Brooks Taylor poured in 35 points, including a perfect 12-12 performance from the free throw line, and the Buffalo Island Central Mustangs built an early lead and held on for a 88-77 first round victory in the Region 4 Tournament Wednesday at Earle.
The Mustangs, who improved to 30-4 on the year, held a slim 18-17 first period lead before outscoring the Indians 30-12 in the second quarter to bolt to a 48-29 halftime advantage. Marked Tree battled back in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 65-50 heading into the final frame. The Mustangs went 12-13 from the line in the final quarter and held off the pesky Indians to advance to Friday night's semi-final showdown with arch-rival Riverside.
Derek Rolland pumped in 18 points while Hunter Smith also hit double digits, scoring 15 more. Eric Wallace and Garrett Qualls both scored seven points, Cord Rose netted four, while Trevor Matheny added two points to round out the Mustang attack.
Marked Tree placed three players in double figures, led by Robert Tyree, who scored 26 points. Jonathan Addison and Tyrone Doggett added 16 and 13 points respectively for the Indians, who saw their season come to an end.
The Mustangs finished an impressive 19-24 from the free throw line and hit five three pointers while Marked Tree managed only a 15-24 performance from the line while connecting on four treys.