CARTHAGE, Mo. — The Carthage Tigers used a 20-12 run in the fourth quarter, sparked by Max Templeman’s free throw shooting and Tyler Willis’s inside post game, to defeat the Willard Tigers 57-52 Friday, Feb. 11 at the Carthage High School on homecoming night.
A rash of fouls from Willard put Carthage in the bonus in the fourth quarter and they went 10-for-18 from the free-throw line to close out the game. Templeman was 5-for-8 from the line in the quarter. Inside, Willis had several key rebounds for the Tigers, and 6 of his 8 points came in the final quarter.
“Our kids answered the bell at halftime,” said Coach Nathan Morris. “The players and the coaches weren’t pleased with the product we put on the floor in the first half. I told the guys we appeared to be sleepwalking through most of it. I challenged them to fight with everything they had, play with extreme energy, and support your teammates whether you play 16 minutes or 0 minutes.”
Joel Pugh led the Tigers trio of double-digit scorers with 13 points. Justin Ray added 12 points while Templeman had 11. Clay Kinder added 9 points for the game, Willis 8, and Caden Kabance and Britt Coy finished with 2 points apiece.
“We rebounded, fought in the post, defended in the full court and shared the ball better than we have all season for a stretch to begin the fourth quarter,” added Morris. “Every COC game is a physical battle and extremely important.”
The Tigers are now 17-5 on the season and 3-3 in the COC. They face Branson in the last home game of the season Tuesday, Feb. 15. The seniors will be recognized for Senior Night.