CARL JUNCTION — The Neosho Lady Wildcats scored the first basket in each half Tuesday night in their Carl Junction Classic opener against the Nevada Lady Tigers, but otherwise it was rough sledding during a 47-18 loss.
Neosho senior Madison Flynn started the scoring with a steal-and-score in the first minute, but Nevada rattled off the next 15 points, taking a 15-2 lead with 5 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the first half. Kristy Pace's basket broke Nevada's 15-0 spell.
Flynn also started the scoring in the second half, with four of her six points at the beginning of halves. She hit a left-handed floater in the lane to start the third quarter.
Pace led Neosho with eight points, Flynn had six, Maile Gindling contributed three off the bench, and Olivia Hixson scored the game's final point as she hit a free throw as time expired basically with a running clock activated once Nevada took a 30-point lead.
Alison Bower led Nevada with 12 points and Calli Beshore added nine. Hailey Jackson and Lindley Ferry each had six for the Lady Tigers.
Nevada defeated McDonald County 53-28 on Monday and the Lady Tigers won their pool and the right to play Seneca for the Carl Junction Classic title on Thursday night.
Neosho (1-2), meanwhile, returned to action Wednesday night against McDonald County.
"I felt like we had a good gameplan coming in as far as what we were looking to do," Neosho head coach Matt Hixson said, "but our youth ... once again, our execution is just not there for us. I told the girls at halftime I was proud of the way that we were playing defense, as far as getting out and getting after them. We weren't really letting them do what they want, at least the first half. We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot on the offensive end and if we have those live-ball turnovers, there's no way we can play defense against that.
"I was super proud of Kristy for the way she responded. I had a talk with her before the game about what I was expecting out of her and I felt like she responded really well. I felt Mary Dunbar responded well, as far as last game (against Seneca) to this turning it around. Obviously, our top scorers weren't scoring and we were turning the ball over too much. You can't do that, for sure."