The Waynesville High School Tigers varsity basketball team beat the visiting Parkview High School Vikings from Springfield, Missouri, 54-52 Friday in the Ozark Conference opener for both teams.
The Tigers took an early lead, ending the first quarter with a 15-12 advantage. Mike Lewis made a driving scoop layup to lead Waynesville in the second quarter as the Tigers extended their lead to 28-22 at halftime.
Six points by Jayden Smith in the third quarter gave the Tigers a nine-point lead after the third quarter. The Waynesville defense then tried to hold off a fourth-quarter rally by Parkview. Several Tigers hit key free throws, and a key basket by Hunter O’Neil kept Waynesville in the lead to secure the win at the buzzer.
Lewis led Waynesville in scoring with 12 points, followed by O’Neil with 11 and Smith with 10 points.
“We were in another tight game. I think that is good for our guys,” said Chris Pilz, WHS head coach.
Pilz said the Tigers faced a strong Parkview team to begin conference play.
“Parkview is a very good team led by two-time All-Ozark Conference selection Dantae Taylor. Taylor was good tonight. We were able to slow him up just enough. Our guys prepared well at practice yesterday and today in our walk through,” Pilz said. “I really liked our effort on defense tonight. AJ Martin and Shen Butler-Lawson had tremendous effort on that end tonight.”
Up next: The Tigers (7-4) play host to the Jefferson City Jays (6-6) at 7 p.m. Friday in the WHS gym.
In other WHS sports:
The WHS girls’ Lady Tigers varsity basketball team fell to the top-ranked Lady Jays 49-11 Friday at Jefferson City High School in Jefferson City, Missouri.
The Lady Jays took an early lead and never looked back as they outscored the Lady Tigers in the first three quarters.
Naudia Evans scored 10 points for Waynesville.
The Lady Tigers “gave a great effort against the No. 1 team in Missouri Class 5, (who are also ranked) 25th in the nation,” said Brittany Matlock, WHS head coach. “We will continue to work hard and worry about what we can control. In due time, those efforts will pay off.”
Up next: The Lady Tigers (2-8) welcome the Central High School Lady Bulldogs (7-5) to the WHS gym tonight. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.