CARTHAGE — The Neosho Wildcats took a 61-43 loss Thursday night to Newton County rival Seneca in the consolation semifinals of the 72nd annual Carthage Invitational, never being able to overcome Seneca's 12-0 run to start the second half that built a 38-24 lead for the Indians.
Seneca led by as much as 23-11 in the first half, but Neosho managed to make a 13-3 run and get it to 26-24 at halftime.
Momentum, though, did not stay on Neosho's side in the second half and Seneca entered the fourth with a 47-28 advantage.
The Indians rebounded from a 51-35 loss to Rogers in their season opener and they earned the right to play for fifth place rather than dreaded seventh.
Preston Armstrong and Payton Armstrong led the Indians' attack with 14 and 13 points, respectively for the Brothers Armstrong, while Brennan Yust had 11 points for a third double-digit scorer. Isaiah Grotjohn picked up eight more points, Layne Henning added six, Gavin Clouse four, David Reed three, and Jordan Lowry two.
Preston Armstrong, Yust, and Grotjohn rebounded themselves from the opener when they were all limited (and frustrated) by foul trouble.
A.C. Marion led Neosho with 10 points, Mason Gammons added nine, and Cade Cradduck picked up eight, Derek Ferguson five, Cole Seward and Quincey Willis four each, Landon Austin two, and Sam Cook one. Gammons and Cradduck scored all their points in the first half.
Neosho took a step back after pushing Class 4 No. 9 Nevada in the opener. Kaden Dickens and Kaden King, who combined for 23 points against Nevada, did not score against Seneca.
"We definitely did not fight back," Neosho head coach Zane Culp told Josh King of neoshowildcatsports.com after the game. "The main thing I would say about them (Seneca) shooting well is that most of the time, it was off a turnover or an offensive rebound. If they make tough shots because we played tough defense, you can live with that, but (not) when it was constantly off offensive rebounds, runouts, and turnovers."
Meanwhile, the Newton County rivals play again Friday, December 14 in Neosho in their annual pre-Christmas contest.