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story.lead_photo.caption Jefferson City's Kevion Pendelton attempts a shot while getting fouled by Ozark's Kyle Flavin during Friday night's game at Fleming Fieldhouse. Photo by Jason Strickland / News Tribune.

The Jefferson City Jays expected Ozark to bring toughness, hustle and an ability to battle for rebounds Friday.

The Tigers surprised the Jays a bit in the opening minutes with their shooting abilities from the outside.

Ozark made four of their first five 3-point attempts, leading to a 28-point first quarter and a deficit the Jays couldn't quite come back from in a 75-64 result in favor of Ozark at Fleming Fieldhouse.

"They've been a north-south team," Jefferson City coach Tony Phillips said, "so they shot more 3s in the first quarter than what we'd seen on film."

Tyler Harmon, who was one of five Tigers to make a 3-pointer, hit from the top of the key for Ozark's first lead at 5-2.

The margin swelled to 11 at 16-5 midway through the first quarter when Ethan Whatley made his first of two 3-pointers in the first half.

Whatley scored 10 of his 15 points in the first 16 minutes.

"I thought we did a good a fairly good job on (Whatley)," Phillips said. " I'm proud of our guys for that."

The Tigers also put defensive pressure on the Jays that led to passes being swiped away and the margin quickly widened.

Blaine Cline got a hold of a Jefferson City pass and Owen Brockman scored a layup for the final points of the first quarter at the 1:17 mark. Ozark led 28-14 after eight minutes of play.

Cline was also a reliable threat on the offensive end with 23 points and eight rebounds.

"Athletic, majority of his points will come from offensive rebounds," Phillips said of the scouting report on Cline. "We must keep him off the glass."

Ozark led by as many as 22 when Voysey's 3-pointer made it 40-18 with 4:19 remaining in the second quarter.

The Tigers cooled off for the next few minutes and the Jays began to poke the ball away and score at the other end to climb back in it.

A steal and layup for Kevion Pendelton made it 42-28, Sterling DeSha later knocked down a 3 from the top of the key and added a pair of free throws to pull Jefferson City within 42-35 with less than a minute remaining in the first half.

"They're working hard and that's all I can ask for," Phillips said.

Ozark ended its scoring drought of more than three minutes with a layup from Voysey, who added 12 points and four of Ozark's 44 rebounds. The Tigers led 46-37 at halftime.

Jefferson City got as close as 54-49 in the third quarter when Parker Gourley collected a loose ball in the lane and scored.

Pendelton made two free throws following a steal in the closing seconds of the quarter to make the score 62-56.

Pendelton finished with 12 points to match Keith Driver's offensive production. DeSha led the Jays with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

Two more Pendelton free throws to start the fourth quarter closed the gap to 62-58.

But after Driver made two more from the foul line to make it 65-60, the Jays turned it over on their next six possessions as Ozark (4-1) closed out the win with free throws.

"That's what you can't do against good teams," Phillips said.

Jefferson City (1-5) is off until Monday, Dec. 28, when the Jays open play in the Joe Machens Great 8 Classic against Father Tolton at Fleming Fieldhouse.

"We've got six days of practice so we'll see what we do," Phillips said.

Ozark defeated Jefferson City 70-47 in the JV game. Tripp Maassen, Steven Samuels and Cole Heller each scored nine points for the Jays.

Ozark won the freshman game 34-29.

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