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   The Diamond Middle School track team took second place in both the boys and girls divisions during a meet held here April 3.

   The girls lost by one and one half points 100.5 to 99 to Pierce City, while the boys fell 126 to 102. Other teams participating included Everton, Miller, Purdy, Sarcoxie, Shell Knob, Southwest, Thomas Jefferson and Wheaton.

   Jackie Lasiter posted both of the first place finishes for the girls team, winning the 400 with a time of 1:08.73 and the 200 with a time of 30.17.

   Others placing for Diamond were:

   Second place- Lydia O'Donnell, discus.

   Third place- Kayla Ching, discus; Whitney Booyer, long jump; Lacey Carneal, 100 meter dash; 4x200 relay, 4x100 relay, Carneal, 200; 4x400 relay.

   Fourth place- Jessica Harrison, shot put; Kacie Cooper, triple jump; Lasiter, 100; Kaci Scribner, 1600; O'Donnell, 800.

   Fifth place- Dana Bridges, long jump; Jessica Webb, triple jump; Booyer, 75 hurdles; O'Donnell, 400.

   Sixth place- Amanda Morris, 1600.

   Zach Towers was a double winner for the boys team, placing first in the 1600 with a time of 5:24; and first in the 800 with a time of 2:28.39. Genaro Rangel took first in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 19:46.

   Recording second place finishes were: Towers, high jump; 4x100 relay; Michael Lane, 400; 4x400 relay.

   Third place- Bryce Dailey, discus; Lane, long jump; Jake Newsum, 100 hurdles; Rangel, 100.

   Fourth place- Jake Edge, triple jump; Caleb Lucas, 100 hurdles; 4x200 relay.

   Fifth place- Newsum, 100.

   Sixth place- Paul Holland, high jump; Holland, 200.

   The Wildcats also did well at a recent meet at Girard, Kan.

   Placing for the boys were:

   First- Towers, 1600

   Second- Dailey, discus; Towers, 800.

   Third-  Towers, high jump.

   Fourth- Clay Norwood, high jump

   Fifth- Colton Griffin, pole vault; Lane, 400

   Sixth- 4x100 relay (Norwood, Newsum, Kevin Ortega, Holland)

   Placing for the seventh grade girls were:

   Second- Carneal, 100 hurdles

   Third- Carneal, 200

   Fifth- Scribner, 1600

   Sixth- Crystal Harrall, discus; Amanda Cupp, shot put.

   Placing for the eighth grade girls were:

   Second- Lasiter, 200

   Fourth- Harrison, shot put

   Fifth- Lasiter, 100 hurdles

   Sixth- O'Donnell, 800


   A 14-point run at the end of the first quarter broke open a close game and led the Diamond High School boys basketball team to a 67-41 win over Sarcoxie in opening round district play.

   Diamond held a 12-9 lead when Bubby Farley began the run with a basket from a Casey Holland assist. Justin Lane nailed a putback to give the Wildcats a 16-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

   Junior Jake VanLue opened the second period scoring off an offensive rebound. A Farley steal led to the next basket, a Deke Beckett two-pointer from a VanLue assist.

   Holland picked a Bear pocket, leading to two VanLue free throws. Lane added two more free throws, then concluded the run with a basket from a VanLue assist.

   Lane and Farley led the balanced Wildcat scoring attack with 13 points. VanLue added 11 and a team-leading seven rebounds. Sharp passing was on display all afternoon as VanLue, Lane and Holland each collected four assists.

   Diamond increased its lead to 41-16 at halftime led by Farley's 11 points, nine for VanLue and eight for Lane.

   The score was 61-26 in favor of the host team after the third quarter.

   Diamond will play Pierce City at 6 p.m. Thursday in the semi-final round. The winner will play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

   Diamond- Points- Farley 13, Lane 13, VanLue 11, Greg Fetters 8, Holland 6, D. Beckett 6, Dustin Hoyer 4, Josh Beckett 2, Tyler Youngblood 2, Trent Jones 2; Rebounds- VanLue 7, Farley 6, Fetters 5, Hoyer 5, Holland 4, Lane 3, Youngblood 2, D. Beckett 1, Jordan Macy 1; Assists- VanLue 4, Holland 4, Lane 4, D. Beckett 3, Fetters 2, Farley 1, Macy 1; Steals- Holland 5, Lane 4, VanLue 2, Fetters 2, Farley 1, J. Beckett 1, Macy 1, Josh Miller 1; Blocked Shots- Holland 1; Three-Pointers- Holland 2, Lane 1.


   Jessi Youngblood looked tired as she went through her workout paces prior to her Diamond High School basketball team's district game with Billings Monday night.

   You couldn't blame the junior guard for feeling as if she had to carry the weight of the world on her young shoulders.

   When plans were first made for the 2002-2003 season, Coach Rachael Madden's probable starting lineup, in addition to Jessi, featured her classmates Ashley Brummett and Brittany Gilliam and talented sophomore Megan Kinney. All three were at the game Monday night, but their seasons ended early, thanks to injuries.

  Jessi's supporting cast included sophomore Jolene Topham and three gutsy, but vastly inexperienced freshmen, Michelle Darr, Ricki Fountain and Brittney Stevens.

   As Jessi warmed up, she fired a three-point attempt that banged off the back of the rim and bounced all the way into the bleachers. She walked slowly to retrieve it, conserving every last bit of energy she had for the game she hoped would not be the last one of her junior season.

   Unfortunately for Jessi, when the final buzzer sounded, the second-seeded Billings Wildcats had knocked off Diamond 61-30, despite Jessi's 14-point, 9-rebound performance and a double-double, 12 points and 12 rebounds by Jolene Topham.

   Billings scored the first seven points before Jessi hit a basket from a Darr assist. Her drive to the basket and two-pointer later in the period was Diamond's only other score. The quarter ended with the locals trailing 20-4.

   The Youngblood-Topham tandem accounted for all 11 first-half Diamond points. Billings led 28-11 at halftime and 53-17 after three quarters.

   Diamond, giving the local fans a glimpse of a promising 2003-2004 season, outscored Billings 13-8 in the fourth quarter, as Jessi Youngblood concluded her junior season in style with six points, three steals and three assists in the final eight minutes.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 14, Topham 12, Brandi Rifenberg 4; Rebounds- Topham 12, Youngblood 9, Fountain 6, Darr 2, Rifenberg 1, Stevens 1; Assists- Darr 6, Youngblood 3, Stevens 1, Topham 1; Steals- Youngblood 4, Darr 2, Stevens 1, Amanda McKee 1; Blocked Shots- Topham 3, Youngblood 2.



   The 42-24 loss to Mount Vernon in the final game of the season wasn't what the Diamond eighth grade basketball team had in mind, but a few members of the team closed their middle school careers with some pleasant memories.

   The nothing-but-net shot that Cool-Hand Colton Griffin sank late in the fourth quarter comes immediately to mind.

   Or how about the unusual, but obviously manageable free-throw shooting style of Charles Forest, who hit two big ones late in the game.

   Daniel Stone risked life and limb on two consecutive plays. The redheaded rabble rouser took a wood shampoo when he dived for a loose ball, forcing a tieup. Unfortunately, the possession arrow was pointing toward Mount Vernon. No matter. Seconds later, Stone came up with a clean steal.

   Cameron Harrington took no prisoners during a couple of mad dashes down the court. On the second one, he picked up the assist on the Griffin basket. He also blocked a shot.

   Chase Sexson yanked down a pair of clutch rebounds and the perpetual motion machine Clint Myers was all over the court.

   Layton Hoyer came up with a free throw and a rebound. Paul Holland barely missed hitting a three-pointer, when it rolled around the rim and dropped out.

   The reserves sparkled and each of the starters for Coach Jeff Jinks' squad had standout moments.

   Zach Towers, destined for some heavy-duty high school playing time in the near future, was the leading Wildcat scorer with seven and also led the squad with 12 rebounds and four steals.

   Kevin Ortega collared nine rebounds, while Clay Norwood had a three-pointer and four assists. Michael Lane tied Towers for the team lead with four steals and Ryan Clouse was all over the court, playing his particular brand of hard-nosed defense.

   Diamond kept it close for most of the first half, trailing  by only 10 with a minute to go, but the visitors scored five of the last six first-half points and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

   Diamond- Points- Towers 7, Ortega 4, Norwood 4, Lane 2, Forest 2, Hoyer 1, Clouse 1, Myers 1; Rebounds- Towers 12, Ortega 9, Norwood 3, Sexson 2, Lane 2, Harrington 2, Hoyer 1, Clouse 1; Assists- Norwood 4, Towers 1, Lane 1, Ortega 1, Harrington 1; Steals- Towers 4, Lane 4, Norwood 3, Ortega 2, Sexson 1; Blocked Shots- Norwood 1, Ortega 1, Harrington 1; Three-Pointers- Norwood 1.


   The Diamond seventh grade played Mount Vernon to a tie during the final three quarters of the season finale Tuesday night.

   The 21-2 first quarter advantage enabled the Mountaineers to beat the locals 52-33.

   Mount Vernon scored the first 19 points before Diamond reached the scoreboard on a Tim Enayati pass from a halfcourt lob from Devin Greenwood.

   Diamond's offense began clicking in the second quarter as Casey Youngblood nailed a pair of three-pointers and Greenwood banked one in. Greenwood scored all nine of his points in the first half, which ended with the visitors holding a 38-17 lead.

   Mount Vernon stretched its lead to 46-19 after three quarters.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 14, Greenwood 9, Enayati 6, Eli Hicks 4; Rebounds- Hicks 5, Enayati 5, Lee Hollars 4, Greenwood 3, Youngblood 2, Cody Palmer 1, Mike Turner 1; Assists- Greenwood 1, Hollars 1; Steals- Palmer 1, Enayati 1, Hollars 1, Turner 1; Blocked Shots- Hicks 2, Enayati 1; Three-Pointers- Youngblood 2, Greenwood 1.


  Every basketball team has defensive letdowns and it was no different for the Diamond Wildcats during their game with Exeter Saturday night.

   The Wildcats slipped up and let an Exeter player drive to the basket, score, get fouled and convert on the free throw.

   That was how the visitors scored their first basket. Fortunately, Diamond had already scored the first 22 points en route to an 81-28 win in the first homecoming game played in the new gymnasium.

   Junior Greg Fetters started it off with a steal and layup and moments later, senior Justin Lane, one half away from being crowned homecoming king, did the same.

   After a Tiger turnover, Lane scored from a Deke Beckett assist. Lane, who led all scorers with 16 points, increased Diamond's lead to 9-0 with a three-pointer from another Beckett assist.

   The onslaught continued with a basket by Fetters, two of them by VanLue, two Beckett free throws, a Casey Holland three-pointer and another VanLue basket before that not-so-critical defensive lapse. Diamond finished the quarter with a 24-3 advantage, thanks to a Fetters putback.

   By the time halftime arrived, Diamond already had two players, Lane and VanLue in double figures, with 10 points apiece.

   The rest of the game offered Coach Jim Madden a welcome opportunity to get playing time for his talented reserves and they made the most of it.

   Junior forward Josh Miller had seven points and 11 rebounds, while sophomore guard Josh Beckett scored nine points on three three-pointers and collected three steals.

   Freshman Austin Hoyer had seven points and four rebounds, while his classmate, Tyler Youngblood, had six points, two assists and three steals.

   The Wildcats led 47-8 at halftime and 65-19 after three quarters.

   Diamond- Points- Lane 16, VanLue 14, Fetters 9, J. Beckett 9, Miller 7, Hoyer 7, D. Beckett 6, Youngblood 6, Casey Holland 5, Jordan Macy 2; Rebounds- Miller 11, VanLue 6, Holland 4, Lane 4, Hoyer 4, Macy 4, Youngblood 4; Assists- Holland 4, D. Beckett 2, Lane 2, Youngblood 2, Trent Jones 2, VanLue 1, Fetters 1, Hoyer 1; Steals- Fetters 4, Lane 3, VanLue 3, Hoyer 3, J. Beckett 3, Youngblood 3, Holland 1, D. Beckett 1; Blocked Shots- VanLue 1, Hoyer 1; Three-Pointers- Lane 3, J. Beckett 3, Holland 1, Youngblood 1.


   Volleyball has always been Amanda McKee's main sport, but this year the Diamond freshman has added another sport, basketball, to her repertoire.

   It hasn't been easy for Amanda, but she is making the transition and nowhere could the evidence be seen more clearly than during the final two minutes of the first half of the Wildcats' 55-44 Ozark 8 win over Exeter Saturday night.

   With Diamond trailing 18-15, Amanda quickly made her presence felt when she first entered the game, spotting classmate Belle Darr open behind the three-point line. One quick pass, a nothing-but-net shot and the game was tied.

   Belle returned the favor moments later, putting Diamond ahead for the first time since the game's opening basket by finding Amanda open inside and passing to her for the two-pointer. The score was tied 20-20 at halftime.

