Neosho senior Brady Wise, the Wildcats' leading scorer who put up 55 points over consecutive wins Thurday and Friday, left Saturday's ninth place game against Van Buren with two personal fouls at the 7-minute, 4-second mark of the second quarter, Neosho trailing 16-13.

For most of that 7:04 stretch, Neosho stayed within single-digits but after A.C. Marion made it a 24-19 game, Van Buren rattled off the last six points of the half (highlighted by consecutive dunks) and then came out with the first six of the second half for a 36-19 lead en route to a 59-40 win.

Wise never found a rhythm Saturday, after 32 points against Memphis Middle College and 23 against Memphis Sheffield, as Van Buren guards Mekhi Burnett and Jordan West, both long 6-foot-2 guards, hounded Wise and then Van Buren had help at the rim on Wise in the form of 6-foot-8 K.J. Stewart.

Foul trouble and Van Buren's defense combined to hold Wise in single-digits, just six points for the tournament's leading scorer after the first three days.

Neosho managed to cut the deficit to 36-27 after back-to-back Kaden King baskets and a Wise trifecta, but the Pointers scored 12 of the last 16 points of the third for a 48-31 edge headed into the fourth.

The Wildcats managed only nine points in the fourth, all scored by deep bench players. Quincey Willis broke a 9-0 start for Van Buren to start the fourth with a three, and Willis picked up five of Neosho's nine in the fourth.

King led Neosho with nine points, while Marion and Sam Cook each joined Wise with six points.

Neosho dropped to 3-11 on the season and 0-4 against Arkansas schools this season, including three losses in the Battle at the Ridge tournament. The Wildcats returned to action Tuesday night against Newton County rival East Newton, who have been producing the points this season.

Van Buren was led by Presley Kindrix's 16 points and West and Stewart each produced 13 points. West had the first dunk and then Burnett had a steal-and-slam for an exclamation point.

 

McDonald County 64, Lamar 57

After picking up their first win of the Neosho Holiday Classic against a team in a different time zone, the McDonald County Mustangs turned around less than 24 hours later to beat a team a little closer to home for 13th place on Saturday.

Blake Gravette put on a shooting clinic Saturday, knocking down six 3-point shots en route to a game-high 22 points and the seven-point victory. Gravette hit the key go-ahead basket in Friday's win over Benjamin Banneker from Brooklyn.

Over the course of the four games, Gravette found his shooting stroke with 15 3-point shots, highlighted by at least four trifectas in his last three games. Gravette hit four trifectas against both Benjamin Banneker and Van Buren.

Additionally, Gravette finished second in Friday night's 3-point shootout competition with 11 makes.

McDonald County eradicated a seven-point halftime deficit with a 24-10 third quarter and held on to its seven-point lead after three quarters in the fourth.

Peyton Barton and Boston Dowd added 10 points each for the Mustangs, who improved to 3-8 on the season with three of their wins in the last five games. The Mustangs won their last two Holiday Classic games after losing their first two.

Lamar was led by Ian Moore's 21 points, 13 of which came after halftime, and J.D. Bishop added 13.

McDonald County and Lamar will see each other again in early February in Big 8 Conference play.

 

VAN BUREN 59, NEOSHO 40

Van Buren 16 14 18 11 — 59

Neosho 11 8 12 9 — 40

VAN BUREN (9-5) — Mekhi Burnett 3-4 0-0 6, Jordan West 4-6 2-4 13, Gavin Ball 1-2 0-0 2, K.J. Stewart 5-7 3-5 13, Presley Kindrix 7-17 0-0 16, Erik Batt 0-1 0-1 0, Zane West 2-2 0-0 5, Jorge Rios 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell Hammond 0-0 0-0 0, Brayden Gilmore 1-2 0-0 2, Tim King 0-1 0-0 0, Brayden Fimple 1-1 0-0 2,. Totals: 24-43 5-10 59.

NEOSHO (3-11) — Brady Wise 2-9 1-2 6, Cole Seward 1-6 0-0 2, Kaden King 4-9 0-0 9, A.C. Marion 3-6 0-0 6, Sam Cook 3-3 0-0 6, Yeej Lee 0-1 0-0 0, Cade Lyerla 0-0 0-0 0, Quincey Willis 1-1 2-2 5, Ben Massey 0-1 0-0 0, Gage Zrubek 1-1 1-2 4, Cade Cradduck 0-1 0-0 0, Mason Gammons 1-3 0-0 2, Sean Moran 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 16-43 4-6 40.

3-point goals — Van Buren 6-14 (J. West 3-4, Kindrix 2-7, Z. West 1-1, King 0-1, Batt 0-1), Neosho 4-13 (Willis 1-1, Zrubek 1-1, Wise 1-2, King 1-3, Gammons 0-2, Moran 0-1, Marion 0-1, Seward 0-1, Lee 0-1). Rebounds — Van Buren 28 (Stewart 7), Neosho 23 (Marion, Cook 5). Assists — Van Buren 13 (J. West, Kindrix 3), Neosho 8 (Seward 3). Turnovers — Van Buren 11, Neosho 13. Steals — Van Buren 4, Neosho 4. Blocked shots — Van Buren 2, Neosho 0. Personal fouls — Van Buren 9, Neosho 16. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. Points inside the paint — Van Buren 36, Neosho 20. Points off turnovers — Van Buren 13, Neosho 13. Second chance points — Van Buren 9, Neosho 9. Fast break points — Van Buren 2, Neosho 2. Bench points — Neosho 11, Van Buren 9.

 

McDONALD COUNTY 64, LAMAR 57

McDonald County 13 9 24 18 — 64

Lamar 15 14 10 18 — 57

McDONALD COUNTY (3-8) — Blake Gravette 8-15 0-0 22, Peyton Barton 4-5 2-4 10, Boston Dowd 3-4 2-2 10, Cole DelosSantos 2-3 0-2 4, Cooper Reece 4-6 1-2 9, Cade Smith 2-3 1-3 5, Saul Garcia 0-0 0-0 0, Tim Shields 2-2 0-0 4. Totals: 25-38 6-13 64.

LAMAR (6-6) — Truman Kaderly 1-2 0-0 2, Landon Hardman 3-8 1-3 7, J.D. Bishop 5-9 2-2 13, Ian Moore 7-14 5-8 21, Garrett Morey 3-3 0-0 9, Parker King 0-0 0-0 0, Mark Venable 1-3 0-0 3, Case Tucker 0-0 0-0 0, Travis Bailey 0-3 2-3 2. Totals: 20-42 10-16 57.

3-point goals — McDonald County 8-14 (Gravette 6-11, Dowd 2-2, Smith 0-1), Lamar 7-16 (Morey 3-3, Moore 2-4, Venable 1-2, Bishop 1-3, Hardman 0-4). Rebounds — McDonald County 25 (DelosSantos 9), Lamar 19 (Moore, Morey 3). Assists — McDonald County 16 (Dowd 6), Lamar 10 (Hardman 4). Turnovers — McDonald County 18, Lamar 14. Steals — McDonald County 2 (Gravette, Dowd), Lamar 10 (Bishop 5). Blocked shots — McDonald County 1 (Shields), Lamar 1 (Bailey). Personal fouls — McDonald County 18, Lamar 15. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. Points inside the paint — McDonald County 30, Lamar 20. Points off turnovers — McDonald County 19, Lamar 17. Second chance points — Lamar 9, McDonald County 7. Fast break points — McDonald County 6, Lamar 3. Bench points — McDonald County 9, Lamar 5.