Town Crier Sports Staff
Buffalo Island Central began defense of their Class AA State Championship by building a 19 point first half lead over Delight, only to watch the Bulldogs stage an improbable second half rally as they knocked off the Mustangs 74-71 Thursday night in the Joe V. Jones Tipoff Classic at Monette.
Trailing 41-22 at the half, the Bulldogs used a 24-8 third quarter to pull within 49-46 entering the final period. Garrett Qualls, who led all scorers with 34 points, hit a pair of free throws after a Jordan Phillips lay-up to push the Mustangs back up by seven, 53-46, with 7:04 left in the game. But the Bulldogs went on a 13-5 run to take a 59-58 lead when Delight's Lamar Jones drove the lane for two of his team high 23 points. Qualls put BIC back up by one with a lay-up of his own, and after Jones drilled a 17 foot jumper to give the Bulldogs a 61-60 lead, Qualls gave BIC their last lead of the night with a pair of free throws, making the score 62-61 with 3:24 left in the game.
Jones then nailed a long three pointer to give Delight the lead for good, 64-62, with 2:44 remaining in the game. After a pair of Jones free throws at the 1:52 mark gave Delight a four point lead, 66-62, BIC's Trevor Matheny hit a running five foot jumper, drawing Jones fifth foul of the game with 1:33 left. Matheny's free throw completed the three point play and pulled the Mustangs to 66-65.
Jimmy Cox hit both ends of a one and one at the 1:05 mark to put the Bulldogs back up 68-65, and then hit 1-2 charity tosses with 44 seconds to play to give Delight a 69-65 lead. Matheny pulled the Mustangs to 69-67 when he stuck in a Qualls miss with 33 seconds left, but BIC could get no closer as the Bulldogs hit 5-8 free throws down the stretch to put the game away.
Terry Roach added 14 points while Matheny finished with 11. Phillips scored eight and Lance Davis added four. BIC finished 17-25 from the free throw line and hit four three pointers on the night.
Joining Jones in double figures for Delight were Aaron Burnett with 15 points while Leon Smith III and Cox both finished with 14 points. Delight hit 12-22 free throws and nailed eight three pointers on the night.
BIC bounced back Saturday night to even their record at 1-1 with a 66-52 victory over Manila as Matheny nailed five three pointers on his way to a 20 point performance. Terry Roach pumped in 18 points while Lance Davis scored 13 to aid the Mustang cause. BIC led 19-12 after the first quarter and 38-26 at the half.
Manila (1-1) was led by Devin Wright who scored 16 points. Trey McCormick and Austin Metheny also hit for double figures with 11 and 10 points respectively.