JOPLIN, Mo. — It may have been a long drive for Central Christian College’s basketball teams to their games on Tuesday, but it was a much shorter drive home.
Both CCC teams rollicked their way to easy victories over Ozark Christian College, the men 92-66 and the women, 98-63.
The Tiger men, playing without injured starter Alonzo Stafford, led 45-34 at halftime before turning on the afterburners for the runaway victory, leading by as many as 33 points.
“We started really well tonight, only giving up seven points in the first 10 minutes,” CCC coach Tony Romero said. “But we did not finish the half strong. We gave up way too many second-chance opportunities in the first half. Second half I thought our focus was better and our aggression. I was happy for Jalin (LeBlanc) tonight, he had his best game so far, for us to battle throughout the rest of the season, we will need to have him that active."
Michael Gholston led the Tigers with 22 points. Dustin Rojas added 14 and Ernest Burton came off the bench for 11. The CCC reserves had another big night by accounting for 39 points.
The Tigers, now 5-1, play tonight at Fort Hays State in an exhibition game and then are home Friday to play Manhattan Christian.
CCC (92) — Quincy 3, Nwosuh 8, Gholston 22, Rojas 14, Adams 6, Jackson 9, Burton 11, Clayborn 8, LeBlanc 9, Robbins 2.
Ozark Christian (66) — Witt 7, Stubblefield 7, Allmolecher 13, Bone 2, Hill 23, Wingert 2, Williams 4, Hembree 8.
• Central women 98, Ozark Christian 63 — The Lady Tigers ended their five-game skid by finally making some shots, including 12 of 34 from 3-point.
It was only 36-31 at the half, but the fast-paced Lady Tigers wore down OCC with a 62-point second-half salvo.
The Lady Tigers were led by Kaylee Shaw with 19 points. Also in doubles were Kelly Smit (17), MacKenzie Woods (12), Quamisha Spence (12) and Ashlyn Garza (10).
“I was very pleased with the all-around effort tonight,” CCC coach Chris Honeck said. "We got a few kids back and that really helped us. We didn't shoot particularly well in the first half, but the pace at which we played showed up later when Ozark ran out of gas early in the second half. Our pressure defense created a lot of offense for us, and our threes started falling. All in all, it was exactly the type of game we needed."
Central, now 2-7, is home Friday to play Manhattan Christian.
CCC (98) — Shaw 19, Woods 12, Regier 4, Void 2, Smith 17, Garza 10, Salazar 8, Campa 2, Fairchild 3, Spence 12, Laskowski 9.
Ozark Christian (63) — Chandler 3, Matlack 20, Hilton 14, Snow 7, Mark 10, Matlack 3, Schultz 6.