Injury riddled Lady Mustangs fall short in bid for state title
Buffalo Island Central's bid for its first girls state championship came to an end at the hands of Parkers Chapel 45-35 Saturday night at the Mustang Athletic Complex in Monette.
The Lady Mustangs found themselves in an early hole for the third straight game, but unlike the first two games against Spring Hill and Mountainburg, in which BIC came from behind to win, the Lady Mustangs could not find a way to pull victory from the jaws of defeat against the Lady Trojans.
Kaylee Greathouse started the game with a long three pointer to give BIC its only lead of the contest, 3-0, but the Lady Trojans went on an 11-0 run to close the quarter and take an 11-3 lead after the first period of play.
Savanna Langston began the second quarter with an 18-foot jumper to give Parkers Chapel an 18-3 lead before Cassidy Qualls finally broke BIC's scoring drought with an offensive stick-back at the 6:03 mark, cutting the Mustang deficit to 13-5. Emily Owens' basket with 4:09 left in the half closed the Lady Trojan lead to 17-9, but Parkers Chapel scored the final five points of the quarter to take a 22-9 lead into the dressing room at the half.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Lady Mustang Brittany Fowler warmed up, scoring eight third quarter points to help BIC close the gap to within 29-22 entering the final frame.
Fowler opened the fourth quarter with a long three pointer to cut the Lady Trojan lead to six. Jordan Carr, who led all scorers with 22 points, scored five of Parkers Chapel's next six points to give the Lady Trojans a 35-28 lead.
Qualls answered with a three pointer, closing the gap to 35-31 with 2:46 left in the game, but that is as close as BIC would come. Carr's three point play at the 1:48 mark gave Parkers Chapel a
39-31 lead and the Lady Trojans were never threatened the rest of the way.
"We had Emily Owens and Jenna Pike playing with ACL tears, and Kaylee Greathouse messed up her hamstring something awful," BIC Coach Stan Fowler said. "Cassidy Qualls has a heart condition where she can faint on us anytime and Katelyn Sparkman has a thigh issue. All these injuries took a toll and kept us from pressing like we normally would have done. But I am proud of these girls. They would have hobbled and hopped around even more had I asked them to. We live on the press, and we just didn't have anyone to press with tonight. I thought Hayley Parker did a good job on limiting Langston to only nine points. Langston has signed to play for Louisiana Tech, so that was quite an accomplishment. We just couldn't handle their other Division 1 recruit, Jordan Carr. But I couldn't be more proud of a bunch of girls. The semis are the farthest any of my teams have ever advanced, and 35 wins in a season are the most of my coaching career."
"I am thrilled for my team to be playing in the state finals," Parkers Chapel Coach Mark Young said. "This is the first time ever in the history of our school to go to the state championship game. It's pretty special for us to have our boys going too, which makes it even better. I thought the difference in the game tonight was Jordan Carr. She's been our difference maker all year. She's a special player and she took the game over in the fourth quarter.
"I thought we did a great job on a great player, Brittany Fowler. We held her scoreless in the first half. I think we found out early in the game that we were more athletic, and that was the difference in the game," concluded Young.
Carr, who led the Lady Trojans with 22 points, finished eight of 11 from the foul line and was the only Parkers Chapel player in double figures. The Lady Trojans connected on four three pointers and hit 15-27 foul shots.
BIC was led by Fowler who scored 13 points, all in the second half. Emily Owens scored nine, Greathouse and Qualls tallied five points apiece, Jenna Pike finished her career with two points while Parker added one. The Lady Mustangs connected on 10-12 foul shots and drained three treys.
BIC advanced to the semifinals, downing Spring Hill 64-51 Tuesday afternoon in first round action before defeating Mountainburg 62-54 on Friday.
The Lady Mustangs placed three players in double figures in the win over Spring Hill. Qualls led BIC with 18 while Greathouse and Fowler added 17 and 14 points respectively. Parker scored six, Taylor Owens netted four, Emily Owens tallied three while Brittany Stockton added two.
Spring Hill led 17-7 after the opening period and held a 19-17 halftime advantage. The Lady Mustangs rallied in the third quarter, forcing the Lady Bears into 10 turnovers while grabbing a 44-31 lead heading into the final period.
BIC put the game away in the fourth quarter, connecting on 12-14 foul shots while and finishing 16-20 for the game. The Lady Mustangs connected on three treys.
Kaylee Fincher led Spring Hill with 11 points. The Lady Bears hit 14-26 foul shots and made two three pointers on the day.
In BIC's victory over Mountainburg, the Lady Dragons led BIC 15-14 after the first quarter and 31-30 at the half before the Lady Mustangs rallied to take a 47-44 edge into the final frame. BIC pulled away in the fourth period to gain an eight point victory.
Fowler led the Lady Mustangs with 28 points while grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out nine assists, one short of a triple-double. Greathouse scored 10, Taylor Owens tallied seven, Emily Owens scored six, Stockton had four, Parker netted three while Qualls and Sparkman added two points apiece.
Destiny Webb led the Lady Dragons with 17 points while Maddy Backus and Shawanee Sorenson scored 16 and 13 respectively.