COMMERCE — Senior forward Joey Powers scored 27 points to lead the 13th-ranked Class A Welch Wildcats to a 61-39 Lucky 7 Conference victory over the Commerce Tigers Tuesday night in the CHS gym.
Earlier in the evening, coach Jerry Myers’ Lady Tigers earned a 40-35 win over the Lady Wildcats. With the victory, the Lady Tigers are 3-2 in the conference and 6-3 overall.
Commerce remains at home Friday for homecoming festivities. Queen coronation starts at 6 p.m. The boys ‘game will be played first, followed by the girls’ contest.
The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 16-9 lead through the first quarter before constructing a 24-14 cushion at halftime.
During the third quarter the Lady Wildcats clawed back to a 28-25 deficit entering the final period.
Commerce outscored Welch by a 12-10 margin in the final eight minutes to gain a five-point victory.
“In the fourth quarter we were 8 of 10 at the free throw line,” Myers said. “That really helped.”
Jacey Knight paced the Lady Tigers with 15 points while Courtney Watson added 13, Mandy Watson seven, Jerrica Trease four and Taylor Stevenson one.
Sierra Hankins led all scorers with 17 points for Welch followed by Erin Snedden and Krystin Marlow with seven each and Tyler Dodson and Kelsie Smith with two each.
The 6-5 Powers led Welch to an 11-1 season record and a perfect 5-0 conference mark in the boys’ game.
Schertz said Powers had had his worst shooting night of the season in Friday’s 39-25 win over Quapaw, hitting just 6 of 25 shots.
“We came out early and ran some good sets and the boys made some nice passes to him,” Schertz said.
Welch built a 12-6 lead after the first quarter before pulling away to a 32-15 advantage at intermission.
“Our half-court trap gave them a lot of trouble,” Schertz said. “We needed a ‘statement’ game to prove to ourselves that we could play without (Jacob) Mount.”
Mount is sidelined indefinitely with an illness.
The Wildcats lead ballooned to 50-26 at the start of the fourth quarter before Commerce outscored Welch 13-11 in the final eight minutes.
“We got after them,” Schertz said. “This was one of our best games of the year.”
Blake Witten scored 10 points to lead Commerce. Luis Arizpe and Joey Bowling had eight each, followed by Braden Hilton with seven and Braden Smith and Jerod Kirtley added three each.
Grant Bullard added nine points for Welch. Brenton Hale and Austin Buchanan scored seven each, followed by Jordan Dry with three and Chance Harris, Gabe Moore, Billy McClintick and Dakota Chenoweth with two points each.
Welch travels to Afton Friday night for Lucky 7 Conference play.