Mustangs nip Rebels 57-53
Buffalo Island Central produced the big plays when they needed them the most and came away with a hard fought 57-53 victory over archrival Riverside in a 2A-3 conference battle Friday night at the Mustang Athletic Complex.
With the score tied 48-48 with 2:22 left in the game, freshman Dillon Hargrove was fouled while attempting a shot under the basket. Riverside coach Buster Campbell protested the call in vain, and Hargrove went to the line sinking both free throws, giving the Mustangs the lead for good, 50-48.
A lay-up by Heath Hawkins at the 2:00 mark pushed the Mustang advantage to 52-48, but Riverside's Cody O'Guinn nailed a 17-footer to pull the Rebels to within 52-50 at the 1:41 mark. BIC quickly answered when Blake Wheeler slashed his way for a lay-up, was fouled and completed the three point play, giving the Mustangs a 55-50 lead with 1:23 remaining.
Riverside fought back, scoring the game's next three points, and pulled to within 55-53 on an inside bucket by junior Blake Hogan with 39 seconds left. The Rebels were forced to foul, sending Wheeler to the line to shoot the double bonus with 24 seconds left. The junior transfer from Manila calmly sank both free throws, putting BIC ahead 57-53.
Riverside tried to answer, but a smothering Mustang defense held the Rebels without a shot attempt and Riverside was forced to call a timeout with only four seconds left. Riverside inbounded the ball coming out the timeout, but failed to score as the Mustangs held on to improve to 19-7 overall and 6-1 in league play.
"I've been part of this rivalry for two years now, and it's just part of the game," said BIC coach Dion Hargrove. "It was real physical, the fans were involved. We just got very fortunate tonight. Both teams were in foul trouble. We made some plays toward the end of the game to get up by two possessions where a three wouldn't beat us. We played great defense in the last few seconds of the game. It was probably our best defensive stand of the year. We held them without a shot and forced them to call a timeout, which ate up most of the clock. We were very fortunate to beat them. They got us over at their place by one and this was the same type of game. We just happened to come out on top this time."
"We won the first one by one, they win this one by four, it was ugly basketball in both games," said Campbell. "I don't know if it's just the way we play each other or what. We made some crucial mistakes at crucial times. BIC made the plays when they had to and were able to come out on top. We are just going to have to get better. I don't think anyone will want to play us in the district tournament, but if we don't get our ship righted, it will be tough going for us. We will have to fight our way through the district tournament."
BIC took a 9-7 lead after the first quarter but Riverside rallied in the second period to take a 24-23 edge into the dressing room at the half. BIC battled back in the third quarter behind Kam Ashabranner's 10 points, building a 39-34 lead before settling for a 40-37 advantage entering the final frame.
Wheeler led the Mustangs with 18 points followed closely by Ashabranner's 17 point performance. Hargrove scored 10 of his 14 points in the final period. Brandon Atkeison tallied five while Hawkins added three to round out the BIC scoring.
Tyler Warhurst led Riverside with 15 points while O'Guinn tallied 14 more. Jake Love scored eight, Hogan netted five, Dewayne Schrader and Sam Elam came off the bench to score four points apiece while Josh Anderson added three. The loss dropped the Rebels to 12-11 overall and 3-4 in conference play.
Riverside posted a 76-30 victory over Cross County Tuesday night at Lake City. Tyler Warhurst led the Rebels with 14 points while Jake Love and Blake Hogan added 11 points apiece. Riverside outscored the Thunderbirds 33-7 in the second quarter to blow the game open. The Rebels won the junior game 62-39 behind Cole Winford's 19 points.
In junior high action, Riverside came from behind to post a 45-38 victory over the Mustangs. Morgan Fletcher led the Rebels with 18 points while Cole Winford added 15. Logan Meurer scored six, Alteeno Sain tallied four while Mitchell Staggs pitched in two. The Rebels improved to 17-5 on the year.
Wes Colbert led the Mustangs with 11 points. Mark Stone scored seven, Josh McCormick and James Tate tallied six points apiece while Daniel Davis and Blake Carr added four points apiece.
Riverside will return to action Tuesday night when they host Turrell at Lake City. The Rebels will close the week with another conference tilt at Marmaduke.
BIC will return to action Tuesday night when they travel to Marmaduke. The Mustangs will visit Turrell Thursday night before closing the week at the Mustang Athletic Complex against Crowley's Ridge Academy.