CARTHAGE — Belton senior forward Da'Rius Brewington, a transfer from Grandview Christian, definitely had something brewing against the Neosho Wildcats in the seventh place game of the 72nd annual Carthage Invitational.
After Neosho's Mason Gammons gave the Wildcats a 45-43 lead on a layup, Brewington hit the go-ahead three for the one-point lead.
Neosho senior guard Cole Seward drove into the teeth of the Pirates' defense and he came out with a turnover. Seward thought he was fouled on first contact, but there would be no call and Seward threw away the ball.
Brewington then sank two free throws for a three-point lead and rather than go for the tie, Neosho's Quincey Willis opted to drive to the basket and go for the layup as time expired and Belton came out with a 48-45 victory.
Brewington scored a game-high 26 points and Jordan Clark added nine more as the Brewington and Clark duo combined to hit six of the Pirates' seven trifectas.
Neosho seniors A.C. Marion and Cole Seward combined for 23 points, Marion 12 and Seward 11, and Gammons finished with nine, Willis six, Derek Ferguson five, and Sam Cook two.
Neosho head coach Zane Culp was much more pleased in the competitive spirit of the Wildcats on Saturday, following their lackluster effort in their previous game just two days before against Newton County rival Seneca.
The Wildcats trailed by double-digits at one point in the first half Saturday, but they came back in the second quarter and made it a close game the rest of the way.
"They came out and fought," Culp said. "I like for us to not get down quickly, but it was not an effort problem. We just changed the pace going zone and we scored the ball well."
Neosho playa its home opener Monday night, part of a girls first and boys last varsity doubleheader with the visiting Cassville Wildcats.
"Everybody loves playing at home," Culp said. "When we get that first home game after three tough ones, it should feel good for us and if we get out there and compete like we did (Saturday), we probably won't face most teams that shoot it that well and like I told the boys today, if we go out and play our game, the wins and losses will take care of themselves."
Neosho's next tournament will be Thursday through Saturday in the Battle at Pea Ridge, hosted by Pea Ridge (Arkansas). Brackets have been released and the Wildcats draw ESTEM from Little Rock, a team already 7-4 on the season and ranked No. 28 in the state of Arkansas by MaxPreps.