   Exeter grabbed the initial second-half lead, but after that Coach Rachael Madden's Wildcats slowly but surely began to take control of the contest, thanks in large part to some yeoman work by junior Brittany Gilliam.

   Gilliam tied the game by hitting a 10-footer, then fed Darr for the basket that put Diamond ahead for good. Gilliam scored the next four points with assists by Jolene Topham and Darr.

   Diamond led 36-30 after three quarters.

   Gilliam, Darr and junior Jessi Youngblood dominated on offense with Darr scoring 12 of her game-high 17 points in the final two quarters, Gilliam connected for eight of her 11 points and Youngblood scored all 10 of her points in the third and fourth quarters.

   Diamond- Points- Darr 17, Gilliam 11, Youngblood 10, Topham 9, Brandi Rifenberg 4, Ricki Fountain 2, McKee 2; Rebounds- Gilliam 8, Topham 6, Darr 3, Rifenberg 3, McKee 2, Brittney Stevens 1, Kayla Bass 1; Assists- Darr 8, Gilliam 6, McKee 2, Youngblood 1, Topham 1, Fountain 1, Rifenberg 1; Steals- Youngblood 7, Darr 3, McKee 3, Gilliam 2, Stevens 2, Rifenberg 1; Three-Pointers- Darr 2.


   Jolene Topham scored six of her 10 points in the final 1:20 as the Diamond High School girls basketball team bounced back from a fourth quarter deficit to defeat Purdy 48-44 Monday night.

   Topham also led both teams with 17 rebounds and helped preserve the win with some sparkling defensive play in the final minute.

   The Wildcats led most of the first half, with freshman Michelle Darr scoring 10 of her team-high 14 points and junior Brittany Gilliam connecting for eight of her 12 points. Diamond held a 10-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter, thanks to a Darr three-pointer with 25 seconds left and increased the margin to 29-20 at halftime.

   After that, it was siesta time for the Wildcats as Purdy fought its way back into the game. Diamond scored no baskets in the third period and only dented the scoreboard on two Gilliam free throws. Those points were enough to enable the locals to cling to a 31-29 advantage after three periods.

   A 10-5 Eagle run gave the visitors a 39-36 advantage with 5:21 left. Diamond cut the margin to one as junior guard Jessi Youngblood penetrated then flipped the ball to Darr for two. After another Purdy basket, Gilliam nailed a free throw and Diamond trailed 41-39.

   Youngblood, who sparkled during the fourth quarter, scoring five points and picking up three assists and four rebounds, grabbed the defensive rebound and moments later assisted on Darr's game-tying basket.

   A free throw with 1:44 left gave the Eagles a one-point lead, 42-41. At that point, the Topham show began. She cleared the boards after the second free throw went wide. Darr worked the ball in to her inside and she put Diamond ahead.

   The lead didn't hold long. Purdy took its final lead, 44-43. The Eagles never scored again. A Darr steal set up the basket that put Diamond ahead for good, a Topham two-pointer from a Youngblood assist.

   Topham forced a bad Purdy shot and the Eagles turned the ball over seconds later, leading to the play of the game on the pass-in. Gilliam's pass was a little beyond junior guard Brandi Rifenberg, but Topham a few feet on the other side of the 10-second line, grabbed the ball on the bounce, and took it all the way in, kissing it off the glass. She was fouled on the play. Topham missed the free throw, but Gilliam rebounded, was fouled and hit one of two free throws for the final margin.

   Diamond- Points- Darr 14, Gilliam 12, Topham 10, Youngblood 8, Ricki Fountain 2, Rifenberg 2; Rebounds- Topham 17, Gilliam 6, Youngblood 6, Darr 4, Fountain 3, Rifenberg 2; Assists- Darr 7, Youngblood 5, Topham 2, Gilliam 2, Rifenberg 1; Steals- Gilliam 3, Youngblood 3, Darr 2, Fountain 1; Three-Pointers- Darr 2.


   A top-notch performance by Jessi Youngblood wasn't enough to keep the Diamond High School girls basketball team from losing to Lamar 67-50 Thursday night.

   The junior guard connected for 25 points and pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds in a gutsy performance.

   Diamond never led as Lamar scored the opening basket and cut the lead to one only once, on a Brittany Gilliam free throw with seven minutes left in the opening quarter.

   Lamar, hitting from inside and outside, built a 25-7 advantage, before freshman guard Michelle Darr put Diamond in double figures with a three-pointer from a Youngblood assist.

   Following a Lamar turnover, Ricki Fountain found Youngblood open for two and the junior was fouled on the play. She converted the old fashioned three-point play to make the score 25-13 at the end of the opening quarter.

   Lamar increased its lead to 44-27 at halftime. A second half spurt kept Diamond in the game. The Wildcats cut the margin to 13, 52-39, after three quarters, thanks to a 10-point run that began with a baseline drive by Gilliam. Youngblood hit from outside, was fouled and again converted the three-point play. Gilliam scored from a Fountain assist, then the quarter ended with a Darr basket and a Gilliam free throw.

   Diamond made it a 12-point run at the beginning of the fourth quarter, with Youngblood scoring from a Fountain assist.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 25, Gilliam 13, Darr 7, Jolene Topham 5; Rebounds- Youngblood 12, Topham 8, Fountain 5, Brandi Rifenberg 5, Darr 2, Gilliam 1; Assists- Youngblood 5, Darr 4, Fountain 3, Gilliam 2, Rifenberg 1; Steals- Darr 4, Youngblood 1, Amanda McKee 1; Three-Pointers- Youngblood 1.

   Lamar also won the junior varsity game 26-9.

   Diamond- Points- Rifenberg 3, Darr 2, Kayla Bass 2, Fountain 2; Rebounds- Bass 3, Fountain 2, McKee 1, Lauren Fetters 1, Brittany Busse 1, Darr 1; Assists- Fountain 1, Fetters 1, Darr 1; Steals- Bass 2, Fountain 2, Blocked Shots- Fountain 1, Three-Pointers- Rifenberg 1.


   That four-point run the Diamond eighth grade basketball team used to grab an early lead against Seneca Tuesday night was a thing of beauty.

   The run started with a Michael Lane defensive rebound, then Lane fed Zach Towers for the basket that tied the game at 2-2.

   Moments later, Kevin Ortega cleared the boards for the Wildcats, then Lane picked up the second of his team-high three assists, feeding Clay Norwood for two. Norwood led the Diamond scoring attack with seven points.

   Unfortunately, that was the last basket Diamond scored in the opening quarter and by the time the game had ended the Wildcats had fallen to Seneca 47-17.

   Seneca led 9-4 at the end of the first quarter, increased its lead to 24-11 at halftime and 43-15 after three quarters.

   Diamond will play at Triway Thursday night.

   Diamond- Points- Norwood 7, Towers 4, Lane 4, Paul Holland 2; Rebounds- Ryan Clouse 3, Lane 2, Norwood 2, Holland 2, Towers 2, Cameron Harrington 2, Ortega 1, Layton Hoyer 1; Assists- Lane 3, Clint Myers 1, Ortega 1, Charles Forest 1; Blocked Shots- Ortega 3, Towers 1.

   The seventh grade game didn't play out any better for the locals, though there were several moments when the Diamond five made excellent plays.

   One such play came in the first half on the Wildcats' first basket. Cody Palmer hustled for an offensive rebound, found himself too far under the basket and flipped the ball to Eli Hicks, who swished a two-pointer. That made the score 17-2 at halftime. Seneca went on to win 46-23.

   Casey Youngblood had 11 points for Diamond, while Hicks and Tim Enayati each contributed six.

    The seventh graders will play at Triway Thursday night.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 11, Hicks 6, Enayati 6; Rebounds- Palmer 4, Hicks 3, Lee Hollars 2, Mike Turner 1, Enayati 1, Josh Todd 1, Youngblood 1; Assists- Palmer 1, Youngblood 1, Enayati 1, Hicks 1; Steals- Youngblood 5, Enayati 2, Turner 1; Blocked Shots- Todd 1; Three-Pointers- Youngblood 1.


   If there was a job to do at the Diamond-Granby 8th Grade game Monday night, Zach Towers did it.

   He scored 26 points, 16 of them in the second half, grabbed 14 rebounds, had three steals, two assists and blocked a couple of shots. Heck, if someone else hadn't been picking up the trash around the Marlin Pinell Gymnasium, he probably would have done that, too.

   His efforts, combined with the efforts of his teammates, led Diamond to a 57-29 win over Granby.  Towers led three Wildcats in double figures. Michael Lane had 11 points and Clay Norwood added 10.

   The game didn't look like a blowout at first. After Lane scored the first basket, the visitors scored the next five points. Norwood scored from a Ryan Clouse assist to pull Diamond to within one, but Granby scored again to restore the three-point margin. Towers' first basket made it 7-6, then he scored the go-ahead basket off a Kevin Ortega assist. Granby never led again. The score was 14-11 at the end of the first quarter.

   Diamond outscored the Cardinals 9-3 in the second period, scoring the first nine points, with Towers hitting three baskets, including a putback, and Lane scoring on a basket and a free throw. The score was 23-14 at halftime.

   The second half was more of the same as Towers scored 16 points, Lane and Norwood combined for 12 and Layton Hoyer and Paul Holland provided some scoring punch off the bench with four points apiece. Diamond led 36-22 after three quarters.

   Diamond- Points- Towers 26, Lane 11, Norwood 10, Hoyer 4, Holland 4, Ortega 2; Rebounds- Towers 14, Norwood 7, Lane 5, Holland 4, Clouse 4, Cameron Harrington 2, Hoyer 2, Ortega 1, Colton Griffin 1; Assists- Norwood 3, Ortega 2, Towers 2, Lane 2, Clouse 1, Clint Myers 1; Steals- Lane 5, Towers 3, Norwood 2, Clouse 1, Hoyer 1, Ortega 1, Holland 1, Myers 1, Jake Edge 1; Blocked Shots- Towers 2, Ortega 1.


   Casey Youngblood scored 21 points, including five three-pointers, but it wasn't enough as the Diamond seventh grade basketball team lost to Granby 57-27 Monday night.

   Granby took a 19-3 lead at the end of the first quarter, scoring the first 15 points, before Youngblood broke the Wildcat scoring drought with a three-pointer.

   The Cardinals led 35-12 at halftime and 53-17 after three quarters.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 21, Lee Hollars 2, Eli Hicks 2, Devin Greenwood 2; Rebounds- Greenwood 6, Tim Enayati 5, Hicks 4, Youngblood 2, Cody Palmer 1; Assists- Enayati 2, Hicks 2, Greenwood 1, Palmer 1; Steals- Youngblood 4, Hicks 3, Hollars 2, Enayati 1, Mike Turner 1; Blocked Shots- Enayati 1, Greenwood 1, Turner 1; Three-Pointers- Youngblood 5.


  A 16-6 third-quarter run enabled the East Newton High School girls basketball team to break open a close game and defeat Diamond 56-26 Monday night.

   The Patriots held a 24-14 lead at halftime, but doubled it by the end of the third quarter. The Wildcats opened the second half scoring with Michelle Darr hitting a shot from the corner after receiving a skip pass from Jessi Youngblood. After that, East Newton was in control.

   Senior Jennifer Lahman started the run with a steal, then passed to Sandy Boyd for the basket. Lahman had a solid all-around game, with eight points, nine rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocked shots, while Boyd took game scoring honors with 17 points, closely followed by her sophomore classmate Jennifer Newman with 15.

   The Boyd basket was followed by a Newman two-pointer from an Emily Allen assist, and back-to-back baskets by Lahman and Allen before Youngblood broke the Patriot run with one of her two three-pointers.

   East Newton led 40-20 after three quarters.

   Youngblood paced the Wildcat scoring with 11 points. Brittany Gilliam added eight.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 11, Gilliam 8, Darr 4, Brittney Stevens 2, Jolene Topham 1; Rebounds- Topham 6, Ricki Fountain 4, Youngblood 3, Gilliam 3, Stevens 2, Darr 2; Assists- Darr 2, Topham 2, Youngblood 2, Gilliam 1, Stevens 1; Steals- Youngblood 2, Darr 2, Gilliam 2, Stevens 1; Blocked Shots- Youngblood 1, Gilliam 1; Three-Pointers- Youngblood 2.

   East Newton- Points- Boyd 17, Newman 15, Lahman 8, Kristen Patterson 6, Allen 4, Marcy Mettlach 3, Laura Howe 2, Amanda Bragg 1; Rebounds- Mettlach 9, Boyd 8, Newman 7, Lahman 5, Allen 3, Howe 2, Patterson 1, Bragg 1; Assists- Lahman 9, Newman 3, Allen 3, Bragg 3, Mettlach 1, Patterson 1; Steals- Lahman 5, Mettlach 2, Boyd 2, Howe 2, Allen 2, Patterson 2, Newman 1, Bragg 1; Blocked Shots- Lahman 2, Mettlach 1, Bragg 1.

   The Patriots also captured an abbreviated two-period junior varsity game 19-4. East Newton led 11-0 at the end of the first period.

