Taylor's 24 leads Mustangs to tourney title

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The Mustangs looked to seek redemption after suffering their only loss of the season at the hands of the AAAAA Jonesboro Hurricane last Saturday night in the finals of the KFC/Taco Bell/Pepsi Classic. They did just that Tuesday night at Beebe handily beating the AAAA Badgers by a score of 71-37.

The Mustangs led 20-7 after the first quarter, 40-21 at the half, 58-35 after three, and then tightened up the defense to allow only two points in the fourth on their way to the victory.

"We shared the ball great tonight," said BIC coach Bill Taylor, "We wanted to bounce back from the loss to JHS and we did that beating this athletic team in their gym. It was a really good win for us."

The Mustangs, who were once again on fire from the three point line nailing 12 of their 18 attempts, were led by Brooks Taylor's 22 points. Taylor was followed by Brandon Ballard who was perfect from deep, hitting all six of his three point shots and finishing with 21 points. Mark Hawkins chipped in 15, Cord Rose and Mark Teguns each had 4, L.B. Cole added 3, and Josh Nettles 2 for the 14-1 Mustangs.

The Mustangs were back in action Thursday night in the second round of the Jerald Jennings Holiday Tournament at Manila taking on the Marked Tree Indians.

The Indians, led by Brad Jones' 33 points, came to play. They trailed 18-11 after the first quarter and then tied the score at 35 going into the half. They outscored the Mustangs 9-8 in the third to take a 54-53 lead but the Mustangs regrouped and scored 23 points in the fourth while allowing only 10 to win the game 76-64.

"We showed great composure tonight down the stretch," said BIC coach Bill Taylor, "we executed really well in the fourth quarter to take control of the game."

Brandon Ballard paced the Mustangs with 27 points followed by Brooks Taylor who had 22. Josh Nettles added 10, Mark Hawkins 8, Josh Shepard 7, and Mark Teguns 2 for the 15-1 Mustangs. With the victory over Marked Tree, the Mustangs advance to the finals to face the Gosnell Pirates Saturday night.

The Buffalo Island Central Mustangs, for the second time in a week, found themselves in the finals of a tournament that has eluded them in the past year. Last Saturday, it was at the Pepsi/KFC/Taco Bell Classic against JHS. This Saturday it was against the Gosnell Pirates led by 6'9" senior Jeremy Parnell, who has already signed to play for the SEC's Ole Miss rebels.

The Mustangs lost in the finals of this tournament a year ago to EPC by one point. They weren't about to let this happen to them again. The Mustangs showed great composure and took control of this game early on. They executed really well on both ends of the court, shooting the ball good, executing on offense, and containing Jeremy Parnell in the post holding him to 19 points. Mark Teguns, Josh Nettles, and Brett Sexton were alternated into the game to guard Parnell and did an outstanding job battling with the big man. They kept a body on him all night and were able to take him out of his game.

Bill Taylor, BIC head coach, had this to say about the game, "We lost by one last year and really wanted to come back and win this one. We shot the ball really well and played excellent defense on a team who has an SEC player and were able to come in here and win the tournament."

The Mustangs, who won by a score of 78-60, were led in scoring by Brooks Taylor's 24 points. Mark Hawkins was right behind by hitting seven three pointers finishing with 21, Brandon Ballard added 11, Josh Shepard and Mark Teguns had 6 each, Josh Nettles had 4, Josh Nettles added 4, Cord Rose and Derek Rolland added 2 each, and Kenny Garrett and Brett Sexton finished with 1.

BIC (16-1) will be back in action Dec. 18, at Manila.

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