ANDERSON -- Webb City put together an 8-2 run to break a 47-47 tie with 2:47 left to play in its game at Mustang Arena on Tuesday night and flew off to a 55-49 victory over the McDonald County Mustangs.
The Cardinals improve to 7-2 on the year, while the Mustangs dip to 6-8.
"We got some good looks at the basket, but in the end we missed some easy shots," said McDonald County coach Brandon Joines. "There were a couple of calls that could have gone our way but didn't, but it's just one of those situations where we worked our butts off all game and then something in the fourth quarter doesn't go our way and all the momentum shifts away. It's happened a couple of times lately."
Joines was referring to two of the three games his team played in the Holiday Classic at Neosho on Dec. 28-30 in which they led in their games against Huntsville, Ark., and Sapulpa, Okla., before losing in the final quarter.
"We put in the work and I felt like we did enough to win but just came up short," Joines said of the loss to Webb City. "If we played like we did tonight last night (a 52-43 loss to Carl Junction) ... but we can't look backwards. We've always got to be looking forward to the next one. But if we'd played last night like we did tonight we win that game by double digits."
With the score knotted at 47-all, Webb City's Holton Keith sandwiched a pair of layups around a McDonald County turnover. The second, which came with 1:42 left in the game, sent the Cardinals in front, 51-47.
"Defensively we turned up the pressure a little bit and were able to get out in passing lanes," said Webb City coach Jason Horn. "And we didn't gamble. We tried to stay in front of our man and that helped us knock a few balls free. I thought the whole game they had outworked us to loose balls and rebounds and in that little stretch there our guys got focused in and became more of the aggressor at that point."
Alex Martin, Webb City's 6-5 senior forward, rolled in a layup at the :49 mark before hitting one of two free throws at:32.4, boosting the visitors' lead to 59-47.
"We're going to enter the ball to him and play off him, and as he goes we're going to kind of go, too, with him being a senior leader for us," said Horn. "Good things happen when we get the ball in his hands. I thought early he was a little too much finesse and late he went to some more power moves and was able to finish plays."
Martin finished with 22 points in the game. Barron Duda added 10.
"They're a solid club. They're not bad by any means," said Joines. "They made some plays. (Martin) was tough down on the inside and made some solid finishes. They got the job done to their credit."
Cross Dowd, who drilled four 3-pointers in the game, notched a team-high 16. His brother, Destyn, finished with 12 points after a scoreless first period.
"I thought we did enough to win, but in the end we just came up short," said Joines. "The credit goes to (Webb City) for pulling it out."
Webb City 55,
McDonald County 49
Webb City (7-2): Martin 22, Duda 10, Keith 9, Pace 8, Adams 3, Jackson 2, Cavitt 1.
McDonald County (6-8): C. Dowd 16, D. Dowd 12, McClain 8, Woods 5, Gordon 5, Moore 3.
Carl Junction 52,
McDonald County 43
Carl Junction outscored McDonald County 10-9 in the third quarter and 13-6 in the fourth to pull out a 52-43 win over the Mustangs on Monday night at Mustang Arena.
"They were solid on their movement defensively," said McDonald County coach Brandon Joines. "They had hands up and made things difficult at times. But, at the same time, if we are going to miss layups, free throws and open shots at the rate we did it's going to be hard to beat teams. And that's our job, to make the easy shots and compete with people."
McDonald County fell to 6-7 with the loss while Carl Junction evened its record at 5-5.
The Mustangs trailed, 17-12, after the first period of play, but rallied with a 16-12 second frame, pulling within one (29-28) at the half.
Carl Junction held a narrow 39-37 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
"It wasn't a lack of competing in terms of defensive effort -- we held them to 50 points and we should win most nights when we hold a team to 50, we have enough scoring power to do that -- but tonight we didn't do those three things and when we don't do those three things we can lose to anybody," said Joines. "If we do them we can beat anybody."
Cross Dowd paced the Mustangs with 10 points. Sterling Woods added nine, Weston Gordon eight, Destyn Dowd and Toby Moore six each and Joshua Pacheco four.
Ayden Bard and Jett Hocutt led the Bulldogs with 19 and 14 points, respectively.
The Mustangs return to the hardwood tonight when they travel to Carthage.