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Roberts' eight 3-pointers help Tigers net a season-high 86 points versus Joplin


The momentum Hudson Roberts gained from his game-winning shot at Carl Junction last week carried over to Ozark’s 86-66 triumph versus Joplin on Tuesday.

Roberts netted eight 3-point goals while scoring 26 points. He had seven treys over the second and third quarters, as the Tigers put up 53 points over that stretch.

“I'd like to say that had something to do with it,” Roberts said of having momentum on his side after hitting a jumper with :10 left to beat Carl Junction 64-62 last Thursday. “Also, I have confidence in my shooting ability any night.”

Roberts has enjoyed a consistently good, if not great, junior season. But he felt he endured a slump over a two-week stretch leading up to the Carl Junction game and actually including most of that game.

"There was a rough stretch where I didn't think I performed up to my expectations,” Roberts said. “I was cold the whole game (at Carl Junction) and hadn't hit a 3. It just so happened that the ball got in my hands (on Ozark’s final possession) and I was open. No matter how many shots I miss in a row, I'm going to take the next open shot I get.”

“He hadn't shot it as well. To his standards, he needs to see all the shots go in,” coach Mark Schweitzer said. “That’s why he's such a good shooter, he has that bar set for himself. We know he can put the ball in the hole.

“When Hudson goes on a little drought or can't get a good look, he'll force it a little bit. Good scorers have to do that to an extent,” Schweitzer added. “But you can't do it so much that all you're taking is difficult shots. It's hard to get yourself going when you're taking a lot of tough shots. Tonight, he took great shots.”

For Ozark (11-14 overall and 6-2 in the COC), 86 points is a season-high. Previously, the Tigers scored 77 against Neosho and Strafford and had 76 at Glendale.

The 86 points is Ozark’s highest output since scoring 89 against Willard in the 2020-2021 season. The Tigers made 14 3-pointers.

“We shot the ball well and found scoring in a lot of areas. That was nice to see,” Schweitzer said. “I thought we shared the ball well. We're trying to give it up more and hit the guys who are open. You've got to take what the defense gives you, instead of forcing shots. We've got enough guys who can shoot that we need to get the ball to the open man.”

“It was a good offensive performance,” Roberts said. “We didn't play our best offensively (last Tuesday in a 63-36 loss at Republic). But we put that in the past and learned from it.”

‘The Big Three’ of Roberts, Jace Whatley and Kylan Pickren teamed for 63 points, with Whatley scoring 19 and Pickren 18.

Cohen George also got in double figures by adding 10 points. 

Newcomer Mike Ford, a transfer from New Jersey, had a 3. The senior guard arrived at Ozark the last week of January and is quickly helping the Tigers with their point guard duties.

“You get a talented new kid move in with a month left in the season, he deserves to play just like anyone else,” Schweitzer said. “We're trying to get him in the flow. The talent is definitely there, anyone can see that. We want to try to get him playing his best inside our framework. I think he's done a great job finding guys. He had some nice passes tonight.”