West Plains powered through a physical first half against Ozark and shut down the Tigers in the last two quarters for a 71-55 road win on Saturday.
The Zizzers began the game with some slight organizational problems, drawing a technical foul for more than five players on the court. West Plains ended the quarter down 12-11.
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The second quarter previewed some of the offensive firepower from both squads, as Ozark’s Heath Carmichael rained in three 3-point baskets, while Zizzer Justin Davis (9) answered with two of his own to end the quarter to a slight 32-30 West Plains lead over Ozark.
West Plains came out firing for the third period of play by outscoring the Tigers 24-8 in the eight-minute frame with five more points from Davis and four from the Zizzers’ post Taylor Gill (16 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal).
“We wanted to make a statement on the road and earn some respect,” Gill said. “We’ve had some rough seasons so we haven’t earned a lot of respect, so this is a big win for us.”
“Taylor played great tonight,” said Zizzers coach Kevin Smith. “He’s really come into his own from last year, controlling the game around the basket.”
For the Tigers, post Brett Kisic added fifteen points in the second half to make up for a quiet first, but the Zizzers managed to maintain a solid offensive pace to earn their fourth victory in the 2012-2013 campaign.
“We were really concerned about their post presence with Krisic and [Nick] Cookingham and their great shooters, so it’s a testament to how well our kids worked in keeping those guys in check,” said Smith.
West Plains is 4-1 on the season and faces Rogersville on the road Tuesday, while Ozark moves to 3-2 and will play Hillcrest that same night.