferguson 7-16 5-8 21, Allen Savage 0-5 0-1 0, Kendall Richmond 2-7 2-5 6, Christian Seymour 1-3 0-2 2, Keshawn Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Joshua Cannon 0-1 0-0 0, Zion McCutchon 2-6 0-0 4, Nye Robinson 2-4 0-1 4. Totals: 19-54 7-17 49.

3-point goals — Neosho 1-10 (Gammons 1-4, Wise 0-3, King 0-3), Middle College 4-18 (Braden 2-6, Ferguson 2-6, Savage 0-3, Richmond 0-1, Cannon 0-1, McCutchon 0-1). Rebounds — Neosho 45 (Marion 14), Middle College 35 (Robinson 7). Assists — Neosho 11 (Wise 5), Middle College 7 (Braden, Ferguson, Savage 2). Turnovers — Neosho 12, Middle College 13. Steals — Neosho 7 (King 3), Middle College 8 (Richmond 4). Blocked shots — Neosho 0, Middle College 4 (Robinson 3). Personal fouls — Neosho 15, Middle College 23. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. Points in the paint — Neosho 40, Middle College 28. Points off turnovers — Neosho 15, Middle College 8. Second chance points — Neosho 17, Middle College 11. Fast break points — Neosho 6, Middle College 4. Bench points — Neosho 10, Middle College 8.