JOPLIN, MO – With eyes set on the start of basketball season, both Joplin and Neosho high schools hosted jamborees Thursday evening.

Participants included: Joplin, Neosho, Nevada, Lamar, Webb City, and McDonald County. First-year Joplin head coach Nick Pfeifer said it’s an opportunity for his group to get the feel for live basketball.

“The most important thing is, we get live competition,” Pfeifer said.

“You can’t stop after every mistake, and I enjoy that. It gives us a great opportunity to get a real live look at basketball.”

With many of Webb City’s squad still participating in postseason football, Cardinals head coach Jason Horn said the jamborees provide an opportunity to get full five-on-five play.

“We don’t have all of our guys back from football yet, so it’s hard for us to scrimmage right now,” Horn said.

“It really gives us a chance to go five-on-five, and I think Neosho does an excellent job hosting it. The jamboree is just a great experience for our kids.”

Cody Culp, head coach of Neosho’s squad, echoed both Horn and Pfeifer in saying the experience is invaluable.

“We’re two weeks away from our first game, so that’s a long haul of practices if you’re not competing against someone else,” Culp said.

“This is an opportunity to keep them occupied, and for them to get their minds right, and it’s just great all around experience.”