Cross County's Veasley brothers proved too much for Buffalo Island Central as the Thunderbirds eliminated the Mustangs 54-51 in the quarterfinals of the 2A-3 District Tournament Wednesday night at Caraway.
Cross County jumped to a 17-11 lead after the first quarter before BIC fought back and pulled to within 23-21 at the half. The two teams battled back and forth throughout the third period with Cross County taking a 36-35 edge entering the final frame, thanks to a 10-foot jumper from Jake Veasley with 1:35 left in the third quarter.
The game continued to see-saw back and forth throughout the fourth quarter and with 2:15 to go, BIC held a 48-47 edge on a Daniel Davis lay-in. The lead proved short-lived, when Blake Veasley stuck in an offensive rebound to give the Thunderbirds the lead for good, 49-48 at the 1:46 mark. The Veasley's scored Cross County's final five points, including three critical free throws in the final 13 seconds to seal the victory.
(Town Crier photo/Trent Fletcher)
Cross County connected on eight of nine foul shots and made four three pointers.
"Cross County is a very good team," said BIC Coach Garrett Eoff. "They are so athletic. You have to bring you're a game to the table. The Veasley brothers are excellent players. We had a great effort and I was proud of our kids. It was a fun game to coach. I knew it was going to be a battle from the start. Daniel Davis played a great game. He finds a way to get around the rim and get open inside. You have to give credit to Cross County," said Eoff.
The Mustangs began the tournament with a 53-49 victory over Maynard on Monday night. Jeremy Smith led BIC with 19 points, including four three pointers. Daniel Davis also hit double digits, scoring 10 points. James Tate, who was named to the All-Conference team, scored seven points, Ben Cole and Dilynn Strickland added six each while Brent Ray finished with five points. BIC hit 12-22 foul shots and nailed five three pointers.
Jeff Skudlark led Maynard with 11 points. The Tigers hit four three pointers and connected on 13-18 foul shots.
The two teams battled to a 12-12 tie after the opening period before BIC rallied to take a 31-24 advantage into the dressing room at the half. Maynard fought back to take a 40-39 edge entering the final frame.
BIC ends the season with a 15-19 record.