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The Liberty Eagles Boys faced off against Summersville, Tuesday night. Gary Lee filed this report.

 

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Liberty Eagles:66

Summersville:32

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL RESULTS (12/8)

HS Girls

Alton 44
Bakersfield 41

Liberty 59
Van Buren 47

Dora 73
Cabool 38

Willow Springs 56
Mtn Grove 48

Houston 64
Seymour 30

Salem, Mo. 68
Ava 32

Tonight’s schedule (boys)

Thayer @ Winona

Eminence @ Clearwater

Hartville @ Buffalo

Seymour @ Chadwick

Salem, Mo. @ West Plains

Licking @ Willow Springs

Plato @ Cabool

Summersville @ Liberty

Mansfield Tournament Games

Houston vs Bakersfield

Niangua vs. Mansfield

By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer

Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper (9) runs toward Missouri safety Braylon Webb (9) during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Jamie Martin)

Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper (9) runs toward Missouri safety Braylon Webb (9) during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Jamie Martin)

ATLANTA (AP) — Long known for its power offense, Alabama opened things up this season.

With a player such as Amari Cooper, that was a good call.

Cooper, the nation’s leading receiver, was honored as the Southeastern Conference offensive player of the year Monday by The Associated Press, recognizing his huge role in helping the Crimson Tide claim the No. 1 ranking and a spot in college football’s inaugural playoff.

Shane Ray became the second straight Missouri player to take the award as the leading defensive player, while Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen was selected as SEC coach of the year. Georgia running back Nick Chubb was voted the top freshman.

Cooper, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound junior, leads the nation with 115 catches and 1,656 yards, and ranks second with 14 receiving touchdowns. Later Monday, he was selected as one of three finalists for the Heisman Trophy.

“Amari has gotten better every year,” coach Nick Saban said. “He’s a hard worker and a really prideful guy in terms of his performance. I just think he played with a lot more consistency this year. His focus has been better. He’s not let the little things bother him, whether it’s a little nagging injury or whatever. He’s just been a demon in how he competes.”

With Lane Kiffin taking over as offensive coordinator, the Crimson Tide (12-1) went to a more fast-paced offense that was a perfect fit for Cooper and senior quarterback Blake Sims. A team that had relied on a stout running game became a force through the air, ranking third in the SEC with 281 yards per game.

Alabama will meet Big Ten champion Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl semifinal game on New Year’s Day.

Ray, who leads the SEC with 14 sacks, kept the defensive award in Missouri’s hands after Michael Sam won it a year ago. With Ray and Markus Golden pacing the conference’s most fearsome pass rush, the Tigers (10-3) captured their second straight SEC East title.

In the league championship game, Missouri lost to Alabama 42-13 this past weekend, a game that was marred by Ray’s brutal hit on Sims after he delivered a 58-yard touchdown pass. The Tigers star was ejected from the game, and Missouri settled for a spot in the Citrus Bowl against Minnesota.

“It’s not how you want to end your season at all,” Ray said. “I’m not a dirty player.”

Mullen guided Mississippi State (10-2) to the top of the AP rankings for the first time in school history, a startling rise for a program that had long been an also-ran in the rugged SEC West. The Bulldogs’ quest for a perfect season ended with a loss to Alabama, and any chance of making the four-team playoff was doomed by a loss to rival Mississippi.

Still, Mullen’s team was selected to play Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl.

The 5-10, 228-pound Chubb was expected to play a backup role for Georgia. That changed when star running back Todd Gurley received a four-game suspension for selling his autograph, then went down with a season-ending knee injury.

With Chubb taking over the lead role, the Bulldogs didn’t miss a beat. He finished second in the SEC with 1,281 yards rushing, averaging 6.9 yards per carry and scoring 12 touchdowns.

Cooper was a unanimous selection to the first team, which included five of his teammates: offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio, defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, linebacker Reggie Ragland, safety Landon Collins and punter JK Scott. Like Cooper, Collins was named on every ballot.

The other unanimous pick was Ole Miss cornerback Senquez Golson. The Rebels, who are headed to the Peach Bowl, had four other players on the first team with offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil, tight end Evan Engram, defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche and safety Cody Prewitt.

