Posted: Saturday, 08 December 2012 12:52AM

Willard shuts down Lebanon



Lebanon, Mo. (OzarksSportsZone.com)  -- The Willard Tigers rebounded from a tough 54-41 loss on Tuesday to Springfield Parkview with a 55-38 win at Lebanon on Friday.

The Tigers held Lebanon to just 18 points through the first three quarters and built a 22-point lead before the 'Jackets  made hay at the free throw line in the final frame and put together a 19-point fourth quarter.

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Willard head coach Lamont Frazier said the game was a mirror image in some ways of the season to date as  both the good and the bad were on display in Lebanon. The Tigers dominated defensively through three quarters, holding Lebanon to 25 percent shooting. But Frazier wasn't pleased with a sloppy fourth quarter by the Tigers as Lebanon scored more points in the fourth (20) than they had through the first three quarters (18).

The Yellowjackets got to the free throw line 14 times in the final frame, and after going 2-for-10 at the line through three quarters, Lebanon connected on its first nine in the fourth and finished 9-for-14 in the final period. The finished the game with a flurry of points, scoring 11 in the final two minutes.

"I thought in the fourth quarter we really got complacent," Frazier said. "We won the game, and at least we were able to do that."

Neither team was especially impressive at the offensive end, particularly in the first half. Willard scored on just four of its 13 possessions in the first quarter and ended the first period ahead 9-4 as Lebanon scored on just two of its 13 possessions.

The scored quarter opened with senior guard Brent Hrebec hitting a pair of free throw and a 3 and Willard took a commanding 17-6 lead with 5:05 remaining in the first half on a 3-pointer by junior guard Damon Wester. And after J.T. Dorris scored for Lebanon to open the second quarter, the 'Jackets went cold at the offensive end, going scoreless until the 2:07 remained when sophomore Chad Howerton ended the dry spell with a free throw.

Christian Klutts, a 6-foot-8 senior, scored for Lebanon to cap the 'Jackets scoring, but the half ended with Willard holding a 23-9 lead.

"Our games are ugly because I want our kids to guard and I want them to play hard," Frazier said. "If they can play hard consistently, then eventually good things are going to happen."

Off to a 1-4 start this season, Lebanon has just one game remaining over the next 19 days before starting play in the Blue and Gold Tournament. They will next play on Dec. 14 at Bolivar.

The 'Jackets entered Friday's game shooting under 39 percent from the field and 25 percent from behind the 3-point arc, numbers that took a hit after its performance against Willard as Lebanon shot 29 percent from the field and were 1-for-10 from behind the 3-point arc. Lebanon was 9-for-38 from the field (28 percent) before making its final three shots to end the game.

"They were able to take us out of it and force turnovers and when we did get the ball in position to score, we weren't able to finish," Lebanon head coach Cole Dishman said. "I threw out everything I could. We had looks, but just weren't able to finish. You have to find a way to get it done."

Both teams had 10 players score in the contest. Lebanon was led by junior Tyler Merriott's eight points. But Merriott picked up three early fouls and sat much of the early going.

Juniors Chris Kendrix and Damon Wester led Willard with 13 points each.

WILLARD 55, LEBANON 38

Willard 9  14  17  15 — 55
Lebanon 4  5  9  20 — 38

Willard (4-2) — Chris Kendrix 13, Damon Wester 13, Brent Hrebec 8, Landon Anderson 5, Kolbe Kinghorn 4, Jalen Holloman 2, Montana Craig 3, Logan Mattix 3, Z Barr 2, Cainen McGinnis 2.

Lebanon (1-4) — Tyler Merriott 8, Christian Klutts 6, Chad Howerton 5, Josh Archer 5, Brock West 4, Devante Chew 3, Jeffrey Plake 2, Isaac Gillen 2, J.T. Dorris 3.

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