   Diamond- Michelle Darr 4; Rebounds- Ricki Fountain 3, Brittney Stevens 2, Brandi Rifenberg 1, Kayla Bass 1, Lauren Fetters 1; Assists- Fetters 1; Steals- Brittany Busse 1, Fountain 1, Darr 1, Stevens 1; Blocked Shots- Darr 1.

   East Newton- Points- Amanda Bragg 9, Jamie Thorson 4, Shelby Harris 4, Jessica Brust 2; Rebounds- Bragg 5, Lorelei Gary 2, Thorson 2, Traci Cottle 2, Harris 1, Jodi Middleton 1, Brust 1, Sarah Weber 1; Assists- Laura Howe 2, Kristen Patterson 1; Steals- Howe 2, Gary 2, Bragg 2, Thorson 1, Patterson 1, Harris 1, Middleton 1.


   The lessons never stopped for Kevin Ortega Friday when the seventh hour bell rang and classes were dismissed for the weekend.

   The only difference was Kevin was on the receiving end of those lessons during the school day and was doling them out to Triway during the Diamond eighth grade basketball team's 50-24 win.

   Ortega's 18 points, 13 of them coming in the first half (he didn't play much during the second half as the Wildcat reserves had a chance to show their stuff), led all scorers.

   The play that spelled out the eighth grader's dominance over the visitors came early in the first half when a Triway player dared to drive the lane on Ortega. Ortega stamped the ball return to sender and most likely increased the next payday for the victim's orthodontist.

   Ortega also grabbed six rebounds, tying Zach Towers and Clay Norwood for the team lead, led the team with four assists and blocked two shots.

   Though Ortega shined, it wasn't a one-man show by any teams. Diamond dominated almost from the first jump. The visitors' only lead came on the first basket of the game. Ortega fed Norwood for the game-tying two-pointer, then following a Triway turnover, picked up his second assist as Towers put Diamond ahead for good.

   Triway didn't score again until the 4:56 mark of the second quarter. The Wildcats ran off the last 14 points of the opening period, with Ortega scoring six points, Michael Lane four and Norwood two.

   The spree continued in the second quarter, which opened with Ortega scoring on an old fashioned three-point play before Triway finally returned to the scoreboard. The score was 34-4 at halftime.

   The Wildcat reserves put up some numbers during the second half with Paul Holland scoring seven points, second only to Ortega, and collaring four rebounds, and Chase Sexson and Layton Hoyer scoring four points apiece. Hoyer also blocked three shots. Another highlight was a steal and layup by Cameron Harrington.

   Diamond will play in the Granby Tournament next week.

   Diamond- Points- Ortega 18, Holland 7, Norwood 6, Towers 4, Sexson 4, Hoyer 4, Lane 4, Harrington 2, Jake Edge 1; Rebounds- Ortega 6, Norwood 6, Towers 6, Holland 4, Lane 3, Harrington 2, Ryan Clouse 1, Clint Myers 1, Edge 1, Charles Forest 1; Assists- Ortega 4, Lane 2, Norwood 2, Clouse 2, Towers 1, Myers 1, Hoyer 1, Holland 1; Steals- Towers 2, Norwood 1, Ortega 1, Lane 1, Holland 1, Myers 1, Harrington 1; Blocked Shots- Hoyer 3, Towers 2, Ortega 2.


   A buzzer beating three-pointer enabled the Triway seventh grade to beat Diamond 29-27 Friday night.

   The shot, which banked in as time expired, negated the 12-4 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter, which enabled the Wildcats to turn a 20-15 deficit into a 27-24 lead.

   The run featured some of the best plays the Wildcats have made all season, including two hustling plays by Cody Palmer. During one play, Palmer dived to the floor and tied up the ball with the possession arrow pointing to Diamond. On another play, he worked his way in for an offensive rebound and converted into a two-pointer.

   Another exceptional play for the Wildcats was made by Devin Greenwood, who received a pass inside, then found the open man, Eli Hicks, a few feet away from him and dropped in a pass for a basket.

   Diamond began its run with a Casey Youngblood layup. Youngblood topped Wildcat scorers with 10 points. Greenwood made it a one-point game with a basket from a Hicks assist. After a Triway basket, Palmer's putback again drew Diamond to within a point, 22-21.

   After a Bearcub free throw, the locals tied the game on a Youngblood jumper. Hicks' basket put Diamond ahead with 2;10 left. Greenwood assisted on a Tim Enayati basket to make it a three-point lead.

   Triway nailed two free throws with 14 seconds remaining, then hit the three-pointer for the winner.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 10, Hicks 6, Greenwood 6, Palmer 4, Enayati 2; Rebounds- Hicks 10, Greenwood 7, Youngblood 7, Enayati 4, Palmer 2, Lee Hollars 2, Josh Todd 1; Assists- Greenwood 2, Enayati 1, Youngblood 1, Hicks 1; Steals- Youngblood 2, Enayati 2, Greenwood 1, Palmer 1.


   The expression on Ryan Clouse's face as he left the Diamond Middle School basketball game with Sarcoxie Tuesday night was reminiscent of an old country song.

   From the frown on Ryan's face you would have thought he had lost his wallet, his girlfriend had left him and she had taken his favorite dog. And darn it, he always loved that dog.

   Don't worry about Ryan, though. That's just his game face. He was smiling inside after his 11 point, seven rebound, six steal performance helped key a 37-16 win over Sarcoxie. Of Ryan's seven rebounds, five came on the offensive side and he turned three of those into baskets.

   The Wildcats scored the first four points of the game and never looked back. Kevin Ortega set the tempo for both halves, picking up assists with nifty bounce passes on the first baskets of both the first and third quarters.

   Zach Towers was the recipient of Ortega's first assist. After he scored, Ryan hit his first putback to make it 4-0. After a Bear basket, the Wildcats went on an 11-point run that lasted into the second quarter. The scoring spree included three Michael Lane layups, baskets by Ortega and Clay Norwood and an Ortega free throw. Diamond built its lead to 19-8 at halftime.

   Ortega began the second half with an assist on a Lane basket. Lane led all scorers with 12 points. Diamond's full-court, pressure defense forced numerous Sarcoxie turnovers. The Wildcats scored the first nine points of the second half, following Lane's two-pointer with baskets by Clouse, Norwood and Towers and a Clouse free throw. Diamond led 31-10 after three quarters.

   The Wildcats continued the onslaught in the fourth period, scoring the first six points on a Clouse putback and two baskets by Lane, one coming from a Daniel Stone assist.

   The eighth grade will entertain Triway Friday.

   Diamond- Points- Lane 12, Clouse 11, Towers 7, Norwood 4, Ortega 3; Rebounds- Towers 8, Clouse 7, Paul Holland 5, Lane 4, Chase Sexson 2, Ortega 2, Norwood 1, Stone 1, Charles Forest 1; Assists- Ortega 2, Norwood 2, Clint Myers 1, Stone 1; Steals- Clouse 6, Lane 3, Ortega 3, Norwood 2, Towers 2, Holland 1; Blocked Shots- Ortega 1, Towers 1, Sexson 1.


   An eight-point run at the end of the first half helped the Sarcoxie seventh grade break open a close game en route to a 50-24 win over Diamond Tuesday night.

   The Wildcats played the home team closely throughout the first half, closing to within three, 17-14, on a three-pointer by Devin Greenwood from a Cody Palmer assist, but the eight-point run gave the Bears a 25-14 lead at halftime and they pulled away during the second half.

   Diamond never led, falling behind 4-0, before Tim Enayati halved the margin with a steal and layup. Sarcoxie scored the next four points and led 11-5 at the end of the opening quarter.

   In the second period, some solid defense by reserve guard John Fountain keyed a Wildcat run. He picked up three steals during the period. On his first one, he picked a Bear pocket, then flipped the ball to Casey Youngblood for the basket.

   The Wildcats were unable to capitalize on Fountain's next steal, turning the ball over, which led to a Sarcoxie basket. Youngblood pulled Diamond to within four, 13-9, with a two-pointer.

   The closest the locals came during the remainder of the quarter was three points, first at 14-11 on a Fountain basket, then at 17-14 on Greenwood's three-pointer.

   The Wildcats will entertain Triway at 6 p.m. Friday.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 8, Greenwood 5, Fountain 4, Enayati 4, Lee Hollars 2, Palmer 1; Rebounds- Youngblood 9, Hollars 5, Enayati 5, Greenwood 5, Fountain 4, Palmer 3, Josh Todd 1; Assists- Greenwood 4, Youngblood 1, Fountain 1, Palmer 1, Mike Turner 1; Steals- Fountain 3, Youngblood 3, Palmer 2, Enayati 2, Hollars 1; Three-Pointers- Greenwood 1.


   If there's one thing Jake VanLue has learned during the last few months, it is that there are more important things in life than the outcome of one basketball game, no matter how big a basketball game it is.

   Any doubt about that key life lesson was removed shortly before Diamond's 49-38 Ozark 8 loss to Verona Friday night.

   That was when Diamond Athletic Director Eddie Jones announced that Jake's father, Tim VanLue, was in the gymnasium, having just returned from a Texas hospital where he had surgery in which he was fitted with a prosthetic arm.

   Jake watched proudly as both Diamond and Verona fans stood to salute his father, who lost both of his arms in an accident this summer.

   By the end of the game, it was Tim VanLue who was standing in honor of his 17-year-old son who gave the performance of his career. From the short jumper Jake hit early in the first quarter to give the Wildcats a 5-2 lead to his futile attempt to steal the ball as time expired, Jake outscored, outperformed and outhustled the Division One bound Verona senior J. J. Tauai.

  Jake ended the game with 12 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals. Tauai, thanks to a box-and-one defense, was limited to 13 points, only three in the first half, four assists and one rebound. Wherever Tauai moved, Wildcat senior guard Deke Beckett was covering him like flies on a day-old Slurpee.

   One of the most telling moments in the first half came near the end of the second period when Jake drove the lane with only Tauai standing in his way. Tauai wasn't standing in his way long. Though Tauai had no fouls, the Verona senior pulled a matador act and just stepped aside and waved as Jake scored the uncontested two-pointer.

   Probably the other most telling moment came when Deke's defense forced Tauai to launch an air ball in the last 10 seconds of the half.

   Diamond, moving the ball patiently on offense, took the early advantage as senior Bubby Farley scored the first three points on a free throw and basket to put his team ahead 3-2. VanLue's first basket increased the margin to three. After a Verona basket, senior guard Justin Lane scored from a VanLue assist to restore the three-point lead. Diamond led 7-6 at the end of the first period.

  The big Verona victory its crowd was obviously expecting appeared imminent at the beginning of the second quarter as the visitors scored the first 11 points to go up 17-7. Deke Beckett nailed the first of two three-pointers to stop the run and begin a 16-5 Diamond spree.

   The run featured a nifty dipsy-doodle move to the basket by Farley, another Farley two-pointer from a VanLue assist, a similar move by Lane, VanLue's drive on Tauai, another VanLue basket and two Lane free throws. Verona led 23-22 at halftime.

   The high point of the second half came courtesy of Beckett's second three-pointer, which tied the game at 25-25 early in the third quarter. Diamond had an opportunity to take the lead after Lane rebounded Verona's missed shot, but failed to cash in. The visitors led 34-29 at the end of the third period.

   Diamond never pulled closer than eight points in the fourth quarter, though Verona wasn't able to put the home team away until the final minute.

   As the game ended, Tim VanLue and the rest of the Diamond crowd stood to honor the Wildcats for the all-out effort they had put in for 32 minutes...the kind of special holiday gift that money can't buy.

   Diamond- Points- VanLue 12, Farley 9, Lane 9, Beckett 6, Casey Holland 2; Rebounds- Farley 9, VanLue 9, Holland 4, Lane 2, Beckett 2, Greg Fetters 1; Assists- VanLue 6, Holland 1; Steals- VanLue 3, Holland 3, Farley 2, Lane 1, Beckett 1; Blocked Shots- Farley 1; Three-Pointers- Beckett 2, Lane 1.

   In the junior varsity boys game, which lasted only three periods, Verona won 38-35.

   Diamond- Points- Jordan Macy 14, Austin Hoyer 12, Josh Beckett 5, Trent Jones 4; Rebounds- Josh Miller 11, Macy 3, Tyler Youngblood 2, Hoyer 1, Beckett 1; Assists- Jones 3, Youngblood 2, Miller 1, Josh Dresslaer 1, Macy 1; Steals- Hoyer 2, Beckett 2, Jones 1, Miller 1; Three-Pointers- Macy 2, Beckett 1.


   Height provides a distinct advantage in basketball and undeniably the Diamond High School girls basketball team's six-footer played a key role in its 48-33 win over Verona Friday night.

   Put Belle Darr and Brittney Stevens together and you have a six-footer (all right, actually an eight-footer, but too much exaggeration can be a problem in sports writing) Put them together in a backcourt and you provide bedlam for an opposing team.

