Derek Morris

Hollister senior Derek Morris (11) puts up a shot against the defense of Ozark’s Payton Nichols (23) and A.J. Elliott during the first half of Tuesday’s opening-round game.

SPRINGFIELD – Ozark High School is one of the marquee boys’ basketball teams in the 71-year history of the Greenwood Blue and Gold Tournament.

The Tigers have participated in the tournament 57 times, and won 11 championships, second only to the 12 claimed by Springfield Kickapoo.

Ozark has done that by avoiding upsets and taking care of business in the early rounds.

The Tigers did that as the top seed in the Gold Division bracket, cruising to a 61-21 victory over Hollister on Tuesday morning at JQH Arena.

Ozark raced out to a 17-1 lead and were up 22-6 after one period, 33-13 at halftime and 52-18 at the end of three quarters.

“They are good at what they do,” Hollister coach Pete Leonard said. “I don’t think we executed the way we should have, but they are definitely a good team. They can shoot it, they play good defense, they have a good press.”

Quinn Nelson scored six first-quarter points and finished with a game-high 16 to lead Ozark. Kristian Cooper and Payton Nichols added 10 each.

Ozark is favored to add to its haul of Blue and Gold Tournament hardware, and probably will be the most-dominant team Hollister will face all season.

“Ozark is one of the best teams around, and we didn’t help ourselves out any,” Leonard said.

Landon Farquhar scored five points to lead Hollister, with Bryan Calovich and Jenner Steele adding four each.

Leonard was able to find a positive from the game.

“I thought our rebounding, watching some of our guards box out, that was a positive for us,” Leonard said. “We’ve been working on that, taking pride in that.

“I thought our guards did a good job.”

HOLLISTER 61, GREENWOOD 30

The Tigers bounced back from the loss to Ozark with an easy victory over Greenwood in the consolation round of the Gold Division on Wednesday at Hammons Student Center.

Landon Farquhar scored a game-high 17 points, with Derek Morris and Payton Weber adding nine each.

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