The Ozark Lady Tigers sent the Neosho Lady Wildcats to 6-13 overall and 0-4 in the Central Ozark Conference with a 69-17 game Thursday night.
Ozark especially put it on Neosho in the first and third quarters, outscoring the Lady Wildcats by a combined 53-14 with a 25-9 first and a 28-5 third quarter.
Neosho went scoreless in the second quarter, but Ozark — who called off its pressure defense that produced most of those opportunities for 25 points in the first quarter — scored only six in the second.
In fact, only four points were scored in that second quarter until freshman Riley Boggs knocked down two free throws only 8 seconds remaining before halftime.
Neosho’s Maile Gindling hit a trifecta late in the first quarter for that 25-9 score, but it was not until 5 minutes, 30 seconds left in the third quarter the Lady Wildcats scored again with a Brylee King trifecta. Ozark pushed its lead to 43-9 before King hit that shot.
Ozark junior Katie Mayes — the Lady Wildcats had their fill of players with the forename Katie after lopsided losses to Carl Junction and Ozark — scored 14 points in the third quarter and by the point she reached 14, Ozark led Neosho 51-12.
Neosho senior Madison Flynn left the game in the third quarter, shaken up after a collision near the Lady Wildcats basket.
Michelle Lindsay paced Neosho with five points (all scored in the first quarter), the trio of King, Olivia Hixson, and Gindling each had three, Halley Merrell added two, and Flynn rounded out the scoring with a free throw. Lindsay was the only Neosho player to make more than one field goal and her night included six rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Overall, Neosho made four 3-point shots, three free throws, and one two-point field goal.
The Lady Wildcats were haunted by 34 turnovers, which matches the second-highest number this season (34 turnovers also came in an overtime win against McDonald County).
Neosho returned to action Monday night against conference rival Carthage.
Carthage stood at 11-9 overall and 1-3 COC, with losses to Republic (53-34), Nixa (54-38), and Carl Junction (55-34) and the only win against Joplin (38-19).
The sometimes vertically challenged Neosho had to contend against Carthage’s 6-foot-1 sophomore Hailey Fullerton, who entered Monday averaging 10.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 1.9 blocks. Last season, Neosho got Fullerton into foul trouble and limited her effectiveness.
Neosho and Carthage had not yet played this season.