Lady Mustangs complete remarkable season
Win junior District title with 42-38 win over EPC
By TRENT FLETCHER
Buffalo Island Central overcame an early deficit to claim a hard fought 42-38 victory over East Poinsett County Thursday night in the finals of the 2A-3 Junior Girls District Tournament at Caraway.
The Lady Mustangs, who finished as runner-up last season, took home the top prize this year with the help of a tenacious full-court defense that forced EPC into 23 turnovers on the evening.
"I am really proud of our girls," said BIC coach Stan Fowler. "They have had an outstanding season. To win 31 games is very special. They have worked very hard and the key to this team is there is no jealousy. Everybody plays as a team. They are a great group of girls to work with. I couldn't be more proud of them. I thought our press was a key because EPC is so big that we had to force turnovers for scoring opportunities. Coach (Bobby) Lewallen does a great job and EPC has a very good basketball team."
EPC took a 10-5 lead after Terrina Madden popped a three pointer at the 1:23 mark of the opening quarter, but BIC came right back with a bucket from Cassidy Qualls and a steal and lay-up by Brittany Fowler. Demi Hargrove's floating jumper with three seconds to go in the period put BIC ahead 11-10, and the Lady Mustangs would never trail again.
The BIC press started taking effect in earnest in the second quarter, when the Lady Mustangs scored after three consecutive steals to go up 21-16 with 1:51 left in the half. An offensive stick-back by Brittany Stockton pushed the BIC lead to seven before the Lady Warriors rallied to close the gap to 23-19 by halftime.
EPC began the third quarter when Whitney Ball drilled a three pointer, cutting the BIC lead to 23-22, but that was as close as the Lady Warriors would get the rest of the way. BIC outscored EPC 9-3 to end the third quarter, putting the Lady Mustangs ahead 32-25.
A Hayley Parker lay-up off another Warrior turnover and a 12-foot jumper by Hargrove increased the BIC lead to 38-26 with 3:36 remaining.
EPC scored the last six points of the game, but it was too little, too late, with the Lady Mustangs hoisting the championship trophy in the end.
Fowler led BIC with 15 points while Hargrove added 13 more. Stockton and Kaylee Greathouse scored four points apiece while Parker, Qualls and Emily Owens added two points each.
Terrina Madden and Brittany Ball led EPC with nine points apiece. Whitney Ball scored seven, Denisha Madden tallied six, Teria Young netted four while Alica Ross pitched in three points to round out the Lady Warrior scoring. EPC hurt themselves at the foul line, hitting just 4-16 attempts. The Lady Warriors finished with four treys on the night.
BIC, who finished the season 31-1, advanced to the finals with a 48-30 victory over Marked Tree on Tuesday afternoon.
Fowler paced the Lady Mustangs with 18 points while Hargrove added 11 more. Parker netted seven, Greathouse and Qualls tallied four points apiece while Owens and Stockton added two points each.
BIC led 15-9 after the first period, 23-17 at the half, and put the game away, outscoring Marked Tree 16-8 in the third period, to take a 39-25 lead into the final frame.
Alytrius Perry led Marked Tree with 18 points.