Lady Mustangs hold off Riverside 49-46 in conference opener
Buffalo Island Central connected on seven of eight free throws in the final quarter and held off arch-rival Riverside 49-46 in senior girls basketball action Monday night at Caraway.
Riverside freshman Lauren Weaver started the fourth quarter by draining a three pointer from the top of the key to tie the game at 40-40. The score remained even until BIC's Holly Dempsey sank a pair of free throws at the 4:44 mark, giving the Lady Mustangs a 42-40 lead.
A free throw by Jenna Pike gave BIC a three point lead with 2:56 remaining, but Riverside pulled to within one on a pair of charity tosses by Meagan Goza at the 2:01 mark. After a Riverside miss, BIC's Brittany Fowler misfired on a baseline jumper, but senior post Jamie Harris came up with the play of the game, sticking in a huge offensive rebound with 1:25 left in the game to give the Lady Mustangs a 45-42 advantage.
Riverside misfired once again on their next possession and was forced to foul, sending Fowler to the line. The freshman calmly sank both ends of the one and one, giving the Lady Mustangs a 47-42 cushion with only 56 seconds left in the game.
Riverside pulled to within three in the closing seconds, and had one last chance to send the game into overtime, but a desperation shot at the buzzer fell short, giving BIC the victory.
The game was tight throughout the first quarter until BIC went on a 7-0 run to take a 19-12 lead at the break. The Lady Mustangs led 29-24 at the half and took a 40-37 lead into the final frame.
Fowler scored 19 of her game high 21 points in the opening half to lead the Lady Mustangs in scoring. Dempsey also reached double digits with 13 points. Pike scored nine points while Harris and Taylor Owens pitched in two points apiece. Shelby Qualls and Whitlee Rolland scored one point each. BIC finished 12-17 from the foul line and made three treys on the night.
Weaver led Riverside with 15 points while Frayer tallied 12. Goza, who sat out much of the first half with foul trouble, finished with nine points. Michelle Cobb scored six while Ashley Calvert contributed four points. The Lady Rebels made 11-18 free throws and drained three treys on the night.
"With all the size that Riverside has, I was just proud my team was in it at the end," said BIC coach Stan Fowler. "We made some critical free throws down the stretch that put the game away. Jamie Harris made a big play for us toward the end of the game. It was a big win for us."
"We couldn't stop Fowler in the first half, and we also had some crucial turnovers that cost us," said Riverside coach Carrie Redman. "We made an adjustment at halftime, and did an excellent job on Fowler in the second half, but we missed too many free throws to win the game."
In junior high action, Riverside pulled out a 35-30 victory over the Lady Mustangs. The two teams battled to a 7-7 first quarter tie before Riverside took a 16-12 lead at the half. The Lady Rebels led 24-21 heading into the fourth quarter.
Kenzley Wilson led Riverside with 10 points while Emilee Manues added nine. Lindsey Bennett tallied six, Anna Brickell scored five, Jordan Miller netted four while Emily Jordan chipped in one point.
Cassidy Qualls, Kaylee Greathouse, Emily Owens, Katelyn Sparkman and Brittany Stockton all scored six points apiece for the Lady Mustangs.
Riverside also took the seventh grade game, winning a 22-21 thriller. Kaitlyn Hale led the Lady Rebels with 10 points while Bailey Davis netted eight. Natalie Milligan and Ashlyn Snyder added two points apiece.
Hannah Poe led BIC with six points. Bailey Owens scored five, Kelsey Strickland tallied four, Madison Greathouse netted three while Katie Lomax chipped in two points. Karoline Thomas added one point to round out the Mustang scoring attack.
Riverside will participate in the Gerald Jennings Holiday Tournament at Manila beginning Monday night while BIC will travel to Bradford to take part in the Bradford Tournament.