WELCH — Jumping out to an early lead, the Welch boys coasted to a 41-31 victory over Commerce in a Lucky 7 Conference basketball game here Friday night.

The Wildcats, 8-3 in the conference and 17-4 overall, were up 9-5 after the first quarter.

Commerce narrowed the gap to 13-12 at the half but the Cats pulled away in the third quarter with a 14-9 edge.

“It was an ugly, ugly game,” Welch coach Josh Schertz said. “We didn’t the handle ball very well. We were up 13-12 at the half and had a lot of turnovers. Defensively, I was very pleased, but offensively didn’t shoot very well.”

The Wildcats nailed down the victory with a 14-10 advantage in the fourth quarter.

“We were still plagued by turnovers in the second half,” Schertz said. “Commerce applied a lot of pressure and we didn’t handle it very well.”

The Cats helped themselves at the free throw line, hitting 10 in a row down the stretch. They were 8-for-8 in the fourth quarter.

“You have to give credit to Coach Fenderson (Commerce coach Tom Fenderson) and his kids — they made it a tough game,” Schertz said.

Jacob Mount had a game-high 13 points for Welch, with Joey Powers adding 10.

“We still have two doing most of the scoring  — we’ve gotta get more involved,” Schertz said. (Brenton) Hale, (Chance) Sandusky, Gabe (Moore), Grant (Bullard) and Austin (Buchanan) need to step up.”

Zach Barnes netted 11 points for the Tigers.

Commerce claimed a 48-22 victory in the girls’ game.

The Lady Tigers broke out to a 16-2 lead in the first quarter. They held an 8-7 edge in the second frame then outscored Welch 11-2 in the third.

Mandy Watson and Courtney Watson scored eight points each and Adrienne Herrera, Taylor Stephenson and Kourtney Reading added seven points apiece for Commerce.

The Lady Wildcats got seven points from Jordan Amos and five from Allison Chenoweth.

Welch hosted Quapaw Saturday night in its regular-season finale. It begins Class A district play this week, the girls playing on Friday and the boys on Saturday.

Girls

Commerce    16    8    11    13 — 48

Welch     2    7    2    11 — 22

Commerce — M. Watson 8, C. Watson 8, Herrera 7, Reading 7, Stephenson 7, Knight 4, Trease 3, Thompson 2, Reese 2.

Welch — Amos 7, Chenoweth 5, Siegel 4, Hankins 4, Jackson 2.

3-point goals — Chenoweth 1, Reading 1.

Boys

Commerce    5    7    9    10 — 31

Welch    9    4    14    14 — 41

Commerce — Barnes 11, Bowling 5, Arizpe 5, Witten 4, Manning 4, Arnold 2.

Welch — Mount 13, Powers 10, Hale 6, Moore 5, Buchanan 5, Sandusky 2.

3-point goals — Barnes 1, Bowling 1, Arizpe 1, Hale 2, Buchanan 1, Moore 1.