   The fleet freshman firebrands (too much alliteration is also a problem in sports writing) with help from wily junior veterans Ashley Brummett, Brittany Gilliam and Jessi Youngblood, buried the visitors in the fourth quarter, turning a one-point contest into a rout.

   Darr only scored two points, but the 5-3 guard (or so the program said) was the Wildcats' top rebounder with nine, while the allegedly five-foot Stevens grabbed four and had four steals and two assistsand even blocked a shot. Stevens, the first player off Coach Rachael Madden's bench, had to have a big performance after foul trouble sidelined Youngblood and Gilliam for quite a bit of the second half.

   The visitors had trimmed Diamond's early lead to 29-28 at the end of three quarters and appeared to have momentum, as they had the ball at the beginning of the final period. Stevens took that momentum away with a nifty piece of thievery that led to a Youngblood basket. Youngblood led Diamond with 15 points. The steal and the two-pointer keyed a 19-3 run that blew away Verona.

   Gilliam had the next steal and Youngblood fed the streaking Stevens for a layup. After a Verona basket, Diamond continued the onslaught with Brummett, who contributed 14 points, scoring from a Gilliam assist.

   Stevens quickly picked up two more steals, with Diamond adding a Youngblood free throw and two free throws by Gilliam. Youngblood hit one more basket before fouling out with two and a half minutes left.

   After a Verona turnover, Darr penetrated the lane and fed to Gilliam, who was hammered. She nailed both free throws. Jolene Topham scored Diamond's next-to-last basket.

   Stevens provided the Wildcat fans with another thrill for the final basket. Diamond's own version of the perpetual motion machine drove the lane just a wee bit too recklessly, found herself falling down, but calmly flipped the ball to junior Brandi Rifenberg, who gave Diamond its biggest lead, 48-31.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 15, Brummett 14, Gilliam 9, Rifenberg 4, Darr 2, Stevens 2, Topham 2; Rebounds- Darr 9, Topham 5, Youngblood 5, Stevens 4, Rifenberg 4, Brummett 3, Gilliam 2, Ricki Fountain 1; Assists- Gilliam 4, Topham 3, Darr 2, Brummett 2, Stevens 2, Rifenberg 1, Fountain 1, Youngblood 1; Steals- Stevens 4, Youngblood 3, Darr 3, Brummett 2, Topham 1, Gilliam 1; Blocked Shots- Brummett 3, Gilliam 1, Youngblood 1, Stevens 1.


    A slow first half doomed the Diamond seventh grade basketball team as it lost to Lockwood 23-17 Monday night.

   The Tigers led the home team 10-0 at halftime. Diamond began its comeback at the beginning of the third quarter with point guard Casey Youngblood driving the lane and dishing off to Eli Hicks and Devin Greenwood for baskets that cut the lead to 10-4, which was the score at the end of the third quarter.

   Diamond trimmed the lead to two with a four-point run, featuring a Youngblood basket from a Tim Enayati assist and a Cody Palmer putback. After a Tiger basket, Palmer hit once more to cut the margin to 12-10. After  a Lockwood score, Youngblood nailed a three-pointer to make it a 14-13 game. The teams traded baskets once more with Enayati hitting off an offensive rebound before Lockwood pulled away.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 7, Palmer 4, Hicks 2, Greenwood 2, Enayati 2; Rebounds- Enayati 14, Hicks 8, Palmer 4, Lee Hollars 4, Youngblood 3, Greenwood 2; Assists- Youngblood 4, Enayati 1; Steals- Youngblood 6, Enayati 4, Greenwood 2, John Fountain 1.

   A season-high nine points by Ryan Clouse wasn't enough to lift the eighth grade Wildcats as they fell to Lockwood 28-24. Clouse's shooting exhibition included a fourth quarter three-pointer.

   Lockwood took a 9-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, with Clouse and Towers hitting two-pointers. The Tigers increased their advantage to 14-8 at halftime.

   The closest Diamond came in the second half was 22-19 at the end of the third period, on a Michael Lane basket from a Cameron Harrington assist.

   Diamond- Points- Clouse 9, Norwood 7, Towers 6, Lane 2; Rebounds- Towers 9, Kevin Ortega 8, Clouse 6, Norwood 5, Harrington 2, Paul Holland 1, Jake Edge 1, Chase Sexson 1, Clint Myers 1; Assists- Harrington 2, Ortega 1, Lane 1, Norwood 1; Steals- Lane 5, Norwood 5, Harrington 4, Towers 3; Blocked Shots- Ortega 2, Towers 2, Myers 1; Three-Pointers- Clouse 1.



   Southwest outscored the Diamond High School girls 16-7 in the fourth quarter to post a 43-37 and ruin the Wildcats' home opener Monday night.

   The teams were tied 22-22 in the first half, with Diamond receiving a 12-point, 8-rebound performance from sophomore Jolene Topham. The home team came out firing in the third quarter. After a Trojan free throw, Diamond scored the next eight point to grab a 30-23 advantage.

   The spree began with Michelle Darr hitting a two-pointer from a Brittany Gilliam assist. Darr fed Topham for two, then junior Jessi Youngblood hit a pair of jumpers. Southwest scored the final four points of the period to trim the lead to 30-27.

   Southwest took the lead at the beginning of the fourth period with a five-point run. Diamond tied the game twice more, at 32-32 on an Ashley Brummett shot, and at 34-34 on a basket by Gilliam. The Wildcats scored only three more points, a Darr free throw and a Gilliam basket from a Brummett assist, the rest of the way.

   Topham led Diamond's scoring with 14 points and barely missed recording a double-double, adding nine rebounds. Brummett dominated the boards with 15. Youngblood had 11 points, three rebounds and four steals.

   Diamond will play at Purdy Thursday night.

   Diamond- Points- Topham 14, Youngblood 11, Darr 5, Gilliam 4, Brummett 3; Rebounds- Brummett 15, Topham 9, Gilliam 5, Darr 4, Youngblood 3; Assists- Gilliam 2, Topham 2, Darr 1, Brummett 1; Steals- Youngblood 4, Gilliam 4, Brummett 2, Topham 1, Darr 1; Blocked Shots- Topham 2, Brummett 1; Three-Pointers- Youngblood 1.

   The Trojans also captured the junior varsity contest 23-11.

   Diamond- Points- Kayla Bass 4, Brandi Rifenberg 3, Amanda McKee 2, Brittney Stevens 1, Ricki Fountain 1; Rebounds- Fountain 6, Bass 5, McKee 3, Rifenberg 3, Lauren Fetters 3, Brittany Busse 1; Assists- Busse 1; Steals- Stevens 2, Fountain 2, Bass 1, McKee 1, Rifenberg 1, Fetters 1; Three-Pointers- Rifenberg 1.



   Casey Youngblood scored 11 points as the Diamond seventh grade boys basketball team defeated Jasper 13-6 Monday night in a game that lasted only two quarters.

   Jasper took the game's initial lead, but two Youngblood baskets, one following his steal of an Eagle pass and the other on a Tim Enayati assist put the Wildcats ahead for good. Diamond led 4-2 at the end of the first quarter.

   Diamond scored the first five points of the second period on a Youngblood three-pointer and an Enayati follow shot. After a Jasper basket, Youngblood scored the final four Wildcat points on a pair of baseline drives.

   The Wildcats also dominated the boards with Devin Greenwood grabbing five rebounds and Enayati and Youngblood collecting four apiece.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 11, Enayati 2; Rebounds- Greenwood 5, Enayati 4, Youngblood 4, Eli Hicks 3, Lee Hollars 1, Matthew Witt 1; Assists- Enayati 1; Steals- Enayati 2, Youngblood 1, John Fountain 1, Greenwood 1, Hicks 1; Blocked Shots- Hicks 1; Three-Pointers- Youngblood 1.

   A tall Jasper front line controlled the boards and enabled the Eagles to defeat the Diamond eighth grade 40-26 in the second game. Jasper grabbed nearly every rebound the first half and still had more than its share in the second, despite yeoman work underneath by Zach Towers and Chase Sexson.

   The Wildcats had the early lead, 10-7 after the first quarter. Towers scored the opening basket, followed by two Clay Norwood free throws. The host team scored the next five points to take its first lead. Diamond regained the advantage on two Michael Lane free throws and a steal and layup by Lane to go up 8-5.

  After another Eagle basket, Norwood canned a short jumper to put Diamond ahead by three at the end of the first quarter.

   The Eagles' superior height began to pay off in the second quarter, which ended with them leading 18-12. Lane scored the locals' only basket during the period.

   Norwood and Lane paced the Wildcat offensive effort with 11 points apiece.

   Diamond- Points- Norwood 11, Lane 11, Towers 4; Rebounds- Towers 9, Norwood 6, Sexson 4, Ryan Clouse 4, Lane 2, Jake Edge 1, Colton Griffin 1; Assists- Norwood 3, Cameron Harrington 2, Lane 1, Edge 1; Steals- Lane 7, Norwood 3, Towers 2, Harrington 1, Kevin Ortega 1; Blocked Shots- Towers 6, Clouse 1, Lane 1, Ortega 1, Norwood 1.



   The long arms of the law kept some Bulldogs from running loose in the Diamond gymnasium Tuesday night.

   Zach Towers, after sitting out much of the second half with three fouls, collared five rebounds in the last four minutes and came up with two big steals as Diamond downed Liberal 34-30.

   Towers returned to the game with four minutes left after Liberal had taken its first lead, 30-29. A Michael Lane jumper put the home team ahead for good, 31-30. Lane and Towers shared team scoring honors with nine points apiece.

   Towers stamped the next Liberal shot return to sender and plucked the ball out of the sky, but Diamond was unable to convert the turnover into a basket. On the next Liberal possession, the 6-2 center timed his leap perfectly and intercepted a Bulldog lob. Within the next minute, Towers had four rebounds and converted one of them into a two-pointer to put the Wildcats up 33-30. Clay Norwood, who had eight points, scored Diamond's final point on a free throw with 19 seconds left.

   The Wildcats scored the game's first six points, with Lane, Norwood and Ryan Clouse each contributing a basket. After Liberal scored the next six points, Diamond grabbed the lead at the end of the period with a Towers basket from a Lane assist.

   Diamond upped its lead to eight points twice during the second quarter, both times on Layton Hoyer baskets. Hoyer, in addition to his four points, contributed four rebounds, a steal and blocked two shots. His last basket gave Diamond a 20-12 advantage. Liberal scored the last five points of the quarter to trim the margin to 20-17.

   The Wildcats were helped by the yeoman boardwork of Kevin Ortega in the first half. Ortega was Diamond's leading rebounder with seven.\

   The score was 27-25 Diamond after three quarters.

   Diamond, 3-1, will play at Jasper Monday night.

   Diamond- Points- Lane 9, Towers 9, Norwood 8, Hoyer 4, Ortega 2, Clouse 2; Rebounds- Ortega 7, Towers 6, Hoyer 4, Clouse 3, Norwood 3, Lane 2, Paul Holland 2, Cameron Harrington 1; Assists- Lane 4, Norwood 3, Towers 1, Ortega 1; Steals- Norwood 7, Lane 6, Towers 4, Ortega 1, Hoyer 1; Blocked Shots- Towers 2, Hoyer 2, Norwood 1.



   Liberal grabbed a 10-4 first quarter lead and never looked back, defeating the Diamond seventh grade 38-18 Tuesday night.

   Eli Hicks scored eight of the Wildcats' 18 points and also contributed a team-high 11 rebounds, barely missing a double-double. Hicks first two baskets gave the locals their only tie scores, at 2-2 and 4-4, of the game.

   After the visitors scored the opening basket of the second period, Casey Youngblood drew Diamond back to within seven with a three-pointer. The Wildcats managed just three more points in the half, a Tim Enayati free throw and a basket by John Fountain. Fountain and Cody Palmer each had six rebounds.

   Diamond will play at Jasper Monday night.

   Diamond- Points- Hicks 8, Youngblood 5, Fountain 2, Palmer 2, Enayati 1; Rebounds- Hicks 11, Fountain 6, Palmer 6, Enayati 5, Matthew Witt 3, Devin Greenwood 2, Youngblood 2; Assists- Youngblood 3, Enayati 1, Palmer 1; Steals- Youngblood 4, Enayati 2, Fountain 1, Josh Todd 1; Blocked Shots- Hicks 1, Enayati 1; Three-Pointers- Youngblood 1.



   Clay Norwood's three-pointer at the buzzer put a fitting exclamation point on the Diamond eighth grade basketball team's hard-fought 43-36 win over Southwest Saturday in the final round of the Diamond Tournament.

   The game's outcome continued to be in doubt until the final moments as Southwest managed to stay close throughout the second half and went into a fouling strategy to give itself chance in the last couple of minutes.

   Two Michael Lane baskets sandwiched around a Trojan free throw put the Wildcats up 36-29 with 2:18 left. Lane topped the Diamond scoring charts with 17 points and had a fine, all-around game with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Southwest had only committed two fouls and to even have a chance to win, had to foul Diamond five times to put the home team into the bonus situation.

