NEVADA — The Nevada Tigers, who began the season ranked No. 9 in Class 4 by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association before falling out, continue to play their best basketball early in a new year and earned their fifth straight win with a 63-40 victory Tuesday night over the Seneca Indians in a game for Big 8 Conference West superiority.
Nevada scored the first 10 points of the contest and never looked back. Seneca did trim it to five midway through the second quarter, but Nevada pushed it back to eight at halftime and then built on that lead after halftime.
Seneca junior point guard Preston Armstrong finished with 17 points to lead the Indians and Nevada held junior center Brennen Yust relatively in check with 10 points. Yust has enjoyed some big nights this season.
Carter Swearingen led Nevada with 15 points and Matthew Thompson and Dalton Gayman added 14 points each.
Nevada improved to 9-5 overall and 3-0 Big 8 West, while Seneca dropped to 9-6 overall and 2-1 Big 8 West.
The Indians saw their own four-game winning streak come to an end.
Seneca returns to action Friday night with a Homecoming clash against Monett (7-8, 0-1). The Cubs defeated Seneca 51-48 earlier this season in the Seneca Tournament, a loss that denied Seneca a three-peat in winning its home tournament.
Monett senior guards Gavin Carr and Jackson Spencer combined for 27 points, Carr 17 and Spencer 10, and sophomore Cameron George scored 12 more points as his tally benefited from Seneca's need to foul down the stretch.
Armstrong and fellow junior Layne Henning each led Seneca with 13 points, with both of them heating up in the second half for a combined 21 points (Armstrong 11, Henning 10). Gavin Clouse had nine points before fouling out. Monett limited Yust to five points and Yust had scored 37 points in the first two games of the tourney against Miami (16) and Diamond (21).
In the girls half of the Nevada-Seneca doubleheader Tuesday night, Nevada defeated Seneca 52-40 in a rematch of the Carl Junction Classic championship game. Nevada won both games, claiming the CJ Classic title by an almost identical score, 54-42.
Nevada improved to 11-2 overall and 4-0 Big 8 West with the victory.
Calli Beshore led Nevada with 17 points and Payge Dahmer and Teagan Charles added a combined 21 points, Dahmer 11 and Charles 10.
Seneca freshman sharpshooter Aliya Grotjohn came through with a game-high 21 points.
Seneca dropped to 11-4 overall and 2-1 Big 8 West. The Lady Indians are back in action this coming Tuesday at home against Big 8 West foe Lamar, before playing in the Jay (Oklahoma) Tournament and their own home tournament.