SARCOXIE, Mo. — Exeter, Mo., showed why it should be a favorite to repeat as Missouri Class 1 girls’ state champ Saturday night when the Lady Tigers rolled to a 63-31 victory over Commerce in the finals of the Sarcoxie Tournament.

“I think it was a mixture of them playing well and us being a little flat,” Commerce coach Jerry Myers said. “Whatever they put up went in. We were getting shots we wanted. We were pounding it inside, getting them.

“We weren’t making shots we normally have been making.”

Exeter also won the round robin boys’ championship with a 72-67 victory over Commerce.

Exeter finished 3-0 while the Tigers were 2-1.

The Commerce girls missed eight free throws during a first quarter that saw Exeter hold an 18-10 edge.

“It was a combination early on when you are still in the ballgame and get frustrated when you have those little 2-footers that are rolling out and you aren’t making free throws,” Myers said. “They were a good team.”

Exeter’s Lady Tigers held an 18-7 edge in the second quarter then outscored the Commerce Lady Tigers 22-7 in the third frame.

Each team scored six points in the final stanza.

Exeter (14-1) went into the tournament ranked third in Class 1. The only major loss from its 29-1 state championship team was 6-1 post Whitney Edie, who is playing at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo.

“The part we were worried about was their pressure,” Myers said. “When we did what we were supposed to do, we didn’t have any turnovers. Sometimes we tried to force some stuff.

“We didn’t lose because of the turnover battle … every shot hit the rim, went up 5 or 6 feet, rattled around and went in.”

Mandy Watson scored nine points to lead the Commerce attack Jacey Knight chipped in with eight points.

Destini Stensrud scored 24 points and Chelbie Kern added 10 for Exeter.

“We saw the style of play we’re going to see on down the road,” Myers said.

In the boys’ game, Commerce shaved an eight-point first-quarter deficit down to a 38-36 margin at the half.

The Exeter Tigers held a 19-10 edge in the third quarter then the Commerce Tigers created the final margin with a 21-15 burst in the fourth.

Luis Arizpe scored 13 points while T.J. Arnold and Blake Witten added 11 apiece for CHS.

Exeter (6-9) had four players score in double figures, topped by Zach Wubker with 20 points.

Commerce hosts Wyandotte in Lucky 7 Conference play Tuesday night.


Commerce    10    8    7    6 — 31

Exeter, Mo.    18    17    22    6 — 63

Commerce — M. Watson 9, Knight 8, Stevenson 5, C. Watson 4, Blankenship 2, Loring 2, Degner 1.

Exeter — Stensrud 24, Kern 10, Bowman 8, Ashton Scott 8, Abby Scott 4, Staples 4, Kidwell 3, O’Neill 2.

3-point goals — Commerce, Knight 2; Exeter, Stensrud 3, Bowman 2, Kidwell 1.


Exeter, Mo.    18    20    19    15 — 72

Commerce    10    26    10    21 — 67

Exeter — Wubker 20, White 16, Sorenson 11, Lee 10, Brattin 4.

Commerce — Arizpe 13, Arnold 11, Witten 11, Kirtley 7, Kasey Ng 6, Bowling 6, Rice 5, Hilton 5, Kyler Ng 3.

3-point goals — Exeter, White 3, Wubker 2, Lee 2; Commerce, Rice 1, HIlton 1, Kirtley 1, Kyler Ng 1, Arnold 1, Arizpe 1, Witten 1.