The Buffalo Island Central trio of Brandon Ballard, Brooks Taylor and Josh Nettles combined for 62 points and 12 three pointes as the Mustangs remained unbeaten on the season with a hard fought 67-59 victory over arch rival Riverside. The game was played Tuesday night before a packed house at Caraway.
The BIC trio served notice early against the Riverside zone defense by pumping in six three pointers in the first quarter and nine by halftime as the Mustangs clung to a one point lead, 35-34, at intermission.
Riverside hung close behind the superb play of sophomore Jordan Adcock, who scored 16 of his team high 20 points in the first half.
After building a 20-13 lead after the first quarter, Adcock opened the second quarter with a three point play before BIC pushed their lead back to 23-16. Senior guard Zac Reynolds then followed with a long three pointer and was fouled, made the free shot to complete the four point play and suddenly the Rebels were within three, 23-20 with 6:54 left in the half.
After an offensive put-back by the Mustangs' Ballard gave BIC a 28-22 lead, Rebel M.J. Emery scored and was fouled. Emery completed the three point play, pulling the Rebels to 28-25 with 6:03 left in the half.
Zac Ridge then put in an offensive board for two points to make the score 28-27 at the 4:45 mark. The Mustangs then went on a 7-0 run, capped off by a Taylor trey at the 2:00 mark, before the Rebels closed with a 7-0 run of their own to pull within one at the half.
Riverside got its only lead of the second half when Adcock scored on an offensive rebound with 7:37 left in the third period, but the Mustangs' Ballard answered with a driving layup to put BIC up for good, 37-36, with 7:31 left in the third quarter.
The Mustangs looked as though they would blow the game open when they opened up a 10 point lead, 51-41, at the 3:35 mark of the third quarter. But the Rebels wouldn't quit, and rallied with an 11-3 run to close the gap at 54-52 entering the final period.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Mustangs, as Taylor scored the first six points of the period, while Riverside went cold from the field and with 4:25 left BIC held a 60-52 lead.
Riverside had one more run left, as Emery hit back to back threes, the last coming with 2:17 left in the game to pull the Rebels within four, 62-58. After a BIC miss, the Rebels had a chance to pull even closer, but a costly turnover game the ball back to the Mustangs and the Rebels were forced to foul, sending Taylor and Ballard to the line, where they finished off the game.
"We got away from our game plan in the fourth quarter," Riverside Coach Buster Campbell said. "We shot six three pointers and only two twos in the final quarter. It was poor shot selection on our part. We played well, but we can get better. They (BIC) got too many looks in the first half. The first half was like a game of horse for them. They had too many wide open shots. We adjusted at halftime and did a much better job defending the three in the second half. I thought Adcock (Jordan) was tremendous tonight. We didn't get Ridge (Zach) the ball enough in the fourth quarter, which hurt us. It was a good ball game and a great crowd. We've got ourselves in a hole right now being 1-3 in conference, but we will be a factor before the season is over. Right now, we play one good game and one bad game. We have to find a way to get some consistency and we will be alright."
"This was a tough win," Mustang Coach Bill Taylor said. "Coach Campbell, as he always does, had his team ready to play. We are so lucky to get out of here with a win. I didn't think we played very smart tonight. We wanted to win badly, but we didn't play very smart. We made a lot of silly mistakes, and as everyone could see, we had poor shot selection. But we found a way to win despite all that. Adcock really hurt us in the first half, but we made some adjustmnets. He is a terific player. He just wore us out in the first half. He was the best player in junior high last year, and will only get better. We talked in practice about him being a top level player. I thought Josh Nettles was huge for us tonight. At this point we are glad to be 11-0 and 5-0 in the league. This was also our 35th straight conference win, which we are very proud of."
Joining Adcock in double figures for the Rebels was Emery, who came off the bench to score 16, while Ridge added 12 points and nine rebounds. Adcock was also strong on the boards with 12 rebounds. Reynolds finished with nine points and five assists, while Brandon Davis chipped in with two points. Tyler Timms led Riverside in assists with six. With the loss, Riverside falls to 6-4 overall, and 1-3 in 3AA North conference play.
BIC was led by Ballard's 25 points, including four three pointers. Taylor had 22 points with three treys, while Nettles scored 15, all on three pointers. Cord Rose and Derek Rolland scored two and one points, respectively.
Riverside shot 9-18 at the free throw line, while hitting on eight three pointers, while BIC was 11-17 at the line and nailed 12 shots from beyond the arc.
In junior high action, BIC shocked Riverside with a stunning 45-39 upset, ending the Rebels' 37 game winning streak.
Jordan Griggs was a one man wrecking crew, scoring 28 points to lead the junior Ponies. Shane Barnes had seven, Trevor Metheny scored five, while Nathan Perrin and Cody Smith chipped in three and two points respectively. The Mustangs were 8-11 at the charity stripe and hit five treys on the night.
Riverside was led by Glenn Graham's 10 points, while Casey Hook and Travis Mays scored eight points each. Cody Richardson added seven, Garrett Weaver netted four and Bradley Tucker came off the bench to chip in two. Riverside was only 2-6 at the free throw line and hit three treys on the night.
Riverside will return to action Tuesday night, as they open defense of their Williams Baptist College Tournament championship at Walnut Ridge. The number one seeded Rebels will play at 8:30 against the winner of Monday's game between eighth seeded Swifton and ninth seeded Black Rock. If the Rebels advance past the first round, they will play a semi-final game Friday at 8:30.