   After a Trojan free throw, Norwood, who had 14 points, stretched Diamond's lead to eight, 38-30 with a baseline jumper. A Southwest basket cut the margin to six with slightly over a minute remaining.

   The fouling strategy appeared to pay off as Diamond missed the front end of a one and one, but Kevin Ortega grabbed the rebound, one of his game-high 12. A Diamond turnover, however, gave the visitors another opportunity.

   A two-pointer made it 38-34 with 51 seconds left. Southwest turnovers, the three-pointer and a pair of free throws by Norwood and a key shot block by Ortega combined to thwart the Trojan comeback.

   Diamond, 2-1, will play host to Liberal Tuesday.

   Diamond- Points- Lane 17, Norwood 14, Zach Towers 6, Ortega 3, Layton Hoyer 2, Cameron Harrington 2, Paul Holland 2; Rebounds- Ortega 12, Towers 9, Lane 8, Norwood 3, Ryan Clouse 3, Chase Sexson 2, Hoyer 1; Assists- Norwood 3, Lane 3; Steals- Norwood 5, Towers 4, Lane 3, Ortega 2; Blocked Shots- Ortega 3, Towers 2, Norwood 2; Three-Pointers- Norwood 1.



   The Diamond Seventh Grade basketball team overcame a five-point third-quarter deficit to tie the game late, but ended up losing to Southwest 29-27 in the final game of the annual Diamond Tournament.

   Diamond's attempt for a miracle three-point, game-winning shot at the buzzer was wide.

   The Wildcat comeback started with a Tim Enayati basket from a Devin Greenwood assist at the beginning of the fourth quarrer. After a Southwest basket, Enayati restored the three-point margin with another basket, this one from a Casey Youngblood assist.

   After a Trojan free throw, Diamond tied the game with a four-point run consisting of an Enayati putback and a Youngblood two-pointer. Southwest hit the game-winner with 1:52 left.

   Youngblood paced the Diamond scoring charts with 13 points, eight of them coming in the second half, while Enayati eight points, six of them in the second half. The Wildcat offense early in the game was provided by guard John Fountain, who hit the first two baskets for the home team.

   Diamond will play host to Liberal Tuesday night.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 13, Enayati 6, Fountain 4, Greenwood 2; Rebounds- Youngblood 6, Eli Hicks 3, Fountain 3, Enayati 3, Greenwood 2, Lee Hollars 2, Cody Palmer 1; Assists- Greenwood 4, Enayati 2, Fountain 2, Josh Todd 1, Youngblood 1; Steals- Youngblood 4, Hicks 3, Fountain 1, Palmer 1, Hollars 1, Greenwood 1, Enayati 1; Blocked Shots- Enayati 5, Hicks 1.



  It was the kind of shot Paul Holland has made many times before. It came during the third quarter of the Diamond eighth grade's second-round Diamond Tournament game against Purdy Friday night.

   Holland, standing at the top of the circle, took a pass from Zach Towers and fired in the two-pointer, enabling his team to trim Purdy's lead to 21-10.

   Unfortunately, those were the last points Diamond scored. The locals were shut out during the final three minutes and six seconds of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter as they lost 43-10 to even their season record at 1-1.

   The Wildcats led only once, 2-0, when Ryan Clouse hit the game's opening basket. Purdy scored the next five points before Towers broke the run with a follow shot. The Eagles led 7-4 at the end of the first period. They increased their margin to 15-6 at halftime, with Diamond's only second-quarter points coming on another Towers putback.

   The Wildcats will play at 12 noon Saturday in the final round of the tournament.

   Diamond- Points- Towers 4, Clouse 2, Clay Norwood 2, Holland 2; Rebounds- Kevin Ortega 8, Norwood 6, Towers 5, Layton Hoyer 5, Clouse 3, Chase Sexson 2, Michael Lane 1; Assists- Towers 2, Norwood 1, Ortega 1; Steals- Norwood 3, Ortega 1, Hoyer 1, Sexson 1, Clouse 1, Colton Griffin 1, Charles Forest 1, Cameron Harrington 1; Blocked Shots- Clouse 1, Forest 1.



   Turnovers plagued the Diamond seventh grade basketball team as it lost to Purdy 47-26 Friday night in the second round game of the annual Diamond Tournament.

   The Wildcats committed 30 turnovers, 15 in each half, and never were close to the visitors during the second half. Diamond trailed 22-14 at halftime, with Casey Youngblood and Eli Hicks each scoring six points and Devin Greenwood contributing a basket.

   Purdy built its lead to 15 in the third quarter. A Lee Hollars putback in the final seconds made it a 13-point game, but that turned out to be the last basket Diamond scored until Hicks connected at the three minute mark of the final quarter.

   Diamond will play its final game in the tournament Saturday.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 8, Hicks 8, Tim Enayati 6, Greenwood 2, Hollars 2; Rebounds- Greenwood 7, Youngblood 7, Hicks 6, Cody Palmer 6, Hollars 4, Enayati 3, Mike Turner 1, Josh Todd 1; Assists- Youngblood 7, Enayati 2, Hicks 2, Greenwood 1; Steals- Enayati 2, Youngblood 2, Turner 2, Hicks 1; Blocked Shots- Enayati 1, Palmer 1, Hicks 1, Youngblood 1.



   Devin Greenwood's nothing-but-net three-pointer as time expired lifted the Diamond seventh grade basketball team to a season-opening 36-33 win over Liberal in the season opener Tuesday night.

   Greenwood's basket capped a 14-5 run at the end of the game that enabled the Wildcats to overcome a 28-22 Bulldog lead.

   The rally began when Greenwood canned a baseline jumper from a Casey Youngblood assist. Youngblood rebounded the next Liberal shot and drove all the way to the other end for a layup, trimming the margin to 28-26. Tim Enayati, Diamond's leading scorer with 14 points, stole the pass-in and scored to tie the game.

   Diamond grabbed its first lead since early in the second quarter on its next possession when Eli Hicks nailed a putback. Hicks, like the rest of the Wildcats, had been a little shaky in the first half. "I was a little nervous," he said, "but everything came together for all of us in the second half."

   Liberal scored the next five points to take a 33-30 lead with 22 seconds left, setting the stage for some long-range firebombing by the Wildcats. After a timeout, Youngblood took the pass-in, walked it up court, then politely dropped in a three-pointer. "Coach told us if the three was open and if we were careful to go ahead and take it. I was walking up the ball and when no one came out to get me, I decided to shoot. I thought it was going to air ball."

   It didn't. The shot tied the game. Liberal missed its shot at a potential game-winning basket and Greenwood rebounded. Diamond called a timeout with two seconds left to set up the final play of regulation.

   The pass-in went to Greenwood, who took careful aim and nailed a high-arching, nothing-but-net game-winner.

   "I was glad to see him take the shot," Hicks said. "He has been hitting those. This win is going to give us a lot of confidence."

   Diamond is scheduled to resume action in the tournament Friday night.

   Diamond- Points- Enayati 14, Youngblood 9, Greenwood 7, Hicks 6; Rebounds- Enayati 7, Youngblood 6, Lee Hollars 5, Cody Palmer 2, Hicks 2, John Fountain 1, Josh Todd 1, Matt Witt 1; Assists- Youngblood 5, Enayati 2, Palmer 1; Steals- Enayati 5, Youngblood 3, Hollars 1, Hicks 1; Blocked Shots- Enayati 1; Three-Pointers- Youngblood 1, Greenwood 1.



   The Diamond Eighth Grade basketball team opened its season with a 40-35 win over Liberal Tuesday night in opening round action of the annual Diamond Tournament.

   Clay Norwood and Michael Lane handled most of the offensive load for the Wildcats, with Norwood scoring 13 of his team-high 19 points in the first half and Lane, scoring all nine of his points in the second half.

   The Wildcats held off a late Liberal comeback by controlling the boards with Ryan Clouse coming up with three critical defensive rebounds and one offensive rebound down the stretch. Other crucial late rebounds were snared by Norwood and Paul Holland.

   Both teams had trouble scoring early, with Liberal holding a 5-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. After the Bulldogs hit a free throw to open the second period, Norwood nailed two straight baskets to give Diamond the advantage, 7-6.

   A six-point run featuring two Norwood baskets, one from a Clint Myers assist, and a Kevin Ortega putback gave Diamond a 13-8 lead. After a Liberal basket, the host team scored the final five points of the second quarter on baskets by Jake Edge and Norwood and a Zach Towers free throw. Diamond led 18-10 at halftime.

   Diamond built its lead to 11 points twice during the third quarter on a basket by Towers and two Lane free throws. The Wildcats led 27-18 after three quarters.

   Diamond- Points- Norwood 19, Lane 9, Towers 5, Ortega 2, Edge 2, Myers 1, Holland 1, Clouse 1; Rebounds- Clouse 7, Norwood 6, Ortega 4, Lane 3, Towers 3, Chase Sexson 2, Holland 2, Colton Griffin 2, Layton Hoyer 1; Assists- Norwood 4, Lane 1, Clouse 1, Ortega 1; Steals- Lane 7, Norwood 6, Ortega 5, Towers 2, Myers 2, Hoyer 1, Clouse 1, Holland 1; Blocked Shots- Ortega 1.


By Randy Turner

   Nicole Brisco's 22-point performance led Granby to a 30-22 win in the final game of the annual Granby Tournament Saturday. The win left three teams, Diamond, Granby and Sarcoxie, with 2-1 records in the round-robin tournament. The tournament champion was determined by the least points allowed, giving Granby first place, Sarcoxie second place and Diamond third place.

   Brisco scored 14 points in the first half as the Cardinals took an 18-10 lead. Diamond led only once, 4-2, on a Lydia O'Donnel basket from a Carrie Castor assist. Granby tied the game on a Brisco basket and took the lead for good on an Ashley McEvers two-pointer.

   The Cardinals led 8-4 at the end of the first quarter.

   Granby built a 16-6 lead in the second period on three straight Brisco baskets before Diamond mounted a rally at the end of the period, outscoring Granby 4-2 on two Alyshia Bowles free throws and an O'Donnell basket from a Crystal Harrall assist.

   Granby held the same eight-point margin, 24-16, after three quarters.

   Diamond- Points- Whitney Booyer 8, O'Donnell 5, Castor 4, Bowles 2, Stephanie Taylor 2, Jacque Lasiter 1; Rebounds- Booyer 12, Lasiter 8, Castor 6, O'Donnell 5, Bowles 2, Taylor 2; Assists- Castor 3, O'Donnell 2, Harrall 1, Dana Bridges 1, Taylor 1; Steals- Booyer 3, Castor 3, Taylor 3, O'Donnell 1, Harrall 1; Blocked Shots- O'Donnell 1.


By Randy Turner

Dana Bridges had her best scoring night of the season, but it was her defense that preserved the Diamond eighth grade basketball team's 39-35 win over Pierce City in the Granby Tournament Friday night.

An unusual call with 10 seconds left put Pierce City in a position to tie or win the game. The Wildcats had the ball and all they had to do was hang on to it for a few more seconds and the game was theirs.

Then a whistle blew and the referee signaled for a timeout...for Pierce City, which didn't even have the ball. The inadvertent whistle led to a Diamond turnover when play resumed. The Eagles had an opportunity to tie the game or to win it with a three-pointer.

Neither happened, thanks to Bridges. The Wildcat starting guard came up with a big steal, then scored the final basket as time expired. The steal paved the way for Diamond to play for the tournament championship at 1:45 p.m. Saturday against the host team.

Defense was the name of the game for Coach Brad Hocker's squad and no one played it any better than Carrie Castor. Castor sacrificed life and limb, drawing three charging fouls in the final seven minutes to fuel the come-from-behind win.

The Wildcats, trailing 28-24 when the fourth quarter began, were able to return Whitney Booyer and Lydia O'Donnell to the lineup for the final six minutes. Both had spent a considerable amount of time on the bench with foul trouble.

The move paid immediate dividends for Diamond when O'Donnell picked up a steal and Castor hit a long-two-pointer to halve the lead. She led Diamond with 10 points.

Castor drew a charge, but Diamond was unable to convert the turnover into points. It didn't take long for the defense to provide another opportunity. Jacque Lasiter stole the ball and was fouled on a layup attempt. She hit one free throw to make it a one-point game.

A Booyer steal led to the basket that put Diamond ahead. Booyer missed the layup attempt, but the hustling O'Donnell was there to put it back in, was fouled and swished the free throw attempt to give the Wildcats a 30-28 lead. After that, the locals never trailed, though Pierce City tied the game at 30-30. A Lasiter putback gave Diamond a lead it would never relinquish. The Wildcats added two Castor free throws, another by Bridges and baskets by Bridges and Booyer for the final margin.

Neither team was able to pull away during the first half. The Eagles led 13-12 at the end of the first quarter, but were outscored 7-2 by Diamond in the second quarter, including two Bridges basket, two Crystal Harrall free throws and one by Booyer, to give Diamond a 19-15 halftime lead. Harrall blocked three shots in the first half, with Alicia Bradley blocking one.