Ray was among three Missouri first-teamers, joined by receiver Bud Sasser and all-purpose player Marcus Murphy. Mississippi State was represented by star quarterback Dak Prescott and offensive lineman Ben Beckwith. Chubb and linebacker Amarlo Herrera made the team from Georgia. Auburn landed center Reese Dismukes and running back Cameron Artis-Payne, the SEC’s top rusher with 1,482 yards. Defensive end Bud Dupree and kicker Austin MacGinnis from Kentucky also made the elite squad.

Rounding out the team were South Carolina receiver Pharoh Cooper, LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins, Arkansas linebacker Martrell Spaight, and Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III.

Prewitt and Hargreaves were the only first-teamers to repeat from 2013.

Texas A&M was among three schools that didn’t have at least one first-teamer, though the Aggies did land four players on the second team.

Also missing from the first team were Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

The 82nd annual AP All-SEC team was selected by a 14-member media panel representing each of the conference’s 11 states.

(West Plains) – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team turned in an uncharacteristic performance this past weekend at the Holiday Inn/Hampton Inn Reiver Classic in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The Grizzlies lost both of their contests in the two-day tournament, falling to Northeast Community College, Norfolk, Nebraska, 92-71 on Friday night, Dec. 5, and the host team, Iowa Western Community College (IWCC), 74-54 Saturday night, Dec. 6. The losses drop the Grizzlies’ season record to 10-5.

“This was a rough weekend,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said. “We were not ourselves. We had guys who had been playing very well look a step slow. It’s hard to put a finger on why things happened the way they did.”

The Grizzlies struggled with their scoring in both games, only hitting 36 percent of their shots from the field against Northeast and 30 percent of their shots from the field against IWCC.

“We never got in sync offensively in either game,” Walker said. “We made a nice run in the second half against Northeast, but it was just a little too late. Against IWCC, we held them to 72 points and we got 15 offensive rebounds, but we simply didn’t score the ball well enough.

“We didn’t get out in transition in either game, as well,” he added. “Against Iowa Western specifically, we were not nearly aggressive enough. We only shot three free throws for the entire game.”

Against Northeast, the Grizzlies hit 25 of 69 shots from the field for 36.2 percent, eight of 30 attempts from 3-point range for 26.7 percent and 13 of 20 attempts from the free throw line for 65 percent. They also had 33 rebounds, 13 assists, 12 turnovers and 10 steals. Leading scorers were freshman guards Dazhonetae Bennett with 11 points and Keion Peoples 10.

Northeast hit 33 of 62 shots from the field for 53.2 percent, 11 of 22 3-pointers for 50 percent and 15 of 18 free throws for 83.3 percent. The team also had 41 rebounds, 22 assists and 16 turnovers. Leading scorers were Buay Tuach 23 points, Chima Moneke 22, Jalen Bradley and Kevin Metoyer each with 17, and L.J. Westbrook 11.

Against IWCC, the Grizzlies connected on 23 of 76 shots from the field for 30.3 percent, eight of 29 attempts from 3-point range for 27.6 percent and zero of three free throw shots for 0 percent. They also had 41 rebounds, 12 assists and 11 turnovers. Leading scorers were Bennett with 16 points and sophomore guard Craig Eubanks with 11.

IWCC hit 28 of 63 attempts from the field for 44.4 percent, eight of 17 3-pointers for 47.1 percent and 10 of 13 free throws for 76.9 percent. The team also had 43 rebounds, 17 assists and 10 turnovers. Leading scorers were Donovan Jackson with 24 points, Rico Thompson 14 and Thik Bol 12.

The Grizzlies will close out the fall portion of their season with two home games this week. They will play Independence (Kansas) Community College at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, and Highland (Kansas) Community College at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13. Both games will be in Joe Paul Evans arena at the West Plains Civic Center. “We have a great chance to go into the Christmas break feeling good,” Walker said.

Wednesday’s game also will include recognition of the Mtn. View-Birch Tree Liberty High School and Winona High School varsity girls volleyball teams at halftime. The Liberty Lady Eagles captured the Class 2 state championship, defeating 2012 state champions Fatima 2-1 for Mtn. View’s first ever title in volleyball. The Winona Lady Wildcats continued their domination of the Class 1 ranks, picking up their third consecutive state title this year.

