SENECA — The Seneca Indians could not complete a Monday night varsity basketball sweep, as they took a 59-43 defeat to former Big 8 Conference rival Carl Junction.

The Indians entered Monday having won five of their first six games of the new year, defeating Miami 39-38, Diamond 72-52, Cassville 65-58, McDonald County 59-52, and Monett 54-38 for a 10-6 overall and 3-1 Big 8 Conference West record.

The Bulldogs entered Monday night having won just one game all season, way back in December against Monett.

That’s why they play the game.

Southwest Baptist signee Trent Smith scored a game-high 30 points for Carl Junction, as he showed why he’s one of the best players in the Central Ozark Conference regardless of team record. Alex Baker picked up 14 points, all in the second half.

Carl Junction outscored Seneca 38-20 in the second half. The Indians once led by nine points — 14-5 — after one quarter.

Brennen Yust finished with 15 points, 11 in the first half, for Seneca and Gavin Clouse added nine and Preston Armstrong eight points before fouling out.

Seneca dropped to 10-7 overall and the Indians returned to action Thursday evening against Kansas (Oklahoma) in the Jay (Oklahoma) Tri-State Classic.

Defense earned the Seneca Lady Indians a 41-30 victory over Big 8 Conference West rival Lamar in the other half of the doubleheader Monday.

The Lady Indians, who had not played in nearly a week since a 52-40 loss to Nevada in conference play, held Lamar to only seven points after halftime and limited Lamar’s leading scorer Hallee Doss to a mere two points in the second half.

Doss scored a team-high 12 points.

Meanwhile, Aliya Grotjohn led Seneca with 12 points, Taylor Mailes and Jo Beard each netted nine, Chelsea Beville came through with five, and Haley Miller and Chaney Platner each scored three.

Seneca improved to 12-4 overall and 2-1 Big 8 West entering their Jay (Oklahoma) Tri-State Classic opener Thursday evening against host Jay. The Lady Bulldogs stood at 4-8 overall entering a game Tuesday against Inola.

The Lady Indians return home next week for their home invitational tournament.

Monday’s victory proved to have an impact on district seeding, as both Seneca and Lamar play in Class 3, District 12. Seneca hosts districts this year.