Bulldogs top Tigers in defensive battle

Feb. 6—CARTHAGE, Mo. — There were only 71 total points scored in Tuesday's contest between the Carthage and Carl Junction girls basketball teams at Carthage High School.

The turnover total might've been half of that as the combined number did get north of 30.

The Bulldogs (12-8) held an early lead and only surrendered it once on the way to a 41-29 victory over the Tigers (9-13).

"We stepped up on the defensive end, rebounded the ball very well and that's what won us the game," CJ head coach Ryan O'Daffer said. "We did a good job getting out to shooters and rebounding it, only giving them one shot."

CJ led 2-0 after a Jadyn Howard layup went through. That score from Howard was a third-chance basket after DeShaye Buerge missed a shot and Kylie Scott missed one as well after getting an offensive rebound. Howard was on the other side of the basket and collected an offensive rebound and put it back up and in.

That's what Howard and Scott did all game as the duo both collected double-doubles. Howard had 12 points and 12 rebounds while Scott tallied 14 and 13, respectively.

"She (Howard) had a big night on the boards. She did a good job boxing out and securing it," O'Daffer said. "Between the two of them, 25 boards is a lot. That's something we talked about before the game was we had to rebound the ball. We couldn't give them second chances on those threes."

Lauren Choate gave Carthage its first and only lead when she made a 3-pointer to put her team up 3-2 with 6:30 left in the first period.

Anna Burch got a basket on the Bulldogs' next possession to make it 4-3 in favor of the visiting team.

Jaidyn Brunnert and Choate scored 10 for Carthage in the first quarter to keep it close and both made one triple.

Carthage did make eight 3-pointers but it shot a ton of them in the game as the total was near 30. It's a shot the Tigers like to shoot anyways, but coach Scott Moore talked about the importance of his group getting more midrange shots to fall.

"I'm really proud of the defensive effort. I thought the game plan worked to hold down a pretty good team to just 42 points," Moore said. "Offensively, the letdown is we have to find a way to score from the midrange and around the basket a little better.

"Eight 3s is good but one (2-point shot) is not good enough."

Carl Junction's 2-3 zone with the length of Scott and rebounding effort of both her and Howard kept the Tigers from getting much on the interior.

"That was the plan. Kylie Scott just covers so much area in there so I challenged her tonight to control the paint and control the lane," O'Daffer said. "They were scared to go in there. And when they did she blocked the shot or made it difficult."

CJ had Scott, Howard and even Buerge (10) in double figures in the game. Carthage was led by Choate's 15 points and Brunnert added 8 more.

Kylie Scott used a nice step-through move to make a layup and draw a foul to start the second quarter. Scott made the free throw for a 3-point play to make it 14-10 in favor of CJ.

Lexa Youngblood responded with an 3-pointer from beyond the arc to keep the score close at 14-13. Carthage didn't score again in the quarter as the Bulldogs went on a 9-0 run to end the period.

The lead was down to single digits at times in the second half but CJ kept control most of the way.

The Bulldogs will try to continue a three-game streak on at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Branson. The Tigers look to end a three-game skid at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Nixa.