The Bounce House in West Plains will sponsor Wednesday’s game and will set up some activities for children in the exhibit hall, Walker said. There will be a nominal fee charged, he added.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — No. 16 Missouri and Minnesota will meet in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 in a matchup of Southeastern Conference and Big Ten foes.

The game will be played for the first time since the renovation of the Orlando Citrus Bowl. It is sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings. It was previously called the Capital One Bowl.

Missouri (10-3) is coming off a SEC championship game loss to Alabama. The Tigers are making their second appearance in an Orlando bowl, having won the Tangerine Bowl over Southern Mississippi in 1981.

Minnesota (8-4) is making its first trip to Orlando. It is coming off back-to-back eight-win seasons for the first time since 2002-03. This is the Golden Gophers third consecutive bowl appearance. They are looking for their first bowl victory since 2004.

By JOSEPH WHITE
AP Sports Writer

Washington Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy (16) looks back at the bench in the closing minutes of the Redskins 24-0 loss to the St. Louis Rams in an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Washington Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy (16) looks back at the bench in the closing minutes of the Redskins 24-0 loss to the St. Louis Rams in an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — The Washington Redskins had the RG3 trade rubbed in their face. They failed to score. The quarterback who started got sent to the hospital to have his neck X-rayed, so Robert Griffin III actually got to make a cameo appearance.

But more to the point: The Redskins are now officially in yet another December of turmoil that will focus on the futures of coaches, quarterbacks and the front office more than anything that actually happens on the field.

The Redskins (3-10) dropped their fifth straight Sunday, falling 24-0 to the St. Louis Rams and clinching a fifth double-digit loss season in six years.

“Well, it’s pretty bad,” Washington nose tackle Chris Baker said. “It’s just the same story – different Sunday.”

The offense managed 206 total yards. Colt McCoy was sacked six times, suffering a sprained neck on sack No. 6 with two minutes remaining in the game. Griffin mopped up and was sacked once, giving the Rams seven for the game.

The injury presents a twist in a quarterback saga that’s already been running overlong. Griffin was benched two weeks ago by first-year coach Jay Gruden. McCoy is 0-2 since, so both performance and health could determine whether Griffin gets another shot next week.

“We’ve got to look at Colt and see how his neck is doing and then look at the tape and see what happened as far as the production is concerned,” Gruden said. “You know, one of the reasons we took out Robert in the first place is lack of production on offense. We brought Colt in here and he did some good things last week, and this week, same thing. No production, so to speak.

“But I’ve got to look at the film and try to make a judgment on the quarterback situation. We’re all searching for answers in this building to try to find out who can lead us to victories and who can get this offense on a roll. That obviously is still to be determined.”

For the second straight year, the Redskins are overloaded with questions as the season hits its homestretch. Will Griffin be back next year? Is Gruden one-and-done as a head coach? What about general manager Bruce Allen and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett?

Haslett’s name came up before the game when longtime Redskins linebacker and captain London Fletcher, who retired after last season, appeared on CBS and called Haslett “clueless” and in charge of “five years now of just ineptitude.”

It’s the sort of stuff that’s par for the course for the Redskins in recent years, and Gruden is getting a full taste of it.

“When you lose, you open yourself up to all kinds of scrutiny – Twitter, newspaper, whatever it is,” Gruden said. “You get what you deserve in football. When you lose, you deserve some of this.”

The Rams (6-7) are interested observers because they were the beneficiaries of the mega-trade that helped land Griffin in Washington. The six players sent by St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher out for the coin toss were part of the team’s three-year haul stemming from the Griffin deal before the 2012 draft.

“I will always be remembered as (being a part of) that blockbuster trade,” St. Louis defensive tackle Michael Brockers said. “And, you know, the Rams won. The Rams won that one.”

Right now, it’s hard to argue with that. Griffin has been benched twice in two years. On Sunday, he was 3 of 4 for 33 yards in his one drive. McCoy didn’t look like a better alternative, going 20 of 32 for 199 yards with two interceptions. He has been sacked 12 times in two weeks.

The Redskins played without their principle downfield threat, DeSean Jackson, who sat out with a bruised left shin after not practicing all week, but Pierre Garcon had nine catches for 95 yards. Alfred Morris rushed for a meager 6 yards on eight carries.

