Each time the Neosho Lady Wildcats and the East Newton Lady Patriots played this season, it was destined to be a classic, a game to be remembered.

Each time the Neosho Lady Wildcats and the East Newton Lady Patriots played this season, it was destined to be a classic, a game to be remembered.
There’s no other way to describe the first game decided on a good 25-foot 3-point shot at the buzzer and the second game decided in overtime.
Neosho and East Newton split their meetings, Neosho winning the first 69-66 in the Lady Eagle Classic and East Newton the second 60-56 in overtime.
In the first meeting, Ashley Talley buried the buzzer-beating shot, her first attempt blocked by East Newton’s Emily Sorrell. Talley wrestled the loose ball away from Kinsey Sorrell and fired a shot that rolled around and in at the buzzer. She launched the shot with 0.9 seconds on the clock.
One head coach was pleased with all the points scored and one was not.
“I was pleased with the way that we came out offensively,” Neosho head coach Grant Berendt said. “We beat Joplin in a game here a couple weeks back and we scored 34 points. I mean, we knew we were capable of doing that (69 points), but we haven’t really shown it. We’ve spent time shooting the ball the last couple days and we shot it the way that we were capable of. We’ve kept telling them to believe and shoot with confidence. We’re going to get a few of those to fall.”
“It was an offensive battle, that’s for sure,” East Newton head coach Erin Rice said. “In a girls game, when both teams score in the high 60s, basically, there’s not much defense being played. Honestly, especially on our end, we didn’t play any defense like we’re capable of doing and when you do that, stuff at the end like last-second shots fall for the other team. It was a great game, in a way, but it was also very disappointing in the way that our team played defense.”
Caitlyn Jordon led Neosho with 24 points, while Allison Burr and Sydney Linny each finished with 12 and Talley tallied 11 points. Brooke Stauffer added seven points and drew the key defensive assignment against East Newton junior forward Koty Cooper.
“They’re a very talented team,” Berendt said. “I’ve seen them play a couple times. Our goal was to try and get to their bench. I thought we did that the second quarter, but we didn’t really take advantage and they held through. They’re a good team and they matched us basket-for-basket. We hit a 3 (by Jordon) at the end of the third, which I felt was good momentum for us to go in and talk about what a positive it was, but it just didn’t carry over into the fourth quarter.”
Kanah Burkey paced the Lady Patriots with 21 points, while Cooper had 18, Kortney Cambers 14 and Kinsey Sorrell nine.
“We are definitely going to learn a lot,” Rice said. “The great part is, we get to play again in January at Neosho. It will be another great matchup. We’ll see what happens then.”
Much like the first meeting, the second one was back and forth.
East Newton led 24-15 in the second quarter, only to see Neosho go on a 13-4 run, including an 11-0 stretch, to go into halftime tied at 28.
In an interesting juxtaposition on the scoreboard, East Newton outscored Neosho 14-7 in the third quarter and Neosho outscored East Newton 14-7 in the fourth.
Neosho once trailed 46-39 in the fourth, but came back to force overtime and in the extra period, Neosho fell behind 54-49 before a 7-1 run gave the Lady Wildcats a 56-55 lead. The Lady Patriots, however, made five free throws in the final 1 minute, 17 seconds to earn the 60-56 victory.
“We fought all the way back,” Berendt said. “I’ll never doubt our kids’ fight. I feel that we play better from behind sometimes better than we play in the lead. We talk about it with our kids everyday in practice, as far as them playing with a sense of urgency. I feel like our kids press when they’re up or it’s tight. I don’t know if that’s our youth. I can’t say that it’s our inexperience, because our kids are experienced. It’s just something that we have to work hard on fixing it.”
Cambers scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Lady Patriots, highlighted by four 3-point shots and eight made free throws. She also had three rebounds and six assists.
Cooper added 17 points, seven rebounds, two assists, three steals and one blocked shot. Burkey scored 11 points and grabbed four rebounds.
Linny paced Neosho with 19 points, while Jordon added 12, Makayla Hayes 10 and Burr eight. Linny and Hayes each fouled out in overtime.
Linny finished with six rebounds, Jordon had seven rebounds and three assists, and Burr dished out five assists.

Neosho             19 13 21 16 — 69
East Newton 16 16 20 14 — 66
NEOSHO (3-1) — Caitlyn Jordon 24, Allison Burr 12, Sydney Linny 12, Ashley Talley 11, Brooke Stauffer 7, Makayla Hayes 3.
EAST NEWTON (2-4) — Kanah Burkey 21, Koty Cooper 18, Kortney Cambers 14, Kinsey Sorrell 9, Emily Sorrell 4.

East Newton   13 15 14 7 11 — 60
Neosho                11 17  7 14 7  — 56
EAST NEWTON (8-6) — Kortney Cambers 20, Koty Cooper 17, Kanah Burkey 11, Kinsey Sorrell 5, Emily Sorrell 5, Jay Hayward 2.
NEOSHO (8-7) — Sydney Linny 19, Caitlyn Jordon 12, Makayla Hayes 10, Allison Burr 8, Laken Schnackenberg 4, Ashley Talley 3.

Team Record (Conf.)
East Newton 18-10 (5-3 Big 8)
Seneca              14-12 (4-4 Big 8)
Neosho       12-14 (2-5 COC Large)
Diamond   11-14 (4-5 SRVC)
Mac County  4-22 (1-7 Big 8)