When the Buffalo Island Central Lady Mustangs and the Piggott Lady Mohawks get together, the fans in attendance can expect to stay in their seats until the final buzzer. Monday night's game at the Monette Athletic Complex was no exception as the Lady Mohawks pulled out a hard fought 55-48 win.
The Lady Mustangs had dealt Piggott a heartbreaking double overtime loss in the Mohawks' first conference game of the season, but this time Piggott would not be denied as Lauren Hickson poured in 27 points to give the Mohawks their first conference win of the year.
Piggott (6-4, 1-3) dominated the boards and hit 16-21 free throws to give the Lady Mustangs their first conference loss of the season and tighten things up in the league race.
BIC grabbed a 14-9 first quarter advantage behind the strong inside play of Ashley Tate who scored six first quarter points. Hickson also tallied six points in the first quarter as the two post players battled it out in the paint. Jessica Shepard nailed a three pointer late in the quarter, was fouled, and completed the four point play when she dropped in the free throw to put BIC in front.
Piggott outscored BIC 17-7 in the second quarter as Hickson and point guard Ashley Coleman combined for 14 of the Mohawks 17 points to give Piggott a 26-21 halftime advantage.
Shepard started the second half by hitting back to back three pointers to give BIC a 27-26 lead with 5:52 left in the third quarter. Courtney Toombs put Piggott back on top 28-27 with an inside bucket and the Mohawks never trailed again. Hickson then scored six straight points and Toombs finished off a 12-0 Mohawk run with a 12-foot baseline jumper as Piggott grabbed a 36-27 lead with 3:02 to go in the period.
BIC charged right back with an 8-0 run of their own to close out the third quarter and cut the Piggott lead to 40-37 entering the final frame. Shepard and senior guard Nan Lee Bridges combined for four straight free throws to tie the game at 41-41 with 5:48 left in the game. But it was Hickson again who came through for the Mohawks when she hit a five foot jumper and was fouled. Hickson's free throw gave Piggott a 44-41 lead at the 5:37 mark.
Piggott upped their lead to five when Erica Rickman swished both ends of a one and one to give Piggott a 46-41 advantage. Tate brought BIC back to within three, 46-43, at the 4:43 mark, before Hickson came back with a strong move for an inside bucket to push the Mohawk lead back to five, 48-43, with 4:25 left.
The Lady Mohawks increased their lead to 50-43 on a Rickman basket and held a 52-45 advantage with 1:07 left when Hickson scored again from the inside.
Tate tried the bring the Mustangs back when she launched a long three from the top of the key to make the score 52-48 with 42.8 seconds left, but Coleman hit three free throws down the stretch and the Mohawks held BIC scoreless the rest of the way to cap off the victory.
Bridges and Tate joined Shepard in double figures with 13 points apiece for the Mustangs while Kasey Garrett added two. BIC shot 12-15 from the free throw line and hit four three pointers on the night.
Joining Hickson in double figures for the Lady Mohawks was Coleman with 11 points while Rickman scored nine. Toombs pitched in eight points while Jordan Coomer added two.
"You have to give Piggott a lot of credit tonight for coming into our place and winning," said BIC Coach Mike Kinard. "They have been struggling early this season and came in here 0-3 in conference play and they are certainly not an 0-3 team. We didn't make the plays and they did. All the credit goes to them for coming in here and being tough. We made a couple of runs on them but just couldn't get over the hump. They (Piggott) were tough enough to battle back and not let it get them down. They beat us on the boards both on the offensive end and the defensive end, and that was a big key in the game."
"Both teams are just about evenly matched," said Piggott Coach Jeff Priest. "The first game we played them was double overtime and they (BIC) hit some big shots and we failed to make our free throws down the stretch. This time we made our free throws and were able to finish the game. We knew coming in that Shepard was going to get her points so our strategy was to hold down their other four players, especially Nan Lee Bridges, and I think it paid off. We were able to beat them on the boards tonight and that was another key."
In junior high action, Piggott downed BIC 42-27. Hillary French scored 10 points while Sara Cooper added nine more to lead the Mohawks to the win. The Lady Mohawks were 3-9 from the free throw line and hit one trey on the night.
Piggott led 11-7 after the first period and 22-13 at the half. The Lady Mohawks increased their lead to 38-23 after three quarters.
BIC was led by Corie Flannigan and Jordan Miller who scored nine and eight points respectively. Harley Damron tossed in four points, while Whitlee Rolland, Brittani Wilson and Jenna Pike all tallied two points each. BIC was 0-1 from the charity stripe and hit one three pointer.