“I’ve said rock-bottom once before,” Washington linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. “It downplays what rock-bottom is if you keep saying (it) every time you lose.”

By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kerwynn Williams went from pretending to be Jamaal Charles on the Arizona scout team this week to outgaining Charles in the Cardinals’ 17-14 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

“That’s storybook stuff,” teammate Larry Fitzgerald said.

With starting tailback Andre Ellington out for the season, the Cardinals turned to a guy who had been called up two days earlier from the practice squad. Williams delivered, rushing for 100 yards, 9 more than Charles.

“That’s who we are,” Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. “A team is what it takes. That’s what we’ve built this thing on.”

The NFC West-leading Cardinals (10-3) took the lead when Drew Stanton threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown on third-and-18 in the third quarter.

The Cardinals’ seven wins are the most at home for the franchise since when the Chicago Cardinals won 11 of 13 in 1925.

Arizona held on after winning a crucial reversal. Kansas City was driving with five minutes remaining when Arians challenged that tight end Travis Kelce fumbled after a 19-yard reception to the Arizona 22. The officials ruled that Kelce lost the ball before he rolled on his back and got to his feet. Kelce grabbed the ball back, but apparently not soon enough.

“He tried to maintain possession,” referee Craig Wrolstad told a pool reporter, “but he did not, did not regain possession.”

Kelce said he was “shocked” by the ruling.

“I thought I regained control of the ball,” he said. “But you can’t go back in time. I fumbled the ball. It was called as a fumble and I’m just going to have to live with that.”

Coach Andy Reid said “from my vision, I thought he regained possession of the ball, but I’m not making the call.”

Justin Bethel recovered at the Arizona 15, ending the last serious Kansas City threat.

The Chiefs (7-6) are tied with four other AFC wild-card hopefuls looking up at San Diego, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. The Cardinals have a one-game lead over Seattle, and the Seahawks travel to Arizona in two weeks.

Jamaal Charles scored two first-half touchdowns on a 63-yard run and 18-yard pass from Alex Smith, but the Chiefs were shut out in the second half.

Reid said after the game that Charles had a slight ankle sprain and back spasms.

An offensive pass interference penalty against Anthony Fasano negated a Kansas City touchdown. Two plays later, Alex Okafor intercepted Smith.

The Cardinals drove to the Chiefs 26, and on third-and-18 Stanton threw over the middle to hit Jaron Brown in stride for the winning score. The 2-point conversion pass to John Carlson was good and, for the first time in the game, Arizona had the lead, 17-14.

Arizona rookie Chandler Catanzaro kicked three field goals but missed two, the first off the right upright, the second off the left with 1:09 to play.

That gave Kansas City a chance, but the Chiefs never got to midfield before turning it over on downs.

Arizona’s injury-riddled team got another when cornerback Antonio Cromartie left in the fourth quarter with what the Cardinals first termed an Achilles tendon injury, although Arians later said the Achilles was “stable.”

Ellington is out for the season with what Arians said after the game is some sort of hernia. He also had lingering hip and foot problems.

That led Arizona to bring up Williams for the second time this season. He had been released from the San Diego practice squad and never had carried the ball from scrimmage in an NFL game until Sunday.

Williams said the plan was for it to be “running back by committee.”

But there was no doubt who was the main man as the afternoon wore on.

The seventh-round draft pick of Indianapolis in 2013 revved up what has been a sluggish Arizona running game. He carried 19 times, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. The Cardinals had rushed for 99 yards in the last two games combined. They got 141 on Sunday.

In the first half, Smith completed 12 of 13 passes for 109 yards and a score. In the second half, he was 11 of 23 for it 182 yards and an interception.

Charles gained 91 on 10 carries, 63 of them in one attempt.

Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk (7) recovers a ball he fumbled against Alabama during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk (7) recovers a ball he fumbled against Alabama during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Missouri’s attacking defense was already frustrated by Alabama quarterback Blake Sims’ quick passes.

The ejection of sacks leader Shane Ray only added to the Tigers’ problems.

Defense led No. 14 Missouri to its second-straight Southeastern Conference championship game, but Sims’ three-step drops frustrated the Tigers in their 42-13 loss to No. 1 Alabama on Saturday.

