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Joplin slips in second half in loss to Wichita West

Jan. 20—PITTSBURG, Kan. — Wichita West was 13 for 17 on free throws in the second half as the Pioneers were able to pull away from Joplin for a 68-52 win in the consolation semifinals of the Bill Hanson Memorial Tournament on Friday night at Pittsburg High School.

Wichita was 19 for 27 overall at the charity stripe and used that to carry it to victory.

Joplin got 16 points each from Brecken Green and Trenton Gage to pace its offense.

The Eagles were down by just 5 at halftime, 30-25. They had their best offensive output of the game in the third quarter, adding 15 points.

But the defense couldn't hold the Pioneers down, allowing 18, to be staring at a 48-40 deficit entering the fourth stanza.

Wichita earned the victory going 8 for 10 on free shots on the way to a 20-point quarter.

The Pioneers were led by Gavyn Phillips' 18 points and Robert Basks Jr.'s 16.

Joplin fell behind 39-29 fairly early in the second half but then a quick spurt got them back within 5 at 39-34.

Those points came from a Gage layup that he got fouled on and added a free throw for an old-fashioned 3-point play. Green later had the same thing happen but missed the free throw.

Wichita West scored 9 of the game's next 12 points to take an 11-point lead at 48-37. A 3-pointer from the wing went in for Cooper Williams at the buzzer, signaling the end of the third quarter, to keep Joplin in the game momentarily.

Joplin (2-13) will face Willard (10-6) at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the Megan Mallatt Activity Center for seventh place.