Lady Warriors steamroll BIC 56-28 to claim 2A North Regional Championship
East Poinsett County put together its most complete game of the season, posting a surprisingly easy 56-28 victory over Buffalo Island Central in the finals of the 2A North Regional Tournament Saturday night at the Mustang Athletic Complex.
The Lady Warriors used the strong inside combination of Regional Tournament Most Valuable Player Alicia Ross and Brittany Ball to dominate the paint while Terrika Madden knocked down a pair of three pointers as EPC built an 18-8 first period lead.
Ross started the second quarter with three straight buckets as EPC went on a 12-3 run to take a commanding 30-11 advantage with 3:10 left in the half. Ball also contributed a pair of baskets during the run while the Lady Mustangs had trouble finding the bucket the entire first half. Brittany Fowler did her best to try to keep BIC in the game, scoring 10 of the Lady Mustang's 14 first half points, but EPC took a 19 point lead into the dressing room at the half.
The Warriors put the game away in the third quarter, outscoring BIC 14-7 to take a 47-28 bulge into the final frame. EPC coasted in the rest of the way to claim the regional title.
The victory was the first in four tries for EPC against BIC this season.
"Everything went right for us tonight," said EPC Coach Bobby Lewallen. "We played probably our best game of the season. It couldn't have come at a better time. We had a good inside-outside game going tonight. Everything worked for us. I have three players that have started the last three years for me, and they probably played their best game tonight. I am very proud of them. They really wanted to win tonight."
"EPC played great and we didn't," said BIC Coach Stan Fowler. "The big thing tonight was we gave up too many offensive boards. They shot well and they played hard the whole game. We had a great shoot around this afternoon. The ball just didn't fall and things didn't click, and we got steamrolled after that."
Ross led the Lady Warriors with 19 points while Brittany Ball added a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Madden nailed three treys to finish with 11 points. Whitney Ball and Teria Young scored four points each, Hannah Hinton tallied two while Synteria Ward chipped in one point. EPC connected on 15-25 free throws and drained three treys.
Fowler led BIC with 14 points. Emily Owens scored five, Hayley Parker netted four, Cassidy Qualls tallied three while Rachel Goldammer added two. The Lady Mustangs hit 12-17 free throws and were held without a three pointer on the night.
Fowler, Qualls and Owens were named to the 2A North Regional Tournament team.
BIC began the tournament with a hard fought 46-40 victory Wednesday night over Salem. The two teams fought to a 10-10 tie after the first period before the top seeded Lady Mustangs pulled ahead for a 22-21 halftime lead on a Brittany Fowler bucket with less than 1:00 to play before intermission.
The two teams battled back and forth throughout the third period with BIC holding a 31-30 edge entering the final quarter of play.
Emily Owens came up big in the fourth quarter for BIC with a critical three point play at the 6:16 mark, giving the Lady Mustangs the lead 36-33. The Lady Greyhounds tied the game 36-36 with 4:00 remaining before a bucket by Callie Brooks at the 3:20 mark put BIC up for good, 38-36. Owens added an offensive stick-back to stretch the BIC lead to four, 40-36.
Salem pulled to within two and had the ball inside 40 seconds, but missed an opportunity to tie with Owens grabbing a huge rebound at the 35 second mark. Fowler and Brooks combined for six straight free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Fowler led BIC with 20 points while Brooks and Owens added nine and seven respectively. Hayley Parker scored four while Cassidy Qualls and Kaylee Greathouse added three points apiece.
Sidney Mitchem led Salem with 15 points while Abby Blevins added 12.
The Lady Mustangs advanced to the finals with a thrilling 47-45 come from behind victory over Marmaduke Friday night.
The Lady Greyhounds led throughout most of the game, taking a 12-11 lead after the opening quarter and a 24-21 edge at the half. Marmaduke led 31-24 midway through the third period before BIC closed the gap with a 7-2 run, capped off by Cassidy Qualls' three pointer at the horn, slicing Marmaduke's lead to 33-31 entering the fourth quarter.
BIC finally took the lead on a driving lay-up by Qualls at the 5:02 mark but Marmaduke answered back with a Callie Price basket to grab a 38-37 edge with 4:44 to go. Brittany Fowler drained a three pointer, giving BIC a two point lead, 40-38, before Anna Best tied the game on a nifty move through the lane to knot the score 40-40.
Emily Owens and Best traded buckets before Best hit a three pointer to give Maramduke a 45-42 lead with 2:04 to go. Qualls came right back with a three of her own at the 1:42 mark, tying the game at 45-45.
The Lady Greyhounds set up for the final shot but turned the ball over with 44 seconds left, giving BIC the ball. The Lady Mustangs worked the clock down to four seconds when Qualls attempted a three pointer from the left wing and was fouled on a call that brought jeers from the Marmaduke contingent.
After a time-out, Qualls hit two of the three free throws and withstood a desperation heave by Marmaduke that fell short at the buzzer, allowing the Lady Mustangs to escape with the two point victory.
Fowler paced BIC with 17 points while Qualls poured in 15 more. Greathouse scored six, Brooks tallied five while Owens and Katelyn Sparkman added two points apiece. BIC finished 11-13 from the foul line and drilled eight treys on the night.
Anna Best, who had at least four different Lady Mustangs guard her on the night, finished with a game high 21 points for the Lady Greyhounds. Callie Price added nine points for Marmaduke, who finished 10-14 from the free throw line and connected on seven three pointers.
BIC will open state tournament play as the number two seed from the North and will play Wednesday night at 7:00 against the third seed from the West.