Webb City falls to Clever in low-scoring game

Jan. 25—WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City lost senior Mia Robbins early in the game due to aggravating an injury that has bothered her before.

The Cardinals fought to a tie in the first half but couldn't convert enough offensive opportunities to claim the win on Thursday night inside the Cardinal Dome against Clever.

The Bluejays claimed a 53-47 win on the wings of Ireland Jones' free throw shooting.

"They did a good job of attacking us, they hit some timely shots and when we had some opportunities we didn't make our timely shots," Webb City head coach Lance Robbins said. "At the end of the game we had to foul and they were able to step up and make free throws at the end of the game. They're a good basketball team. They've got very good guard play. At times they make you go a little bit faster than you want to go offensively. For the most part, overall, I thought our kids competed. We had 12 missed layups. We have to finish those things. Those things are big. Especially in games like this."

Jones was 8 for 10 down the stretch, scoring 10 of Clever's 19 points in the final period of play. Clever was 15 of 26 overall and Jones was 8 for 12 overall. Clever shot 11 for 16 on charities in the fourth quarter.

Webb City was within 2 points when freshman Addie Burns made a shot near the basket to make it 37-35.

Clever added one free throw, missing the other on two attempts to make it 38-35. It scored immediately after that when Jones picked the pocket of Kirra Long and raced to the other end for a layup to put the Bluejays up 40-35.

The Cardinals came down and freshman Abby Sargent was strong attacking the basket and put the ball in the hole to make it 40-37. Webb City got a stop and head coach Robbins took a timeout with 4:34 left.

Out of the timeout, Sargent got open, took a pass and drilled a 3-pointer from the wing to tie the game at 40. Clever responded with a trey and Sargent got another layup and it was 43-42. But the Cardinals' offense went cold for about three minutes and the only points scored for awhile were free throws from Clever.

Trailing 49-42, Robbins subbed Malorie Stanley into the ballgame. Stanley received a pass and stepped into a deep 3-pointer from the wing, well off the painted line and drained it. That got Robbins to take his final timeout with 46 seconds left. But the offense still couldn't find the rhythm missing multiple looks right around the rim and only getting its final 2 points on free throws by Burns.

Webb City was led by Sargent's 16 points and Stanley's 15. Sargent also came away with six steals and most of them were in the second half. Stanley led the team with six rebounds.

Jones led Clever with 14 points while teammates Jayliegn Flood and Mackenzie Camp added 11 apiece. Flood registered a double-double with 10 rebounds. Jones dished out five assists.

Robbins said his team attacked Clever's press early and was successful in that to grab an early lead. But the execution late made all the difference in the game.

"We just have to keep working to get better every day in practice," he said. "Work on our execution in practice. We're right there. We just have to make some plays to get over the hump."