Town Crier Sports Staff
Buffalo Island Central point guard Kasey Garrett scored the last five points of the first quarter to break a 12-12 tie and the Lady Mustangs never looked back as they rolled to a 66-54 victory over arch-rival Riverside Tuesday night in 2A-3 Conference action at Monette.
The two teams battled on even terms through most of the opening period until Garrett banked home a seven foot jumper at the 1:04 mark to give BIC a 14-12 lead. After a Riverside miss, Garrett nailed a 10-footer and was fouled with just 6.3 seconds to go in the quarter. Garrett's free throw completed the three point play and gave the Lady Mustangs a 17-12 advantage heading into the second quarter.
Riverside pulled to within three, 19-16, early in the second quarter on a short jumper by six foot senior center Marisa Johnson. But Jessica Shepard, who led all scorers with 21 points, ripped a three pointer that started an 11-0 BIC run, giving the Mustangs a 30-16 lead with 3:53 remaining in the first half. The Lady Mustangs stretched their lead to 41-25 at intermission as Shepard added two more just before the halftime buzzer.
The Lady Mustangs built their lead to 49-26 late in the third quarter but watched Riverside chip away at the lead to pull to within 51-36 after three quarters. The Lady Rebels continued their comeback by scoring the first seven points of the final frame to close to within single digits at 51-43 with 7:01 to go.
Tiffany Parker finally broke Riverside's 13-0 run with a backdoor lay-up at the 6:49 mark to push the lead back to 53-43. Shepard followed with a pair of free throws and when Sammi Fowler drove the lane for two the Lady Mustangs held a 14 point lead, 57-43, with 5:54 remaining and the Lady Rebels never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
"We had a long dry spell of missed three pointers and a lack of rebounding, and next thing you know, we went from two up to eight down," said Riverside Coach Greg Rainwater. "Buffalo Island Central killed us on the boards. They got four straight offensive stick-backs off of missed free throws. We didn't take care of business. We didn't do a good job of taking care of the little things. If you don't do the little things, Shepard and Fowler and the gang can really beat you in a hurry," concluded Rainwater.
"We packed in our defense with a one-three-one zone and were able to shut down their big girls," said BIC Coach Stan Fowler. "The zone gives people outside shots. You just hope they miss them. Riverside does an excellent job of exploiting their size. The only thing I was disappointed with was we didn't have the killer instinct in the second half when we got up 23 points. Riverside is just too good a team to relax on. We relaxed too much and they were able to get a lot of easy baskets and we got into some foul trouble as well. Coach Rainwater does a good job with his team, so this was a good win for us."
BIC (7-2, 3-0) was led by Shepard who scored 21 points to go along with six rebounds. Fowler had 15 points and seven boards while Garrett finished with 12 points. Lauryn Smith scored seven, Ashley Tate netted four points and pulled down 15 rebounds, Tiffany Parker tallied four points and Jordan Miller scored two. Chelsea Nix added one point to round out the Lady Mustang scoring. BIC finished the night 23-33 from the foul line, including a 9-11 performance in the fourth period.
Katey Campbell led Riverside with 14 points while Johnson finished with 13. Morgan Emery scored eight, Brianna Driver tallied seven, Kailey Holt contributed four, Kelsey Turner netted three, Katlin Brewer had two while Christy Ward added one point. Riverside (6-3, 2-1) finished 16-30 from the foul line.
In junior high action, Whitley Roland's three pointer with ten seconds left gave the Lady Mustangs a 30-29 win over Riverside. The Lady Rebels led through most of the game, holding a 6-5 lead after the first period and a 16-15 edge at halftime. Riverside took a 25-23 lead into the final quarter before Roland's heroics pulled out the win for the Mustangs.
Ashley Jines led BIC with 10 points while Roland finished with nine. Shelby Qualls scored six, Taylor Owens and Kalee James had two points apiece while Jamie Harris contributed one point and six rebounds. BIC was 3-4 from the foul line and hit one three pointer. The win pushes BIC's record to 4-5 overall and a perfect 3-0 in league play.
Michelle Cobb led Riverside with 11 points while Magan Wells scored seven. Ashley Calvert tallied four, Kyley Campbell netted three, while Taylor Boness and Beth Anne Snyder scored two points apiece. Riverside was 15-30 from the foul line and hit two three pointers, but had only four field goals in the game.
BIC will return to action Nov. 28 when they host Crowley's Ridge Academy in 2A-3 conference action.
Riverside will host the Gerald Jennings Holiday Tournament Nov. 27 through Dec. 2 at Lake City. The Lady Rebels enter the tournament as the number two seed and will play Crowley's Ridge Academy on Monday night at 8:30.