Lady Mustangs advance to semifinals of NEA Tourney
Buffalo Island Central galloped into the semifinals of the 65th Annual Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament with victories over Rector and Rivercrest last week.
The Lady Mustangs fought off a determined Rector team, 63-57, Wednesday night, before running past Rivercrest 78-69 Saturday night.
Freshman sensation Brittany Fowler scorched the nets for 28 points in BIC's first round win over Rector before Holly Dempsey and Jenna Pike combined for 48 points in the Lady Mustang's quarterfinal victory over the Lady Colts.
Rector hung close to BIC throughout the game, pulling to within 55-53 with just 2:49 remaining in the contest. But the Lady Mustangs never relinquished the lead, and hung on for the win. Jenna Pike drove the lane for a lay-up at the 2:18 mark to push the lead to 57-53. BIC sank six of eight charity tosses in the last 1:34 of the game to hold off the Lady Cougars and secure the win.
Pike also hit double digits for BIC, scoring 15 points, while Shelby Qualls pitched in nine. Taylor Owens scored four, Whitlee Rolland and Holly Dempsey added three points apiece while Hayley Parker added one.
Sophomore Allison Duncan led Rector with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Chelsea Drope scored 16 points. Rhoda Classen added 11 points and nine rebounds.
In BIC's victory over Rivercrest, Holly Dempsey sparked the Lady Mustangs, drilling three consecutive treys to close the first quarter and rally BIC from a nine point deficit, tying the game 20-20 entering the second period.
Dempsey, who scored 14 of her 22 points in the first half, teamed with Pike, who led all scorers with 26 points, to give the Lady Mustangs a 43-37 advantage at the half.
Rivercrest rallied in the third period to tie the score 53-53 entering the final frame. The Lady Mustangs opened the fourth quarter with a 13-1 run, including nine points from Pike. Rivercrest rallied once more with a 9-0 run of their own, but Dempsey answered with a pair of buckets, and the Mustangs built their lead to 74-65 and coasted home for the win.
Aleta Cannon recorded a double-double, scoring 25 points while pulling down 12 rebounds to lead the Lady Colts. Tyeshabyrd added 16 points while Savannah Graham contributed 14 points.
Brittany Fowler also hit for double figures, scoring 14 points while pulling down eight boards for BIC.
The Lady Mustangs take on top seeded Cave City in the semifinals Monday afternoon at 1:30.