BIC defeats CRA in Conference opener
By TRENT FLETCHER
Town Crier Sports Staff
Buffalo Island Central took advantage of an ice cold shooting night by Valley View to spoil the Lady Blazer's season opener, coming away with a 47-34 non-conference road victory Thursday night in Jonesboro.
The Lady Mustangs bolted to a 6-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game and never looked back to run their record to 6-1 on the season.
BIC stretched their lead to 13-6 at the end of the first period, but watched the Lady Blazers fight back to cut the lead to five, 17-12, at the 5:52 mark of the second quarter. The Lady Mustangs stopped the Blazer spurt when Jessica Shepard drove the lane for one basket and added a couple of free throws to push the lead to nine, 21-12. Junior forward Sammi Fowler banked home a five foot jumper from the lane to give BIC a double digit lead, 23-13, before Valley View's Madison Teague scored from inside the paint to make the score 23-15 at the half.
The Lady Mustangs built their lead to 31-19 when Fowler connected on a 10-foot jumper with 3:06 left in the third period, and when Shepard nailed a trey at the buzzer BIC held its largest lead of the night, 38-23, entering the final quarter.
The Lady Blazers made one last charge and pulled to within 41-32 on an offensive stick-back by 5'11" junior Morgan Sills, but that was as close as Valley View would get.
"I think we played real well defensively and had a lot of effort," said Valley View Coach Trey Harding. "It's our first game and we have a bunch of kids just coming back from volleyball and we've only had two or three days of practice. We just haven't had much time to work on our shooting and that's where we struggled tonight. As far as effort and rebounding, I think we played real well tonight. We had a chance to pull within four early in the second half, but couldn't convert, and BIC went on an 8-2 run to gain the momentum back."
"It was a win," said BIC Coach Stan Fowler. "We didn't execute like I would have liked but their defense had a lot of do with that. We didn't shoot well but that's going to happen sometimes. I am proud that even though we did have an off night we still came up with a win. We gave up too many offensive boards and we missed Ashley Tate's rebounding. Ashley was forced to miss the game because of dental surgery. We had a group effort defensively and did a good job on their outside shooters. We just had a poor night shooting but I am happy to get the win."
Shepard led BIC with 17 points while Kasey Garrett also finished in double figures with 11. Fowler had nine points and nine rebounds while Lauryn Smith scored six points. Tiffany Parker and Haley Smith added two points apiece. BIC had an off night at the foul line, hitting just 11-20 free throws, while finishing with two three pointers.
Megan Sharp was the only Lady Blazer in double figures with 10 points. Valley View was 9-16 from the foul stripe and failed to make a trey.
In the junior high contest, Valley View rolled to a 54-23 win behind Amy Philamee's 25 points. BIC was led by Whitley Roland who scored five points while Jamie Harris added four. Shelby Qualls, Ashley Jines, Kalee James, Karla Marroquin, Rhonda Garrett, Katelyn Pittman, and Taylor Owens all scored two points apiece.
Valley View led 12-11 after the first quarter and outscored BIC 23-2 in the second period in taking a 35-13 lead into the dressing room at the half. Valley View led 46-19 entering the final quarter.
The Lady Mustangs opened their conference season Friday night at Paragould and rolled to an 86-68 win over Crowley's Ridge Academy behind Jessica Shepard's 27 points.
Kasey Garrett scored 18 points while Sammi Fowler recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
BIC (7-1, 1-0) grabbed a 23-11 first quarter lead and built a 49-31 halftime advantage. The Lady Mustangs put the game away in the third period, outscoring the Lady Falcons 25-16 in taking a 74-47 lead into the fourth quarter.
In junior high action, BIC picked up their first win of the season with a 33-18 victory over CRA.
The Lady Mustangs will return to action Friday night when they host Bay in a 3AA conference match-up. The Junior High Lady Mustangs will participate in the Corning Junior Tournament Monday-Saturday.