Marmaduke built a 15 point lead and then held off a late Buffalo Island Central comeback bid to defeat the Lady Mustangs 54-46, clinching the number one seed and a share of the 2A-3 conference championship Monday night at the Mustang Athletic Complex in Monette.
Marmaduke stretched its lead to 29-16 in the third quarter before Hannah Poe's three pointer cut the lead to 10 midway through the period. But a basket by Jessica Lee and another Bopp trey pushed Marmaduke's lead to 34-19 with 4:03 left in the quarter. The Lady Greyhounds took a 15 point lead, 38-23, into the final period of play.
Marmaduke went into their delay game early in the fourth quarter but watched the Lady Mustangs chip away at the lead. Madison Greathouse started the comeback with a three pointer, followed by back to back baskets by Brittany Fowler and Hannah Poe, which cut the Lady 'Hound lead to 41-33 with 4:05 to go.
Bopp stopped the Lady Mustang run with a lay-up to push the Marmaduke lead to 44-33. Four consecutive free throws by Alexus Jones gave the Lady Greyhounds a 47-34 advantage with just 2:49 left in the game.
BIC made one last charge when Cassidy Qualls, Fowler and Greathouse all buried three pointers to pull the Lady Mustangs to within 48-43 with 1:16 left. Jones hit one of two free throws at the 1: 13 mark to push the Greyhound lead back to six, but Emily Owens answered for BIC with a pair of foul shots of her own to slice the Marmaduke lead to 49-45 with 49 seconds left. But BIC would get no closer, as the Lady 'Hounds closed out the game hitting five of six free throws down the stretch, including four in a row by Whitley Boggs to secure the victory.
"This was a big win for us," said Marmaduke coach Rick Smith. "I thought we played really well the first three quarters. "We did okay on free throws in the fourth quarter, but we missed some defensive assignments and gave them some open shots, which they knocked down. We really took care of the ball tonight. We only had five turnovers against the number one team in the state, which is pretty good. Whitley Boggs and Sidnee Bopp played really well for us, but I thought Alexus Jones was outstanding with the way she took care of the ball and ran the offense. We've got some work to be done, but I am proud of the way we are playing right now."
"We just dug ourselves too deep of a hole tonight, especially against a team as good as Marmaduke," said BIC coach Stan Fowler. "One of the big keys was Brittany (Fowler) was ice cold from the field, until the second half when she finally made a couple of buckets. Emily Owens carried us in the first half. She did a great job. As bad as we played in the first half, we were only down by eight. For that part I was proud of the way we hung in there. We just let them have too many threes. They are a good team. That's why they have the record they have now with 29 wins. When you play at this level, the team that flinches first will lose and we flinched tonight. They are a rock solid team and they hit their free throws down the stretch when they needed to. But I was proud of our effort tonight. It was just a deal where we got ourselves in too deep of a hole."
Whitley Boggs led Marmaduke with 18 points. Bopp scored 17 while Lee added 10.
Owens and Qualls paced the Lady Mustangs with 11 points apiece while Fowler and Poe added eight points each. Greathouse tallied six while Katelyn Sparkman and Rachel Goldammer added one point apiece.
The Lady Mustangs traveled to Marked Tree Thursday night and lost a heartbreaking 58-55 decision in overtime.
BIC jumped to a 9-6 lead after the first quarter but watched the Lady Indians grab a 19-18 halftime edge. BIC outscored Marked Tree 19-9 in the third period to take a 37-28 advantage heading into the final frame, but Marked Tree rallied one more time to tie the game 48-48 at the end of regulation, sending the contest into overtime. The Lady Indians outscored BIC 10-7 in the extra period to secure the victory.
Poohnu Perry pumped in 24 points to lead the Lady Indians while Lexi Perry and Jay Perry added 16 and 10 points respectively. Marked Tree was deadly from the foul line, connecting on 18-23 attempts. The Lady Indians hit two three pointers on the night.
Brittany Fowler poured in a game high 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to pace the Lady Mustang attack. Brittany Stockton scored eight points and snared 10 boards while Cassidy Qualls also tallied eight points. Emily Owens contributed five, Katelyn Sparkman and Hannah Poe tallied three points each while Shania Junyor added two points. The Lady Mustangs drilled nine treys, including four by Fowler, but hit just four of 11 foul shots.
In junior high action, BIC fell to Marmaduke 38-28 before routing Marked Tree 40-16.
Abby Meredith drained four three pointers and scored 16 points to lead Marmaduke past the Lady Mustangs.
Jona Carmichael led BIC with eight points while Blaire Wildy added seven. Ashley Field scored five, Kayla Griffin netted four, Nikki Gordon tallied two while Curston Davis pitched in one point.
Wildy scored 12 points to lead BIC past Marked Tree. Field scored seven, Griffin and Carmichael chipped in six points apiece while Gordon and Davis added two points each.
BIC will return to action Thursday night when they travel to Rector to take on the Lady Cougars in a 2A-3 conference matchup.