The Tigers, who led the SEC in sacks, dropped Sims behind the line only twice. The defense suffered a big loss when Ray, who led the SEC with a Missouri-record 13 1/2 sacks, was ejected for his second-quarter hit on Sims.

“You lose a great player like that, it’s going to hurt,” said Missouri’s other standout defensive end, Markus Golden.

Alabama (12-1) held the ball more than 13 minutes longer than Missouri (10-3). The Tigers’ defense suddenly began to give up big plays in the final quarter, when Alabama put the game away with three touchdowns.

Sims completed 23 of 27 passes for 262 yards with two touchdowns. Amari Cooper set a SEC championship game record with 12 catches for 83, most coming on quick screens.

“He was getting the ball off real quick,” Golden said of Sims. “They didn’t have any five-step (drops). … We make people have to pass. They didn’t have to pass.”

After Missouri’s second straight SEC championship game loss, a dejected Ray sat at his locker and said he shouldn’t have been tossed.

“I don’t think it was helmet to helmet at all,” Ray said. “My hands hit his helmet first. My helmet was under his chin.”

Ray hit Sims immediately after he threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to DeAndrew White in the second quarter. Officials called a personal foul on Ray for targeting and upheld the ruling following a video review. Ray was escorted off the field.

“We attack. We create pressure,” Ray said. “That’s what we do. That’s what I was doing.”

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said his assistants in the press box agreed with the officials’ call. Pinkel said when “you play a good team like this, you do those kinds of things, you’re going to pay for it. And we did.”

Sims’ accurate passes and the one-two punch of running backs T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry wore down Missouri.

Sims, named the game’s MVP, threw two touchdown passes and Yeldon and Henry each ran for two scores. Henry had 141 yards rushing, with more than half coming in the final quarter.

The win assures Alabama of a spot in college football’s inaugural playoff.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of this team,” said Alabama coach Nick Saban. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been so anxious to win a game for a group of guys.”

Missouri was left to await a bowl bid, possibly to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

The Tigers made it a one-possession game in the third quarter, closing to 21-13 with 10 straight points. Missouri believed it was in position for another close win.

Wide receiver Jimmie Hunt, who had six catches for a career-high 169 yards, said the Missouri sideline was “crazy” and “everybody was excited” when the Tigers had the momentum.

“We are going against a well-coached team,” Hunt said. “They just came out once we got the game pretty close and they did what they needed to do to finish it.”

Alabama answered with touchdown drives of 64 and 90 yards. Henry’s 26-yard run finished the second drive, and his 1-yard run capped the runaway win.

“Those are two statement drives,” Pinkel said. “They came right back, bam, touchdown, 90-yard drive, touchdown. So that’s what good teams do, and we didn’t do a very good job.”

Maty Mauk’s scrambling and deep passing gave Missouri a chance. He completed throws of 63, 47, 32 and 26 yards, one of them on a Johnny Manziel-like scramble in which he threw back across his body running to his left.

Mauk completed 16 of 34 passes for 272 yards with one touchown.

Missouri’s only touchdown was Mauk’s 1-yard pass to Bud Sasser on fourth-and-goal in the third quarter.

Pinkel said he was disappointed with the Tigers’ play.

“We’ll keep working hard,” Pinkel said. “We’ll get up and brush the dirt off and get back to work, like we always do.”

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Jarekious Bradley scored 13 of his 21 points in the second half and Southeast Missouri held on to beat Southeastern Louisiana 63-59 on Saturday night.

Zay Jackson scored to cap a 13-6 surge and pulled Southeastern Louisiana within 61-59 with 1:43 remaining. Jackson missed a jumper with 6 seconds to go, and Bradley made a pair of free throws with 1 second left to seal it.

Bradley shot just 8 of 21 from the field and 1 of 9 from long range for the Redhawks, who finished on 24-of-63 shooting (38.1 percent) from the floor.

Antonius Cleveland scored 12 points and J.J. Thompson chipped in 11 for Southeast Missouri (4-4). Aaron Adeoye grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds.

Daniel Grieves scored 14 points, Jackson 12 and Devonte Upson 10 for Southeastern Louisiana (2-7), which is winless on the road.