Diamond- Points- Castor 10, Bridges 7, Booyer 5, O'Donnell 5, Stephanie Taylor 3, Harrall 2, Alyshia Bowles 2; Rebounds- Booyer 9, O'Donnell 8, Lasiter 5, Castor 5, Harrall 3, Taylor 2, Bowles 1, Bradley 1; Assists- Castor 2, Bridges 1, Booyer 1, O'Donnell 1; Steals- Booyer 4, Castor 4, Lasiter 3, O'Donnell 2, Taylor 1, Harrall 1; Blocked Shots- Harrall 3, Bradley 1, Booyer 1.


By Randy Turner

   It took less than three minutes for the Diamond Eighth Grade Girls basketball team to break open its opening round game of the Granby Tournament Tuesday night.

   Holding only a 23-21 lead over Sarcoxie with 3:37 left in the third quarter, Coach Brad Hocker's squad went on a 9-0 run and held on for a 34-29 win. The Wildcats led only 23-19 after three quarters and lost half of that lead in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

  The run began with a Stephanie Taylor steal, one of five she had in the fourth quarter. Carrie Castor nailed a layup to increase Diamond's lead to four. Castor swiped the ball again, was fouled and hit one free throw. A Castor steal and bank shot made it 28-21. Castor had five of her seven points in the last quarter.

   The next four points were scored by Jacque Lasiter to put Diamond up 32-21 and essentially put the game out of reach.

   The name of the game was defense for the locals as they robbed Sarcoxie blind. Led by Lydia O'Donnell's seven steals, Diamond collected 32 steals. Taylor, Lasiter, and Castor added six apiece.

   The game started like a runaway for Diamond as Whitney Booyer, the game's high scorer with 12 points, scored the first three baskets. Alyshia Bowles made it 8-0 driving through the lane and kissing it off the glass. The Bears scored the last six points of the period to trim the margin to two.

   Sarcoxie led Diamond 14-12 at halftime.

   Diamond will play Pierce City Thursday night.

   Diamond- Points- Booyer 10, Castor 7, O'Donnell 5, Lasiter 4, Bowles 4, Cassi Cullum 2, Crystal Harrall 2; Rebounds- Booyer 12, O'Donnell 9, Taylor 4, Harrall 4, Castor 2, Bowles 2, Lasiter 2, Alicia Bradley; Assists- O'Donnell 3, Castor 3, Bradley 1; Steals- O'Donnell 7, Lasiter 6, Castor 6, Taylor 6, Bowles 2, Booyer 2, Dana Bridges 2, Harrall 1; Blocked Shots- O'Donnell 3.


By Randy Turner

   Lydia O'Donnell made her first start of the season a memorable one Thursday night, but it wasn't enough to lift her team to a win. The Diamond eighth grade girls stayed close to Triway for two-and-a-half quarters before losing 36-27.

   O'Donnell scored the first six Diamond points and never let up on either side of the court. The lean, mean rebounding machine led the Wildcats with 13 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots. She also had four steals.

   What she didn't do, the irrepressible Whitney Booyer did. Booyer had 12 points and eight rebounds.

   Diamond never led, but the visitors were never able to completely pull away from Coach Rachael Madden's squad. O'Donnell tied the game at 2-2 on a basket from a Stephanie Taylor assist. The little point guard topped the charts with six assists and six steals. After another Triway two-pointer, O'Donnell knotted the game again with another basket from a Taylor assist. Triway led 9-6 at the end of the first quarter.

   The visitors went on a 4-0 run to open the second period, but a Taylor steal and pass upcourt led to Booyer's first score. Another Booyer bucket trimmed the deficit to three. After two Triway free throws, Diamond scored the final first half point on a Booyer free throw to trail 15-11.

   The Wildcats scored five of the first eight second-half points to narrow the gap to 18-16, with O'Donnell hitting a basket and free throw and Jacque Lasiter dropping in a two-pointer from the side. Triway led 24-16 after three quarters.

   Diamond- Points- O'Donnell 13, Booyer 12, Lasiter 2; Rebounds- O'Donnell 14, Booyer 8, Crystal Harrall 6, Lasiter 5, Taylor 3, Alicia Bradley 3, Carrie Castor 3; Assists- Taylor 6, Castor 2; Steals- Taylor 6, O'Donnell 4, Castor 3, Booyer 2, Bradley 1, Harrall 1; Blocked Shots- O'Donnell 4, Lasiter 1, Booyer 1.


By Randy Turner

   Cassi Cullum's strong rebounding off the bench was a highlight for the Diamond seventh graders in their 28-14 loss to Triway Thursday night.

   Cullum became the first seventh grader to reach double figures in that category this season, pulling down 10. The Wildcats only led once, 2-0, when hustling guard Shala Bass missed a shot, raced in, grabbed the rebound and put it back up and in.

   Diamond's defense was stingy in the opening period, limiting the visitors to four points. After a Triway two-pointer to open the second quarter, Cullum's free throws cut the lead in half, 8-6. The visitors scored the last six points of the first half.

   Top scorers for the Wildcats were Bass and Amanda Cupp with four apiece. Cupp also had five rebounds and a team-high seven steals.

   Diamond- Points- Bass 4, Cupp 4, Cullum 2, Kaci Scribner 2, Jessica Webb 2; Rebounds- Cullum 10, Cupp 5, Bass 4, Courtney Sweet 3, Scribner 3, Kasey Hockman 3, Webb 2, Amanda Morris 1; Assists- Scribner 2, Cullum 1; Steals- Cupp 7, Morris 2, Hockman 2, Scribner 2, Cullum 1, Kelsey Henson 1, Webb 1; Blocked Shots- Cullum 1.



By Randy Turner

   A couple of stylish steals by daredevil Whitney Booyer highlighted the Diamond eighth grade girls basketball team's 27-13 win over Granby Tuesday night.

   The first one came on a pass-in midway through the third quarter with Diamond already holding a 14-5 advantage. Whitney bolted in front of the Granby player, grabbed the ball and banged it in off the backboard for two.

   Her second big steal occurred in the fourth quarter and resulted in the Wildcats' final basket. Whitney stole the ball from a Cardinal dribbler, spun around her, nearly fell down, but somehow managed to keep up her dribble. She kissed it off the glass for the final margin.

   It was a big night for Whitney, who also had four other steals in the contest to lead both teams. Defense was the name of the game for the Wildcats. In addition to Whitney's acts of thievery, Stephanie Taylor had five steals to go with her game-high 10 points, Carrie Castor and Crystal Harrall had three apiece and Jacque Lasiter chipped in with two.

   The game's outcome was never in doubt as Diamond scored all seven first-quarter points. Booyer's first steal set up Diamond's first points, a pair of Lasiter free throws. A Lasiter basket from a Castor assist made it 4-0. Taylor's first basket and a Lydia O'Donnell free throw made it 7-0 at the end of the first period. The Wildcats held a 10-5 lead at halftime.

  The second half was all Wildcats as Taylor scored eight of her 10 points, with Booyer adding four, O'Donnell three and Lasiter a pair. Diamond outscored the visitors 10-2 in the third quarter to go up 20-7.

   The Wildcats, 2-0, will entertain Triway Thursday with the seventh grade game beginning at 6 p.m.

   Diamond- Points- Taylor 10, Lasiter 6, O'Donnell 5, Booyer 4, Harrall 2; Rebounds- O'Donnell 7, Lasiter 4, Booyer 4, Castor 3, Harrall 2, Taylor 2, Alyshia Bowles 1, Alicia Bradley 1; Assists- Castor 1, Taylor 1, Booyer 1; Steals- Booyer 6, Taylor 4, Castor 3, Harrall 3, Bowles 2, Lasiter 2, O'Donnell 1; Blocked Shots- O'Donnell 1, Dana Bridges 1.


By Randy Turner

   The Diamond seventh grade girls basketball team fought to the end before falling to Granby 22-17 Tuesday night.

   The game was close throughout, though Diamond led only once, 8-6, on Shala Bass's two-pointer from a Kasey Hockman assist. Bass had another solid all-around game, leading all scorers with seven points. She also had four assists, two steals and four rebounds.

   The score was tied 4-4 at the end of the first quarter with Amanda Cupp scoring the first basket and assisting on the Bass basket that tied the game up at the end of the first period.

   The score was knotted again, this time at 10-10, at halftime as Bass added four points and Tonya Loyd two for the Wildcats in the second quarter. Granby led 16-14 at the end of three quarters.

   Granby scored the first four points of the fourth quarter  to go up 20-14 before the locals mounted a comeback. Jessica Webb nailed a two-pointer from a Bass assist to trim the lead to four. Diamond had numerous opportunities to cut the lead even more, but failed to cash in on steals by Kelsey Henson, Cupp and Kaci Scribner. Scribner led both teams with five steals, four of them coming in the second half. Diamond's final point came on a Bass free throw.

   The seventh grade will entertain Triway at 6 p.m. Thursday.

   Diamond- Points- Bass 7, Webb 4, Cupp 2, Loyd 2, Courtney Sweet 2; Rebounds- Hockman 7, Cupp 7, Bass 4, Sweet 1, Scribner 1, Henson 1; Assists- Bass 4, Hockman 3, Cupp 1, Henson 1; Steals- Scribner 5, Cupp 3, Henson 3, Hockman 2, Bass 2, Amanda Morris 1; Blocked Shots- Henson 1.


By Randy Turner

   It was a dejected Rachel Whiteley who accepted the second place plaque following the conclusion of the Class 2A District Championship Volleyball Tournament Thursday night.

   This was not the picture she had envisioned as she visualized the ideal conclusion to the first district tournament to be held in the new Diamond High School gymnasium.

   In her thoughts, it was she who held the championship plaque aloft, along with her senior classmates Ashley Parker, Ana Paula Carvalho and Rachelle Gilliam. The way she had seen it since the first day she stepped foot on a Diamond court, it was her team that was leaping into the air when the final point touched down, dancing around the gymnasium, setting records for hugs and taking time to pose for team photos.

   It didn't happen, but you can't blame Rachel Whiteley or her Diamond teammates for that. They gave top-seeded Mount Vernon the scare of its life before succumbing 8-15, 15-12, 15-9.

   The dream was still completely alive in game one as Coach Tony Allmoslecher's Wildcats, after falling behind 2-0, dominated the contest. Whiteley served the first three of her team-high 11 points to put the locals ahead for good. After a pair of sideouts, classmate Rachelle Gilliam continued the onslaught, serving the fourth and fifth points, one coming on a Jessi Youngblood kill from a Brittany Gilliam set.

   Mount Vernon managed to trim the lead to 6-5, but two Youngblood serve points increased the margin to three, then Whiteley put the game virtually out of reach with five more, including an ace and two Carvalho kills from B. Gilliam assists. The Gilliam sisters took care of the final two points with Rachelle acing the 14th and Brittany scoring the 15th, courtesy of a Youngblood dink on a Mountaineer pass that soared too close to the net.

   Game two started off just the opposite for Diamond as Mount Vernon built a 9-1 lead then almost frittered it away. The Wildcats kept forcing one sideout after another and scored the hardest way...one point at a time. After the Mountaineers increased their advantage to 14-9, Diamond forced another sideout, but failed to score. They staved off gamepoint a second time when Mount Vernon served the ball into the net. Falicia Phipps served the 10th point on a Mountie spiking error, then the 11th on another Carvalho kill from a B. Gilliam set. After a Mount Vernon timeout, the Wildcats scored their final point of game two on a Carvalho dink set up by a sparkling defensive play by Phipps on a dink attempt.

   A Phipps serve point gave Diamond the initial lead in game three. The Wildcats took their final lead of the season, 3-2 on a Parker serve. They knotted the game once more at 4-4 with Whiteley serving on a low line-drive ace that barely cleared the net.

   Mount Vernon was finally able to manage a sustained run and increased its lead to 13-6 before a Phipps kill earned a sideout. Parker served the seventh point on a Youngblood tip.

   The Lawrence County team scored its 14th point and Diamond began one last courageous attempt to keep the dream alive. A Parker kill returned the serve to the Wildcats. Youngblood strafed the Mountie defense with an ace serve for the eighth point, then repeated the recipe for the ninth. That turned out to be the last point of the season for her team. They managed to ward off three more matchpoints before the 15th tally finally hit the floor.

   Diamond- Points- Whiteley 11, R. Gilliam 6, Parker 5, B. Gilliam 4, Phipps 4, Youngblood 4, Kristen Bishop 2; Kills- Carvalho 13, Parker 8, Phipps 8, Youngblood 4; Assists- B. Gilliam 27; Ace serves- Whiteley 2, Youngblood 2, B. Gilliam 1; Blocks- Carvalho 1.

   The second-seeded Wildcats reached the championship match by defeating East Newton 6-15, 15-10, 15-8. Senior leadership once again proved the key as Ashley Parker didn't let her teammates get down after dropping the first game.

