The Lamar Tigers jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never trailed on the way to a 76-58 win on Dec. 29 in the fifth place game of the Black Bracket of the 64th annual Neosho Holiday Classic at Neosho Junior High School.
"We didn't come out with the intensity and energy that we had in our first two games of the tournament," said coach Kyle Fields. "We didn't rebound very well today and we struggled in transition."
Lamar led 17-11 at the end of the first quarter and stretched the margin to 36-26 at halftime with a 6-2 run to close out the second quarter.
Lamar scored the first nine points of the second half and built a 55-31 lead before McDonald County went to a five-guard lineup on defense and bringing in 6-5 Cooper Reece on offense when the opportunity arose to cut the lead 55-47 with 5:50 left in the game.
But Lamar settled down against the Mustangs' press and pulled away behind the three dunks by Truman Kaderly in the final four minutes to seal the 76-58 win.
"We had some kids step in and give us a spark off the bench," Fields said. "We cut it to eight at one point, but we gave up a dunk and couldn't get any closer. I thought the group that finished the game gave us a spark and a lot more energy. We just need that more consistent throughout our team and our bench."
Boston Dowd led the Mustangs with 20 points, including hitting four of six from behind the three point line. Reece finished with 10 points while Cole Martin had nine points off the bench in the final 14 minutes. Rounding out the scoring for the Mustangs were Cade Smith with five points, Kobe McAlister and Trent Alik four each, Cale Adamson three, Saul Garcia two and Jackson Clarkson one.
Kaderly and Jonny Jeffries led Lamar with 15 points each.
McDonald County falls to 3-8 entering its Jan. 4 game at Aurora High School. Games begin at 5 p.m.
McDonald County jumped out to a 20-6 lead after the first quarter and went on to beat Tulsa McClain 62-44 in the consolation semifinals on Dec. 28 at Neosho Middle School.
Dowd hit a pair of three pointers in the quarter and added two more in the second period to help McDonald County build a 32-14 lead at intermission.
"Boston shot it really well," Fields said. "As a team we had our best game shooting (59.5 percent) and scoring game all year. When the ball goes in the basket everything else is better. Our defense was better. We rebounded better and I think we took more charges than we have all year."
McDonald County led 46-23 after three quarters and McClain could get no closer than the final score in the fourth.
Dowd and Reece finished with 17 points each to lead McDonald County followed by Smith with 11, Garcia six, Ben Mora three and Alik, Adamson, McAlister and Parker Harris two each.
McClain's John Williams led all scorers with 20 points.
McDonald County hung with eventual Black Bracket champion Bentonville High School for the first quarter before the Tigers pulled away in the final three for a 73-36 win in the tournament's opening round on Dec. 27 at Neosho High School.
"Bentonville is the best team we have seen so far by far," Fields said. "They are real athletic and long and can shoot it very well. We played well in the first quarter and stayed with them, but that was about it."
Bentonville turned its 17-14 lead at the end of the first quarter into a 40-21 margin at halftime and outscored McDonald County 26-10 in the third quarter for a 66-31 lead after three quarters.
Reece scored 13 points and Dowd had nine to lead McDonald County followed by Alik with six, Smith five and McAlister three.
Connor Deffebaugh led Bentonville with 18 points.Sports on 01/03/2019
Print Headline: MCHS Boys BB Out With One Win at 64th Annual Neosho Holiday Classic at Neosho