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Prep Basketball: Pointers head to Neosho

NEOSHO, Mo. — The Lady Pointers had four players reach double digits to help reach the semifinals of the Holiday Classic here on Thursday afternoon.

The Pointers had three players reach double digits, but it wasn’t enough as the squad suffered their first loss of the season.

The Lady Pointers faced Webb City (Mo.) Friday night. A win puts the ladies in today’s finals at 5 p.m. A loss will be an appointment with the loser of the Bentonville-East Newton (Mo.) game at 6 p.m.

Lexi Jones led with 13 points as Van Buren defeated Seneca (Mo.) 55-45. Both Kaylee Sheppard and Lani Snowden chipped in 11 points each. Maria Santillana tossed in 10.

Lafayette (Mo.) 57, Van Buren 43 (Men’s)

Ryan Pearson scored 13 points while both Bradley Eversole and Jason Harms had 12 points each, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a slow start in the opening round of the tournament Thursday.

“We knew coming into this tournament we would be tested, and we certainly were,” said coach Randy Loyd. “There are several things we can identify and improve on from (Thursday night).”

Loyd said before the start of the tournament that he was hoping it would continue to test his team.

“We look forward to this tournament every year,” Loyd said. “The opportunity to face three or four quality teams in consecutive days is great preparation for our upcoming conference schedule.”

Van Buren played the loser of the Bush (Texas)-KC Ruskin (Mo.) game on Friday.

The Pointers trailed 10-4 at the end of the first quarter, but ralliled to sustain the deficit, 23-17 at halftime. Van Buren sliced the lead by five, 40-35, midway through the fourth quarter, but Lafayette (6-1) held on down the stretch.

“We battled and gave a really solid effort, but we have to give Lafayette credit. The team played well and took us out of some of the things we like to do,” said Loyd. “Our execution was off a step, but again, Lafayette probably had something to do with that.”

The Pointers missed another chance to clinch the title. Van Buren last won the Neosho Holiday Classic back in 2008.

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