   She served the first three points. The Patriots came back to tie the contest, but it was a different brand of Wildcats they were playing in game two. Youngblood put Diamond ahead for good with a pair of service points, the first coming on a Carvalho kill and the second on an ace in the back corner just in front of the line. Phipps served the sixth point, a Carvalho kill from a B. Gilliam set. East Newton battled back to tie the game at 9-9, but a 6-1 Wildcat run, featuring four Whiteley serve points, evened the match.

   In game three, Carvalho picked up seven of her game-high 17 kills, most of them coming from B. Gilliam assists. The junior setter had a game-high 27 assists. Whiteley served seven points in game three, serving her team from a 7-5 deficit to a four-point lead.

   Parker served the final three points, the 14th coming on an ace and the 15th on a Phipps dink.

   Diamond- Points- Whiteley 12, B. Gilliam 6, Parker 6, Carvalho 5, Youngblood 5, Phipps 2; Kills- Carvalho 17, Parker 7, Phipps 3, Youngblood 3, Whiteley 2; Assists- B. Gilliam 27; Ace serves- B. Gilliam 2, Youngblood 2, Carvalho 1, Parker 1; Blocks- Phipps 2, Carvalho 2.



By Randy Turner

   Jessi Youngblood served out the final six points as Diamond defeated McAuley 15-11, 15-4, Tuesday night to advance to the semi-final round of the Class 2A District Volleyball Tournament.

   Youngblood, the Wildcats' top scorer with 13 points, started her spree with a Falicia Phipps kill, followed by an amazing sequence on her next serve in which both she and senior Ashley Parker brought the Wildcat rooters to their feet with spectacular saves on Warrior spike attempts.

   After a McAuley timeout, Ana Paula Carvalho blasted home the 12th point, a kill from a Brittany Gilliam assist. Carvalho led Diamond with seven kills, while Gilliam collected 12 assists.

   The 13th point came on a Carvalho block, while the final two came as a result of Warrior errors.

   Diamond had a little more trouble winning game one, though the Wildcats trailed only once, at 4-3. McAuley stayed even with the host team, trimming Diamond's lead to 12-11 before the locals got down to business. B. Gilliam served the last three points. opening with an ace, and concluding with the assist on a Phipps spike.

   Diamond will play an old rival, East Newton, coached by former Wildcat Coach Todd Dana, in the semi-finals Thursday night. The first semi-final match will pit top-seeded Mount Vernon, which received an opening round bye, against Miller, which dropped Lamar in the opening match Tuesday night. East Newton moved into the semis with a 15-6, 16-14, win over College Heights. The first semi-final match will be played at 6 p.m. The championship match will be played 30 minutes after the conclusion of the second semi-final match.

   Diamond- Points- Youngblood 13, Rachel Whiteley 4, Rachelle Gilliam 4, Parker 4, Kristen Bishop 2, B. Gilliam 2; Kills- Carvalho 7, Phipps 6, Whiteley 3, Parker 2, Youngblood 1; Assists- B. Gilliam 12, Youngblood 2, Phipps 1; Ace serves- Youngblood 1, Bishop 1, R. Gilliam 1, B. Gilliam 1, Parker 1, Whiteley 1; Blocks- Carvalho 1.


By Randy Turner

  Whitney Booyer's eight-footer with 10 seconds left in overtime lifted the Diamond eighth grade to a 27-25 overtime victory in the season opener Monday night.

   The shot was the only one scored in the extra period after Diamond erased a four-point fourth-quarter deficit to extend the game. Seneca had one more opportunity to force a second overtime. A shot rolled around the rim and fell out with two seconds left. Jacque Lasiter leaped into the air and yanked down the rebound to secure the win.

   A nine-point Indian run had turned a 21-16 fourth-quarter deficit into a 25-21 lead with 44 seconds left. Crystal Harrall grabbed an offensive rebound and passed to Lasiter for a two-pointer to narrow the margin to two with 23 seconds remaining.

   After a Diamond timeout, Lasiter stole the ball on the pass-in. The Wildcats failed to tie the game, missing a shot with Seneca rebounding, but an Indian turnover seconds later set the stage for Carrie Castor's game-tying two-pointer at the buzzer.

   Defense was the name of the game for the Diamond eighth graders as they picked up 17 steals, seven of them by seventh grade point guard Stephanie Taylor, who made her middle school basketball debut as one of the big girls. Taylor was also the top scorer with seven points.

   The first half gave no indication of how the scoring would go later. After the first quarter, Seneca held a 6-0 advantage. Diamond received a lift in the second period from the play of reserve Lydia O'Donnell, who scored four points, collected three rebounds and had a steal as the Wildcats outscored the visitors 8-2 to tie the game 8-8 at halftime. She also picked up the assist on the Taylor layup that tied the game in the final seconds of the half.

   Diamond- Points- Taylor 7, Booyer 6, O'Donnell 4, Castor 4, Lasiter 2, Cassi Cullum 2; Rebounds- Booyer 9, Alyshia Bowles 3, Harrall 3, O'Donnell 3, Lasiter 3, Cullum 2, Castor 2, Taylor 1;  Assists- Castor 2, Booyer 1, O'Donnell 1; Steals- Taylor 7, Harrall 3, Lasater 3, O'Donnell 2, Booyer 1, Cullum 1; Blocked Shots- Booyer 2.


By Randy Turner

   Seven players broke into the scoring column for the Diamond seventh grade squad as it lost its season opener to Seneca 22-15.

   The Wildcats took an early 4-0 lead as Amanda Cupp scored a pair of baskets on assists from Jessica Webb and Kaci Scribner. The 4-0 advantage remained at the end of the first quarter.

   After a four-point Indian run at the beginning of the second period, Diamond took its final lead, 6-4, on a Courtney Sweet putback. Seneca led 13-6 at halftime.

   The hustling Wildcats forced numerous turnovers during the second half, but were unable to convert on many of them. Shala Bass had both of her points and six of her team-high eight rebounds during the final two quarters.

   The game ended with a Kasey Hockman two-pointer off an offensive rebound.

   Diamond- Points- Cupp 4, Sweet 2, Bass 2, Amanda Morris 2, Webb 2, Hockman 2, Scribner 1; Rebounds- Bass 8, Webb 5, Morris 4, Hockman 4, Sweet 3, Scribner 3, Kelsey Henson 1, Cupp 1; Assists- Webb 1, Scribner 1; Steals- Morris 3, Scribner 3, Sweet 2, Hockman 1, Cupp 1, Webb 1, Henson 1; Blocked Shots- Webb 1.



   Senior Matt Harp took first place with a time of 17:07 in a cross country meet at Ash Grove Thursday. Others placing for the Diamond boys were:

  9. Josh Beckett, 18:05; 12. Justin Lane, 18:24; 14. Deke Beckett, 18:31; 32. Matt Sutherland, 20:28; 35. Casey Crane, 20:43; 43. Korey Scribner, 21:22. The Diamond team finished third with 61 points behind Berryville 59 and Wheaton 53.

   Addie Whitehead finished 19th in the girls division with a time of 26:46.

   In the junior high boys division, Zach Towers placed fourth with a time of 8:58, followed by: 6. Michael Lane, 9:21; 11. Kevin Harrall, 10:11; 12. Aaron Johnson, 10:24; and 14. Lee Hollars, 10:50.

   Lydia O'Donnell placed 12th in the junior high girls division with a time of 12:19. The meet was the final one for the Diamond Middle School athletes.


By Randy Turner

The comeback that lifted the Diamond High School volleyball team's comeback second-game win over Purdy Tuesday night started with a Bishop, but ended with a queen.

After winning game one 15-7, Coach Tony Allmoslecher's Wildcats fell behind 13-7 in game two before starting its comeback. Junior Kristen Bishop served the eighth and ninth points, with an Ashley Parker dig leading to an Ana Paula Carvalho kill for the ninth.

After a sideout, Diamond regained the serve on another Carvalho kill, this one from a Brittany Gilliam assist, and senior Rachel Whiteley stepped to the service line. It was Parent Night at Diamond High School and Rachel wasn't going to let this game slip away from her and her teammates.

Her game-ending serving spree started with another Gilliam to Carvalho special, set up by an excellent defensive play by junior Jessi Youngblood. A Purdy spiking error (at least it looked awful purdy to the Diamond faithful) trimmed the deficit to 13-11. Purdy again failed to get the spike down on the next serve and the lead was down to one.

The Eagle coach began trying to shake Rachel's confidence with a steady stream of substitutions, but the strategy didn't work. She served the game-tying point on yet another Purdy spiking error, the go-ahead point on a fourth straight poor spike and matchpoint on a fifth one.

The final point clinched the win for Diamond seniors Rachel Whiteley, Rachelle Gilliam, Ashley Parker and Ana Paula Carvalho, who were playing their final regular season matches on their home court.

Youngblood set the tone for game one with 10 serve points, giving Diamond a 6-0 advantage before Purdy could get on the scoreboard. Only Whiteley, with 11 serve points, had more. Carvalho paced Diamond with 11 kills, while B. Gilliam collected 10 assists. Diamond will conclude regular season play Thursday night in a non-conference match at Nevada.

Diamond- Points- Whiteley 11, Youngblood 10, Bishop 6, R. Gilliam 1, B. Gilliam 1, Parker 1; Kills- Carvalho 10, Parker 4, Phipps 2, Youngblood 1; Assists- B. Gilliam 10; Ace serves- Youngblood 2, R. Gilliam 1, Parker 1.


By Randy Turner

It has been a frustrating season at times for Megan Atkins, but the sophomore came through in style during the Diamond junior varsity volleyball's team's 15-5, 15-13, win over Purdy Tuesday night.

Atkins, who has had limited playing time this year, had four timely kills, none more so than one she completed with the Wildcats tied 13-13 in game two. Purdy had just earned a sideout and appeared to have momentum on its side when Atkins took an Amanda McKee set, banged the ball off the net, then watched as it divebombed directly to the floor, leaving two Eagle defenders helpless. Atkins' four kills were second only to Jolene Topham's eight.

After that, the diminuntive dynamo, Brittney Stevens, salted the match away, serving the final two points.

Diamond had little trouble winning game one with Stevens serving seven of her game-high 11 points and Topham adding six. Topham's wicked line-drive ace serve ended game one. A highlight of game one was when Stevens, who stands four foot eleven on tiptoes and looks as if she would be more comfortable walking under the net, then soaring high for a spike, slammed home a spike from a McKee set.

Stevens started game two with an ace and it looked like smooth sailing for Coach Jim Madden's squad, but rough waters soon developed. Purdy took a 12-10 lead. Topham halved the margin with an ace. After a pair of sideouts, McKee, who has improved every time out after missing the early weeks of the season with an injury, served three straight aces to give Diamond a 13-12 lead. After a sideout, Purdy aced the game-tying point, setting the stage for the late heroics by Atkins and Stevens.

The junior varsity will complete its season Thursday night at Nevada.

Diamond- Points- Stevens 11, Topham 6, McKee 5, Kristen Hicks 3, Casey Brown 2, Lendi Stirewalt 1, Whitney Brushwood 1, Lauren Fetters 1; Kills- Topham 8, Atkins 4, Hicks 1, Stirewalt 1, Stevens 1, Brown 1; Assists- Stevens 8, McKee 6, Fetters 1; Ace serves- Topham 4, McKee 4, Stevens 3, Fetters 1, Brown 1, Brushwood 1.



By Randy Turner

   The Wheaton volleyball team shocked Diamond at home Tuesday night, winning 17-15, 14-16, 15-11.

   A dramatic comeback by the Wildcats in game two prevented a two-game defeat. Diamond was down 12-5, 13-7, and 14-11, before staging a late rally.

   After a Wheaton serve sailed wide, Brittany Gilliam served four points, two coming on kills by Ashley Parker and Falicia Phipps, put the Wildcats up by one.

   A Bulldog spike returned the serve to the visitors, but a net call, gave Diamond its chance to even the match. Parker served the final point, a Phipps kill off a Jessi Youngblood assist, set up by a B. Gilliam dig.

   The Wildcats, who had nearly won game one, thanks to a yeoman performance at the net by Ana Paula Carvalho, who had 12 kills in the game, fell behind 5-0 in game three, but battled back, behind the serving of Phipps and Rachelle' Gilliam to grab an 11-7 advantage. Diamond's final point came on a leaping kill by Parker from a B. Gilliam set.

   Diamond will play at Carthage Thursday night.

   Diamond- Points- Phipps 14, R. Gilliam 10, Youngblood 6, Rachel Whiteley 6, B. Gilliam 6; Kills- Carvalho 22, Phipps 9, Youngblood 6, Parker 6, Whiteley 4, B. Gilliam 1; Assists- B. Gilliam 33, Carvalho 1, Youngblood 1, Phipps 1; Ace serves- Youngblood 4, R. Gilliam 2, Whiteley 2, Phipps 1; Blocks- Carvalho 6, Phipps 1.


By Randy Turner

   The Skyline defensive players probably heard those three dreaded words in their dreams.

