Posted: Wednesday, 06 February 2013 12:29AM

Branson stays perfect in COC Large with win over Ozark

The Branson Pirates emerged with a win Tuesday evening in Ozark defeating the Tigers 56-50 in Central Ozark Conference Large Divsiion action. It was a hard-fought battle that could have gone either way.


“You know you’re getting to be a good team when you can grind out games,” said Branson head coach Brian McTague. “There was nothing pretty about this game from an offensive standpoint.”
It was a grind for the Pirates in the first-half.  Ozark changed up defenses often and limited the outside scoring opportunities for Branson.  The Tigers had a strong 2nd quarter, opening up with four blocked shots on Branson’s first two possessions.  The quarter closed with an 8-2 Ozark run, giving the Tigers a 29-23 lead at the half.

Ozark was also taken out of rhythm as starters Noah Nelson and Tyler Clanton got in early foul trouble.  Tigers coach Steve Hunter said that Korbin Evans made a big difference for Ozark in the first-half. 

“Korbin had 14 points (on 6 of 9 shooting) while almost everyone else had only one or two baskets,” said Hunter. 

Evans finished with 16 points for Ozark.

Things turned around for Branson in the second-half.  The Pirates limited the Tigers scoring chances and capitalized on 12 Ozark turnovers.  Branson took the lead late in the 3rd quarter and never gave it back.

“In the third quarter we got some transition baskets and ran the floor a little bit,” said Branson senior Thatch Unruh.  “We got to the short corner in the second-half and got some good baskets.”

The Pirates’ lead grew to nine points with 3:03 left in the fourth quarter.  The Tigers had one last offensive burst as Nick Cookingham knocked down three consecutive three-point bombs.  Brett Krisik added another trey to close the gap to three points with 1:13 left in the game.

In the 4th quarter, Branson’s Unruh went 9-for-10 from the free throw line to help seal the victory.  Unruh finished with 18 points along with junior Da’Quan Ervin.

Ozark falls to 11-10 on the season and 1-2 in the conference.  They face Neosho at home on Friday.  Branson will play Webb City at home Friday and raise its record to 15-6 overall and 3-0 in conference. 

                           1      2      3      4       F
Branson              14    9     14    19    56
Ozark                  11   18     7     14    50

Branson: Daniels, 4; Ervin, 18; Hall, 4; Russell, 11; Unruh, 18.
Ozark: Carmichael, 5; Clanton, 2; Cookinham, 12; Evans, 16; Krisik, 8; Nelson, 3; Neidig, 4.

Photo Galleries

Pictures: Countdown to Kickoff photos

We counted down the #DaysTilKickoff from all the way back in early July and the day has come.  Here's a look at each day's countdown.

Pictures: Top 50 Volleyball Jamboree Photos

Catch the best photos from the area's volleyball jamboree

Pictures: Sparta Volleyball Jamboree

Sparta hosted Billings, Buffalo, and Forsyth on Tuesday night.
O-Zone Opinion
Mohawk Chronicles: COC Large football conference preview
In terms of talent, there is no conference better than the COC-Large; the Class of 2014 will have no less than a half dozen D-1 players alone. While the conference isn't as deep as some others, there will be no shortage of storylines in 2014, starting...
Read More
14 for '14: Top storylines to watch
Here are 14 of the top storylines we'll be watching for the 2014 fall sports season. What are you looking forward to? 14 for '14: Breakout football players - CLICK HERE 14 for '14: Defensive players to watch - CLICK HERE 14 for '14:...
Read More
Mohawk Chronicles: Mid-Lakes football conference preview
Four of the conference's seven teams were ranked at some point in 2013. The Mid-Lakes will again be top loaded in 2014, with Strafford, Skyline, and Marionville all in the conversation to compete for state championships. But, the biggest question in MLC...
Read More
Most Viewed