Late third quarter surge powers Lady Mustangs to 2A-3 District title
Buffalo Island Central charged from behind in the second half to pull out a 59-46 victory over East Poinsett County, taking home the 2A-3 District Tournament Championship Saturday afternoon at Cherry Valley.
The Lady Mustangs and EPC battled back and forth through the first quarter, which ended in a 14-14 deadlock. BIC's Brittany Fowler, who was named Conference Most Valuable Player for the third straight season, scored 11 of BIC's first quarter points.
Alicia Ross gave EPC their first lead of the day to begin the second quarter. Fowler's driving lay-in tied the score at 16-16 at the 6:23 mark, but the Lady Warriors went on an 11-2 run, capped off by a pair of Ross free throws with 1:28 left before half, giving EPC a 29-20 advantage. Cassidy Qualls closed out the half with a free throw and a basket to slice the Lady Warrior lead to 29-23 at intermission.
EPC maintained their nine point margin until the 4:02 mark of the third period when Fowler's 17-foot jumper started a 12-0 Mustang run, giving BIC a 39-36 edge at the end of the third quarter. BIC's offensive explosion included three baskets by Fowler and one each by Emily Owens, Hayley Parker and Katelyn Sparkman.
The Lady Mustangs continued to build their lead in the fourth quarter and closed the game out hitting 12-16 free throws down the stretch.
Fowler poured in a game high 32 points to lead all scorers. Qualls netted eight, Owens tallied six, Parker and Callie Brooks scored four each Parker, Sparkman and Brittany Stockton chipped in two points apiece. Kaylee Greathouse contributed one point for the Lady Mustangs. BIC finished 20-25 from the foul line and hit one trey.
Ross led EPC with 17 points while Terrika Madden added 11. The Lady Warriors hit 14-22 foul shots and made four three pointers.
"I think when we switched defenses it was a turning point in the game," said BIC Coach Stan Fowler. "We slowed down their high-low game and we were able to go on a run. We also rebounded much better in the second half, holding them to one shot most of the time. I am very proud of this team. They played well today."
BIC began the tournament with an 81-63 win Thursday night over Marked Tree. The Lady Mustangs held an 18-15 lead after the opening period and had a 42-38 halftime advantage. BIC stretched its lead to 61-53 after three quarters and outscored Marked Tree 20-10 in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Fowler paced BIC with 23 points while Owens and Qualls added 16 and 15 points respectively. Sparkman tallied nine, Brooks contributed five, Greathouse netted three while Parker and Stockton added two points apiece.
Pooh-nu Perry led the Lady Indians with 23 points while Jay Perry tallied 17 and Caflora Hillis added 10.
BIC placed four players on the All-Conference team, led by Fowler, Qualls, Brooks and Parker.
BIC will enter the regional tournament as a number one seed and will play Wednesday night at 7:00 against Salem. The tournament will be held at the Mustang Athletic Complex.