   "On the ball." That was what Diamond Coach Joe Douglas shouted before every second half play during the Wildcats' 52-26 loss Monday night in the season finale.

   It wasn't a matter of subterfuge. It was plain, simple smash-mouth football. Quarterback Cameron Harrington stuck the ball in Josh Matthews' gut and the talented running back, with the help of the offensive line, took care of the rest.

   Diamond ran the play over and over in the second half. "On the ball," Douglas shouted, sometimes more than once, before each play and Matthews would slash through the line for five, six or seven yards, with gusts of up to 54.

   By the time he was done, Matthews had collected 225 yards...of course, that was in the fourth quarter alone. He finished the contest with 45 carries for 358 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran in a two-point conversion.

   Unfortunately, Skyline also had a gifted back who could pick up clumps of yardage and his abilities to break free for big runs, added to some Wildcat turnovers, enabled the visitors to keep Diamond at bay.

   Skyline scored three touchdowns in the opening quarter, striking right off the bat with an on-side kick on the first play of the game. Two plays later, the visitors scored from 32 yards out and ran in the conversion to go up 8-0.

   After the kickoff, Diamond coughed up the ball on the first play from scrimmage. Seven plays later, the quarterback scored on a 33-yard run. The conversion attempt failed, leaving the score at 14-0.

   Another 33-yard run with less than a minute left in the first quarter gave Skyline a 20-0 advantage.

   The Wildcats didn't roll over, scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter. The first score came on a seven-play, 64 yard drive, with Matthews carrying the ball on each play. The touchdown came on a seven-yard run. The extra point attempt was blocked.

   The Diamond defense sparkled on the next Skyline possession with eighth grader Kevin Ortega leading the way.  On the first down play, Ryan Clouse nailed a runner for a one-yard loss. A couple of missed tackles nearly resulted in a first down for the visitors, but Ortega stopped the play after a seven-yard gain. On third and four, Ortega stopped a run for only one yard. A holding penalty put Skyline in a third-and-20 situation at the 25. Ortega stopped the third-down run well short of the first down marker.

   After the Skyline punt, Diamond needed just five plays to score, an incomplete pass and four carries for 59 yards by Matthews. He ran the touchdown in from 45 yards out to trim the deficit to 20-12. His conversion run made it a six-point game.

   That was as close as the Wildcats could get. Skyline scored again to build its lead to 28-14 at halftime. A Michael Lane kickoff return put Diamond in good field position on its final possession of the first half, but four runs by Matthews and Ortega and a pass to Casey Youngblood netted only 11 yards.

   It took only two plays for Skyline to add to its lead as the second half began, an eight-yard run, followed by a 62-yard touchdown pass. The run failed and Skyline led 34-14.

   Diamond's offense was stopped on its next possesion and the visitors' punt return nearly added six more points to their total. Skyline had a first down at the Wildcat 16. The locals made a terrific defensive stand.

   It didn't start out well as a quarterback keeper made it first and goal at the four and would have resulted in a touchdown except for an open-field tackle by Harrington.

   The quarterback was sacked by Ortega for a six-yard loss on first and goal, then Matthews dropped a runner for a two-yard loss on second down.

   After an illegal procedure penalty, Colton Drake slammed the quarterback to the cold Diamond turf for a five-yard loss. Ortega dropped the quarterback after a short gain on fourth down to stop the drive.

   Diamond's next score came in the fourth quarter as Matthews, behind the blocking of such stalwart linemen as Drake, Ortega, Charles Forest, Curtis Russell, Bryce Dailey and Jake Edge. The Wildcats drove 68 yards in six plays, using a no-huddle offense. Matthews had runs of 23 and 16 yards and scored on a seven-yard play.

   After another Skyline touchdown, the "on the ball" attack worked once more for Diamond, which needed just four plays, the big one being a 54-yard Matthews run to score its final touchdown of the 2002 season, a three-yard Matthews plunge.

   Diamond ended the season with a 3-3 record.


By Randy Turner

   Just in time.

   Or perhaps that should be changed to Justin time. Many of the big plays turned in for the Diamond football team during its 29-19 loss to School of the Osage Friday night were courtesy of senior Justin Lane and sophomore Justin Bessman.

   They weren't the only ones who showed up big time as the Wildcats played their best game of the season. Junior quarterback Greg Fetters passed for a career-high 220 yards. and had a fumble recovery. His classmate, junior running back Brent Morgan gained 64 yards and scored two touchdowns. Josh Miller knocked down a two-point conversion pass. Kody Kelso recovered a fumble. Jake VanLue made two big catches, including one for a touchdown and sparkled on defense.

   But when it came to the spectacular plays that enabled the Wildcats to overcome a 17-0 first-half deficit and make it a game of it, it was the two Justins who sparkled.

   The Indians took a 9-0 lead in the first period on a safety, a 13-yard touchdown run by quarterback Ryan Kelly and the extra-point kick.

   They added another score just a couple of minutes into the second period, on an eight-yard pass from Kelly to Chase Phillips and the two-point conversion.

   The Wildcats got on track midway through the quarter, putting together a 14-play drive that took them all the way to the Indian 29 before it stalled on fourth down. The defense stopped the visitors, forcing them to punt. Approaching from the side, Bessman smothered the punt, giving Diamond the ball at the Indian 40. A 27-yard pass play from Fetters to VanLue put the ball at the 13, but the Wildcats were unable to get any closer and turned the ball over on downs with 11 seconds left in the half.

   Two big defensive plays by Fetters set the tone for the third quarter. He recovered a fumble during School of the Osage's first possession, then sacked the quarterback for a seven-yard loss on a fourth-down play on the next possession.

   The Diamond offense began clicking after that as Coach Brad Hocker opened up an aerial assault, combined with Morgan runs.

   The Wildcats moved the ball crisply, starting at their own 47 and taking it all the way in 12 plays. The key play was a circus catch on the sideline by Lane, which netted 23 yards on a fourth and 13 play. Two plays later, the same combo clicked once more with Fetters hitting Lane in full stride coming across the middle for 18 yards. That put the ball on the Osage 5. A Fetters keeper picked up four of those yards, then Morgan scored the touchdown on the second down play. The extra point attempt was blocked.

   The fired-up Wildcat defense kept up the onslaught. After the next kickoff, the Indians' first-down play was stopped by Bessman for a two-yard loss. Two more plays netted only eight yards and as the fourth quarter began, the Indians punted.

   Air Fetters began spraying the secondary once more. A 16-yard pass play to Lane put the ball in Osage territory. Another pass play to Casey Holland moved the ball another 15 yards, but Diamond lost the ball. The Indians needed only five plays to score, though Bessman nailed a runner for a two-yard loss on one play. Kelso blocked the extra-point kick, leaving the score at 23-6.

   A Diamond turnover set up the visitors' final touchdown, a three-yard Jack Ferrell run with 4:41 left. Josh Miller knocked down the two-point conversion pass.

   Diamond added two more touchdowns in the waning moments. A leaping catch by Lane for a 24-yard gain set up the Wildcats' second touchdown, a two-yard Morgan run. Lane's catches netted 125 yards.

   An on-side kick attempt failed, but a holding penalty put Osage back at its eight.  From that point, Diamond's defense shut down the visitors. On first down, Andy Bradley and Miller stopped a run for a five-yard loss. The second down play ended with a fumble and Bessman clutching the ball at the Osage five.

   It looked as if Diamond scored on its first play as Fetters ran a bootleg, dived for the end zone and even moved the pylon, but the officials ruled he had been stopped a few inches short. Two running plays were stopped and a penalty left the Wildcats with a fourth and five. Fetters lofted a perfect spiral to the corner of the end zone where VanLue hauled it in for the final touchdown. Freshman Luke Hockman kicked the extra point.

   Diamond, 0-6, will play at Skyline at 7:30 p.m. Friday.


By Randy Turner

   It should have been the play that preserved a shutout.

   Jasper, trailing Diamond 18-0 midway through the fourth quarter Thursday night, caught the Wildcat defense off guard with a screen pass.

   "That's a touchdown," Coach Brad Hocker said. And most of the time he would have been right. This time, however, he didn't count on the speed and determination of Cameron Harrington.

   Harrington never gave up, finally tackling the Eagle runner at the Diamond 19. The visitors came up with one first down, but weren't able to push it into the end zone, thanks to a stingy Diamond defense. Charles Forest had a couple of big stops and it finally came down to a fourth and goal at the seven. After an Eagle timeout, Jasper attempted a pass play. Once again, it was Cameron Harrington who came up with the big play, swatting down the pass and stopping the Eagle drive.

   Only a late inadvertent whistle that prevented Kevin Ortega with getting a fumble recovery cost Diamond the shutout. Jasper scored with 16 seconds left to make the final score 18-6.

   That was about the only thing that went wrong for Coach Joe Douglas's Wildcats, as they followed up their 31-14 win over Sarcoxie Monday night with another gem. Eighth grader Josh Matthews, who ran 20 times for 193 yards Monday night, continued his sterling play, running 24 times for 200 yards and two touchdowns.

   Matthews's 32-yard run to the three set up the first Wildcat score in the opening period. On the next play, he picked up the remaining yardage.

   The Wildcat quarterback, Harrington, who was solid on both sides of the ball, scored the second touchdown, in the second quarter, on a one-yard keeper, the final play in a 10-play, 68-yard drive. Key plays in the drive included runs of 12, 19 and nine yards by Matthews.

  The Eagles were stopped on their final first-half possession by a Casey Youngblood interception. Diamond led 12-0 at halftime.

   The Wildcat defense came up big on Jasper's opening drive of the second half. Harrington intercepted a pass. The Wildcats went from there, covering 60 yards on 10 plays, with Matthews plunging three yards for the touchdown, which came on the opening play of the fourth quarter.

   Diamond will close its season at home at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14, against Skyline.

   The Wildcats opened the week with the win over Sarcoxie. Matthews scored touchdowns on runs of 15 and 5 yards. Harrington also had a pair of touchdowns on 23 and 6-yard runs. Kevin Ortega was the leading tackler with six, while Matthews had five and Colton Drake, Ryan Clouse, Clay Norwood, Genaro Rangel and Curtis Russell had four apiece and Forest and Paul Holland each collected three. Forest had two fumble recoveries and Youngblood picked up an interception.

7th-8th Grade Boys
Friday, Jan. 10- Triway at Diamond
Monday, Jan. 13-Saturday, Jan. 18- Granby Tournament
Tuesday, Jan. 14- Granby at Diamond
Tuesday, Jan. 21- Seneca at Diamond
Thursday, Jan. 23- Diamond at Triway
Tuesday, Feb. 4- Mount Vernon at Diamond
Freshman Boys Basketball
Monday, Jan. 13- Diamond at Carl Junction
Thursday, Jan. 23- Seneca at Diamond
Monday, Jan. 27- Diamond at Jasper
Tuesday, Jan. 23- Diamond at East Newton
Thursday, Feb. 20- Jasper at Diamond
High School Boys Basketball
Friday, Jan. 10- Diamond at Purdy
Tuesday, Jan. 14- Diamond at Thomas Jefferson
Friday, Jan. 17- Exeter at Diamond (homecoming)
Tuesday, Jan. 21- Diamond at McAuley
Tuesday, Jan. 28- Diamond at East Newton
Feb. 3-8- Diamond Tournament
Tuesday, Feb. 11- Diamond at Cassville
Friday, Feb. 14- Southwest at Diamond
Monday, Feb. 17- Seneca at Diamond
Tuesday, Feb. 18- Diamond at Verona
Friday, Feb. 21- Thomas Jefferson at Diamond
Tuesday, Feb. 25- Diamond at Exeter
Friday, Feb. 28- Diamond at Wheaton
High School Girls Basketball
Monday, Jan. 13- East Newton at Diamond
Tuesday, Jan. 14- Diamond at Thomas Jefferson
Thursday, Jan. 16- Diamond at Exeter
Monday, Jan. 20- McAuley at Diamond
Thursday, Jan. 23- Lamar at Diamond
Monday, Jan. 27- Purdy at Diamond
Feb. 3-8 McAuley Tournament
Monday, Feb. 10- Diamond at Sarcoxie
Thursday, Feb. 13- Diamond at Southwest
Tuesday, Feb. 18- Diamond at Verona
Thursday, Feb. 20- Thomas Jefferson at Diamond
Monday, Feb. 24- Exeter at Diamond
Thursday, Feb. 27- Wheaton at Diamond
High School Wrestling
Thursday, Jan. 9- Reed's Spring at Diamond
Saturday, Jan. 11- Monett Tournament
Thursday, Jan. 16- Carl Junction at Diamond
Saturday, Jan. 18- Pittsburg Tournament
Monday, Jan. 20- Seneca at Diamond
Friday, Jan. 24- Seneca Tournament
Saturday, Jan. 25- Seneca Tournament
Saturday, Feb. 8- District Wrestling Tournament
Sporting activities from the 2000-2001 school year and from the first quarter of the 2002-2003 school year are featured on the Wildcat Central archives pages.