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Joplin holds off Pittsburg in early-season border battle

JOPLIN, Mo. – (WATCH) The Joplin Eagles top the Pittsburg Purple Dragons 81-73 Friday night for their first win of the season.

The Eagles are now 1-1 to begin the season.

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Lamar falls to Blair Oaks, finishes as state runner-up

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Lamar Tigers finished as the Missouri Class 2 state football runner-up on Friday evening, falling to Blair Oaks 32-27 in the championship game.

Lamar finishes the season with a 12-2 overall record, and finishes as state runner-up for the second straight season.

The Tigers got the scoring started with a 21-yard rushing touchdown from Joel Beshore in the 1st quarter. Lamar held a 7-0 lead going to the 2nd quarter.

Blair Oaks got on the board midway through the 2nd quarter with a 78-yard pass touchdown. Lamar held on to a 7-6 lead after a blocked PAT.

Lamar scored again before the end of the first half with a Joel Beshore 6-yard rushing touchdown with 1:26 left in the 2nd quarter. Blair Oaks responded with another touchdown pass (36 yards) with just 10 seconds left before half, but failed on the two-point conversion to give Lamar a 14-12 lead at halftime.

The Tigers got the ball to start the second half, but turned it over on downs. Blair Oaks took their first lead of the game on the following possession with their first rushing touchdown of the day (49 yards) and the two-point conversion to lead the game 20-14.

Lamar returned the favor with their first passing touchdown of the day, with Beshore finding Ian Ngugi for a 44-yard score. The PAT gave the Tigers a 21-20 lead heading to the 4th quarter.

The Falcons went back in front early in the 4th quarter, scoring on a rushing touchdown on 4th and goal from the two-yard line. The Tigers were able to stop the two-point conversion to keep the Blair Oaks lead to 26-21.

Lamar was forced to punt on the following possession, giving the ball back to Blair Oaks with under 10 minutes to go.

Blair Oaks scored quickly, getting another big passing play and scoring on a 72-yard touchdown. The PAT went off the upright and was no good. The Falcons led the Tigers 32-21 with 8:39 remaining in the 4th quarter.

The Tigers needed a quick touchdown – and that’s what they got. Ian Ngugi caught a 50-yard touchdown on a halfback pass. Lamar was unable to convert the two-point conversion, but still cut the Blair Oaks lead to 32-27 with 7:06 remaining in the 4th quarter.

Lamar forced a Blair Oaks punt on the following drive to get the ball back with a chance to re-take the lead.

The Tigers bled the clock and drove all the way down to the Blair Oaks 25-yard-line. Facing 4th and 21, the Tigers were unable to get the 1st down, giving the ball back to Blair Oaks and ending the game.

 

 

 

 

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Gorillas fall to Western in OT thriller; Gerber posts big double-double

PITTSBURG, Kan. – (WATCH) Pitt State falls in OT thriller to Missouri Western 80-74 Thursday.

Karenna Gerber posts 20 points, 17 rebounds and 7 blocks for Pitt State. Tristan Gegg scores a team-high 23 points, while Grace Pyle adds 13 points and 8 rebounds.

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Missouri Western rallies to top Pitt State

PITTSBURG, Kan. – (WATCH) Missouri Western rallies to beat Pitt State 66-65 Thursday night.

RJ Forney leads the way for PSU with 17 points. Marque English gets another double-double with 10 points and 17 rebounds, while Quentin Hardrict, Jr. adds 12 points.

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Defense lifts Southern past Northwest in conference opener

WATCH: Missouri Southern rolls by Northwest 52-37 behind a solid defensive performance. Lacy Stokes leads the Lions with 18 points and five assists. Amaya Johns adds 12 points. The Lions are now 8-0 and 1-0 in MIAA play.

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Lamar aims to bring home program’s 9th state championship

LAMAR, Mo. – (WATCH) The Lamar Tigers will face Blair Oaks for the Missouri Class 2 state championship on Friday in Columbia.

The Tigers are coming off a big 56-14 win over Seneca in the state semifinals.

“Our kids started fast. I would say it was definitely some of the best ball we’ve played,” says Lamar head coach Jared Beshore, “I’m hoping we can play some better ball this week, to see what our actual ceiling is with this team. We have one more week to see what kind of ball club we really have.”

With a win on Friday against Blair Oaks, Lamar would claim its 9th state championship since 2011.

“It would mean the world to these kids,” Beshore adds, “There are kids on this team that three years ago I would have told you I don’t think they will ever be ball players for us, but they’ve proven themselves and they’ve worked their tails off. We have put a lot of time and effort into this season. To finally see the payout and to play in this game is incredible. We want to go out on top. We want to be crying tears of joy and not tears of disappointment at the end of Friday night.”

The team is also motivated to finish the job Friday – after finishing as the state runner-up in 2021.

“I think it has been a motivation, but we try to go week by week and day by day,” Beshore says, “You can’t win on Friday if you do not win today. I tell our guys we have to beat your opponent today, then tomorrow and the next day and so on. It takes care of itself if take that approach, and I think our guys have done a nice job of taking that approach.”

Friday’s game kicks off at 3 PM in Columbia, Missouri.

 

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MSSU men prepare to host #1 Northwest Missouri in MIAA opener

JOPLIN, Mo. – (WATCH) The Missouri Southern men will open MIAA conference play on Thursday night, hosting #1 Northwest Missouri State.

The Lions have won four straight games after an 0-2 start to grab some momentum before facing the undefeated Bearcats.

“It feels good. We’re playing at a good pace both defensively and offensively. We obviously have a long way to go to, but we’re in a good spot right now,” says MSSU head coach Sam McMahon, “We’re just getting used to each other. It’s a new staff and some new players. We’re getting some confidence going into our MIAA schedule. We’re ready to compete and we’re ready to get after it.”

“Confdence is definitely growing,” adds MSSU guard Avery Taggart, “Coaches have instilled that into us and instilled the right way to play, the right way to win and what you have to do to win. We’ve been doing those things and it’s been showing out on the court.”

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Carl Junction advances to CJ Classic championship with win over Springdale

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. – (WATCH) Carl Junction tops Springdale 62-58 to advance to the CJ Classic tournament championship.

Destiny Buerge leads the way for Carl Junction with 25 points. Kyle Scott (15 pts) and Klohe Burk (11 pts) were also in double figures, while Dezi Williams adds 9.

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MSSU women climb into top-5 in national rankings

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Missouri Southern women’s basketball team is in the top-5 in the nation for the first time in program history.

The Lions are #5 in the latest WBCA Division II poll released on Tuesday afternoon.

Missouri Southern is 7-0 to begin the season, and will play their first MIAA game of the year on Thursday at home against Northwest Missouri State.