St. Louis Blues right wing T.J. Oshie (74) and teammates congratulate goalie Martin Brodeur (30) after the Blues beat the New York Islanders 6-4 in an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

St. Louis Blues right wing T.J. Oshie (74) and teammates congratulate goalie Martin Brodeur (30) after the Blues beat the New York Islanders 6-4 in an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Martin Brodeur wasn’t planning to be in net for the St. Louis Blues net on Saturday.

But after they fell behind the Islanders 3-0, the goaltender with the most victories in league history entered in relief and his new team rallied to win 6-4.

Paul Stastny scored twice – including the go-ahead goal in the third period – and Brodeur had his first win in a St. Louis uniform after 688 victories with the New Jersey Devils.

Stastny’s second goal of the game and his fifth of the season at 13:26 of the third snapped a 4-4 tie and gave the Blues their first lead. St. Louis fell behind by three goals in the first period, then replaced starter Jake Allen with Brodeur to start the second.

“It changed momentum to put me in there. It worked out well,” Brodeur said. “When it was 3-3, I said `Here we go. It’s my game now.’”

Brodeur made 14 saves for career win No. 689 and his 52nd against the Islanders, the most for the 42-year-old goaltender against any team. Brodeur stopped Brock Nelson and Anders Lee in front early in the third and was hardly tested late.

“I felt pretty good. I’m not a guy that is used to come from the bench. I’ve got to get used to it, I think,” Brodeur added. “I’m happy with the performance. I made some solid saves in the third to keep the game tied up and we scored some big goals after that.”

Tavares scored against Brodeur to put the Islanders ahead 4-3 with 54 seconds left in the middle period. But TJ Oshie of the Blues tied the game 4:51 into the third with a power-play goal.

Vladimir Tarasenko sealed the win with his 17th goal at 17:32 of the third as the Blues improved to 17-8-2 and ended a two-game losing streak.

“We felt that if we kept fighting we’d be able to grasp this hockey game,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We’re hard to play against when we play our game.”

Tavares’ 11th goal at 19:06 on the power play salvaged a sloppy second period for the Islanders, who came in ahead 3-0, but allowed the Blues to score three times to tie the game.

After Frans Nielsen, Ryan Strome and Michael Grabner scored in the first, the Blues turned to Brodeur, who signed with St. Louis last Tuesday after playing his entire career with the Devils.

“It’s not like it’s a new building for me. I’ve played enough games here,” Brodeur said of Nassau Coliseum, which the Islanders will leave after this season for Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. “It’s kind of nice that I was able to get in there and play in the final year of this building.”

The Islanders had their three-game winning streak snapped and lost for only the third time in their past 16 games.

“It was a lack of focus and attention to detail,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. “We have to trust ourselves that we can do better.”

Nielsen opened the scoring at 7:57 of the first on the power play. He picked up a rebound in front of Allen and slid it into the net with assists to Nelson and Kyle Okposo for his sixth goal of the season.

Strome added his sixth goal unassisted at 18:01 after intercepting a clearing attempt by Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk at the blue line.

Grabner – who missed the first 25 games recovering from a sports hernia – then scored his first goal in his second game back at 19:39 and Islanders cruised into the second with a 3-0 lead.

After Brodeur skated to the Blues crease and was greeted by the “Marty, Marty” chants, the Blues went to work against Jaroslav Halak, who played three-plus seasons for St. Louis and beat the Islanders twice last season.

Halak had his team-record 11-game winning streak snapped to fall to 14-5-0. The six goals were the most he’d given up this season.

Stastny scored on the power play at 2:36 of the second before Patrik Berglund deflected a Chris Butler slap shot at 4:28 to make it 3-2.

Shattenkirk, who also had two assists, tied it with a power-play shot from the point at 12:34 and suddenly Brodeur became the goaltender of record.

“He’s one of those guys who when you look back on his career he has all these special moments,” Shattenkirk said of his new teammate. “Fortunately a situation like this seems to be one of those, too, for our end.”

Center Joakim Lindstrom also had three assists for the Blues.

Brodeur, the three-time Stanley Cup winner and all-time NHL wins leader, made his first start with St. Louis on Thursday, losing at Nashville 4-3.

Allen has allowed seven goals in four periods since Brodeur joined the team to replace the injured Brian Elliott.

Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson left the game at 7:15 of the second after a hit by Islanders forward Lee, who wasn’t penalized on the play.

The teams meet again in St. Louis next Thursday.