Buffalo Island Central's Lady Mustangs galloped to an early lead and then rode the hot shooting of senior guard Nan Lee Bridges en route to a 63-37 stampede over the Manila Lady Lions Monday night at Manila.
The Lady Mustangs used a tenacious half court defense, forcing Manila into several early turnovers as BIC built a 16-5 advantage by the end of the first period. Bridges, who finished with a game high 24 points, scored several key baskets during the early Mustang spurt.
The Mustangs blew the game open in the second quarter, outscoring Manila 21-9 to take a 37-14 lead into the dressing room at halftime. BIC increased their lead to 53-26 entering the final frame.
"We played very well tonight," said BIC Coach Mike Kinard. "We executed our offense very well and I thought we really played well on both ends of the court. I was real pleased with the effort we gave tonight. It was an all around great team effort. Manila got off to a slow start, which enabled us to build a big lead after the first quarter. Our half court defense caused several Manila turnovers.
"Nan Lee Bridges worked real hard to get open and the whole team seemed to be looking for her. She seemed to always be in the right place at the right time tonight. It was a big game by Nan Lee. I also thought Ashley Tate did a great job on the glass and made some good passes," concluded Kinard, whose team improved to 10-0 overall for the season.
Kasey Garrett also hit double figures for the Lady Mustangs with 12 points. Ashley Tate finished with eight, Stephanie Baldridge pitched in five, Jessica Shepard scored four, Chelsea Nix netted two while Katie Olive and Breanna Cole added one point each. BIC finished 8-11 from the foul line and hit one three pointer on the night.
Manila was led by Michelle Daniel who scored nine points and Rachel Cheadle who added eight points. Katie Veach and Kari Rameriz scored six points apiece. Heather Dozhier tallied five points, Rocio Bedolla netted two while Amy Browning pitched in one point for the Lady Lions, who dropped to 3-8 on the season. Manila shot 7-11 from the foul stripe and hit a pair of treys.
In junior high action, Manila rolled to a 47-3 route over the Mustangs. Kimberly Wise led the onslaught with 20 points, while Kelce Misner added 10 more. Savannah Jones netted six points while Colleen Kemp and Jonna Dodd netted three points each. Rebekah White and Megan Presson tallied two points apiece and Kristen Painter added one point to round out the Lady Lion attack.
Brittany Wilson scored two points while Ashley Jines added one for the Lady Mustangs.
Both teams will return to action in the Gerald Jennings Holiday Tournament at Marked Tree.
The Senior High Lady Lions will enter the tournament as the number five seed and will play fourth seeded Paragould Tuesday afternoon at 5:15. BIC, the number two seed, will play seventh seeded Marked Tree in an 8:15 Tuesday night tip-off.
In the junior high division, number eight seeded BIC will play ninth seeded Armorel Tuesday afternoon at 4:00. Top seeded Manila will play the winner of the BIC-Armorel game at 6:00 Wednesday.