West Plains began each of Friday night's boys basketball contests with an offensive thrust but, in the end, it was Waynesville that prevailed in the three games.

West Plains began each of Friday night's boys basketball contests with an offensive thrust but, in the end, it was Waynesville that prevailed in the three games.


Things seemed gloomy for the undefeated Waynesville freshmen team Friday as West Plains used a quick strike press break to jump out to a huge 17-9 lead in the first quarter, a lead that grew to 31-18 by halftime.

"We weren't playing as hard as I though we would," coach Dusty Weiskopf said.

Just before the midway mark, however, the West Plains coach was issued a technical foul that marked the game's turning point.

According to Weiskopf, in the third and fourth quarters, the young Tigers outscored West Plains 30-11 as Waynesville overcame an 18-point deficit to win 48-42.

"We're not very big but we're fast and we kept constant pressure and that wears on you," Weiskopf said.

The win pushed the unit to 15-0 on the season with just two games remaining, at home against Parkview on Tuesday and at Kickapoo on Friday.

Junior Varsity

Friday night's second game featured a long battle that extended into two overtime periods.

To being the contest, West Plains' JV squad sprung to an early 16-8 lead before outscoring Waynesville 6-4 in the second period to extend the lead to 21-12 at the half.

The third quarter also marked a turning point for the Tigers, who came alive on offense. Waynesville battled back to tie the contest at 30-all with only seconds remaining in the third. The attacking guards created several buckets for the team's big men, but all the while West Plains put up a fight.

Trading leads, with just :12 remaining in regulation, West Plains was in position to escape with a 42-41 victory. However, the Zizzers committed a foul with just :02.8 seconds remaining, which allowed a Waynesville player to tie at 42-all on the second bonus free throw attempt to force an overtime.

A first overtime period featured only two buckets by each team, which pushed the score to 44-all and forced a second overtime session. To open the second overtime, to Tigers scored successive baskets to get ahead 48-44. And with only :33 seconds remaining, Waynesville went on to win by the same count.


West Plains also displayed quality basketball throughout the night's final bout, but in the end, Waynesville had the last word.

Instead of offense, both the Tigers and Zizzers focused on physical defensive play in the first quarter that only saw 14 total points scored in favor of Waynesville, 9-5.

The opponent used a 13-7 run to take its first lead of the game, albeit brief, at 18-16 late in the second quarter.

It wasn't long before Waynesville regained the lead and maintained a 23-22 lead after trading buckets and senior guard D.J. Hargrow's buzzer-beater in the lane.

In the third quarter, things seemed gloomy as sophomore forward Juwan Morgan earned his fourth foul early in the period.

But, just as West Plains began to came alive, so did Tigers' freshman Joe Johnson who nailed a three-pointer to recapture a 38-35 lead, and did the same with free throws later in the contest.

Then, with less than 2:00 left in regulation, Waynesville held the ball to develop a masterfully crafted alley-oop from Hargrow, who drove the lane and dished a lob pass to Morgan for an emphatic dunk to extend the lead to 51-47 with little time left to play.

Johnson smoothly iced the game with bonus free throws as Waynesville went on to win 59-51.

"We eat, sleep and breathe basketball," Weiskopf said. "We just want our basketball guys to get better everyday."

As far as the season goes, "bad things are going to happen," Weiskopf added. "How do you respond?"

The many games Waynesville has dropped late in regulation and in overtime will help the Tigers late in the season, Weiskopf said.

Scoring summary: Waynesville – Johnson, fr., 14 points; Morgan, soph., 16, 6 rebounds; Kellieon Williams, jr., 11; Reggie Walker, fr., 6; Javante Armstrong, jr., 4; D.J. Hargrow, sr., 4.

West Plains – Taylor Gill, 13; Logan Miller, 11; Cole Butler, 9; Justin Davis, 5; Zach Flippen, 5; Dalton Freshow, 5; Dusty Harrill, 3.