CARTHAGE — It was raining both outside and inside Carthage High School on Tuesday night when the Neosho Wildcats played the Carthage Tigers in a Central Ozark Conference contest.
The rain in the gymnasium formed in the Tigers’ 10 3-point shots and those 30 points helped Carthage earn a convincing 66-40 victory over its rival from the south.
Marcus Huntley and Taris Jackson proved to have the hot shooting touch, combining for nine 3-point shots (Huntley five, Jackson four), and the guard duo finished with 34 points, Huntley scoring a game-high 22 points.
Patrick Carlton added 10 points for the Tigers, while Alex Martini’s nine points were highlighted by a pair of slam dunks and he proved strong as interior presence — all 6-foot-7 of him — with multiple rebounds, blocked shots, or altered shots.
Tucker Downing added six more points, Silas Templeman picked up four points in late action, and Brandon Gacke closed out the scoring with two points.
Carthage improved to 11-10 overall and 2-3 COC.
Meanwhile, it was a tough night almost from the get-go for the Wildcats, hit by early foul trouble for key players A.C. Marion, Cade Cradduck, and Derek Ferguson. The Wildcats finished the first quarter with 10 team fouls, two each for those three seniors.
In fact, Marion earned his third personal very early in the second quarter and then his fourth early in the second half after scoring his only two points of the contest.
Marion entered Tuesday night as Neosho’s leading scorer at 13.8 points per game. He was called for two offensive fouls early on Tuesday and that put him off his game.
Senior guard Kaden King provided a lift off the bench with a team-high 12 points, as he continued his solid, steady play with his third double-digit scoring night in five games (13 points against East Newton and 14 against McDonald County in consecutive Friday night victories for the Wildcats).
King hit two of Neosho’s three 3-point shots on the night Tuesday and his first six points came from a pair of old-fashioned three-point plays.
Cole Seward finished with eight points, Mason Gammons six, Cradduck five, Landon Austin four, Ferguson two, and Kaden Dickens one.
Neosho dropped to 9-10 overall and 1-4 in the COC. The Wildcats are back in action Friday night on the road against Branson and then Saturday in a shootout against Dora in Marshfield.
Branson comes off a 79-54 loss Tuesday to Nixa and the Pirates stand at 8-13 overall and 1-4 COC.