Joplin falls as Carthage's Justin Ray eclipses 1,000 career points

Jan. 9—Carthage senior Justin Ray hit a high school career milestone as he led the Tigers to a 42-33 win over the Joplin Eagles Tuesday night at Kaminsky Gymnasium in Joplin.

Ray's last 3-point shot with 2:05 left in the game not only put a dagger in an Eagles' fourth-quarter run to try to get back into the game, it also gave him 1,001 points for his career.

Ray scored 17 points and led the Tigers to an 8-4 record and 1-0 start to the Central Ozark Conference play.

The Tigers were in control for most of Tuesday night's game, leading 9-7 at the end of one quarter on the strength of three 3-point shots, and 24-17 at the half on the strength of a 12-3 run. The Tigers outscored the Eagles 15-10 in the second quarter.

The teams stayed even through the third quarter with both sides scoring seven points.

The Tigers then went on another run of 8-0 to start the fourth quarter and go up 38-23 before the Eagles tried to claw their way back.

Joplin scored seven unanswered points and cut the lead to 38-30 with 2:42 left in the game and seemed to be in shouting distance of the Tigers, trailing by fewer than three possessions.

They Ray hit his fourth 3-point shot of the game to put the Tigers up by four possessions with two minutes left.

Joplin fell to 2-11 and 0-1 in the COC.

Joplin's Brecken Green led the Eagles with 12 points and three other Eagles — Collis Jones, Trenton Gage and Carter Harbin — scored five points each.

Carthage's top scorers also included Trent Yates with 10 points and Kruz Castor with five points.