Preparing for this week's Freeman Classic at Webb City and Joplin, Mo., is becoming a challenge for Miami High School.

Lady Wardog coach JohnCarl Morgan said his Lady Wardogs had a shoot-around Tuesday with nine players and he hoped the full team would be on hand for a full-scale practice Wednesday.

“We're having trouble even contacting the kids,” Morgan said. “A lot of them don't have a phone or their cell phones are dead. We'll do what we can with what we have.”

Miami is scheduled to join the two host schools as well as Republic, Mo., for the round-robin hoopsfest - weather permitting.

While Miami was out of school for the fourth straight day, power issues also plague the Joplin school district. The main building at Joplin High School was without power late Wednesday afternoon.

And the weather forecast for the weekend now calls for 6 to 10 inches of snow.

MHS opens with Webb City on Friday, the girls playing at 6 p.m. with the boys following at 7:30 p.m. Then on Saturday, Miami will be at Joplin. Games are set for 2:30 and 4 p.m.

The weather postponed Tuesday night's Verdigris Valley Conference opener with Vinita. No makeup date has been set yet.

The MHS boys have been idle since Friday's 55-34 victory over Berryhill in the fifth-place game at the Sperry Tournament

The Lady Wardogs have been off since dropping a 48-28 decision to Berryhill in the championship game at Sperry.

“It's really affected our freshmen and JVs because they have gone nearly two weeks without a game,” Morgan said. “Really, it's been awful on them, because we're not getting workouts for them either.

“We've got to get back on the floor.”

Morgan and MHS boys' coach Rusty Mercer scouted Webb City Tuesday night in its Southwest Conference openers with McDonald County.

The Lady Cards rolled to a 60-43 victory in the first game, then the WCHS boys notched a 74-42 win in the nightcap.

“They fit the description of what I'd heard they would be,” Morgan said of the Webb City girls, who improved to 6-2. “They are always sound in their fundamentals, athletic and are well coached.”

“Year in and year out you can expect a tough game from them, both girls and boys,” he said. “I remember even from my playing days that was always one of our toughest games, even in elementary. They always had good players.”

The nucleus of Webb City's girls' team comes from its softball team that won the Missouri Class 4 state title. Senior Nicole Hudson, a forward in basketball, has signed to play softball at Missouri. She had 10 points in the win over McDonald County.

A pair of freshmen, 6-0 Kaitlin Jaeger had 18 points and 5-5 Sharenda Campbell added 17 against the Lady Mustangs.

The Webb City boys (3-2) feasted on 26 McDonald County turnovers. They led 39-21 at intermission.

Landon Zerkel, a 6-3 senior, had 22 points, 10 steals, nine assists and nine rebounds for the Cardinals.

Joplin's boys are 3-1 while the Lady Eagles stand 1-6.