Lady Lions roar past BIC in battle of area powerhouses
Kirsten Adcock and Emily Cook buried back to back three pointers midway through the fourth quarter to propel the Lady Lions to a 65-52 victory over Buffalo Island Central in a battle between two of the top ranked teams in Northeast Arkansas Thursday night at Manila.
Manila held a slim 44-41 lead after BIC's Brittany Fowler drilled a jump shot just inside the three point arc at the 6:17 mark of the final period. Adcock answered with a three from the top of the key, followed by another trey from Cook a minute later with 4:38 left in the game. Cassidy Qualls drained a three for the Lady Mustangs to cut the Manila lead to four, but Adcock drove the baseline for what proved to be the last basket of the night for Manila with 4:00 to go, giving the Lady Lions a 52-46 advantage. Manila iced the game, hitting 13-18 free throws down the stretch, to secure the victory.
BIC took an 11-10 edge after the first quarter behind Fowler and Taylor McKuin, who combined for nine points. Manila charged back in the second quarter and took the lead on three consecutive treys, two by Adcock and the third by Devin Burrow, to take a 24-20 lead with 2:27 left in the half. BIC fought back behind a pair of Fowler buckets and a three pointer by Katelyn Sparkman to regain the lead, before Shelby Wallace's basket with 22 seconds to go before intermission gave Manila a 26-25 halftime lead.
Adcock and Cook popped back to back treys in the third quarter to keep the Lady Lions ahead, and held a six point lead after a Cook bucket with 1:34 left in the period. Brittany Stockton's trey closed out the quarter with the Lady Mustangs trailing by just three, 40-37.
Manila (21-3) was led by Cook who scored 23 points. Adcock pumped in 15 while Wallace added 12. Burrow scored eight points, Taylor Teague had three while Kristen Wise and Charlie Smith chipped in two points apiece. The Lady Lions connected on 27-36 foul shots, including 15-21 in the fourth period alone. Manila drilled seven treys on the night.
Fowler scored a game high 24 points to lead the Lady Mustangs. Sparkman and Emily Owens tallied six points apiece, Stockton chipped in five, McKuin netted four, Qualls had three while Hannah Poe and Madison Greathouse added two points apiece. BIC hit 10-17 free throws and drained four three pointers on the night.
"Manila did a real good job at the free throw line tonight, especially in the fourth quarter," said BIC Coach Stan Fowler. "They hit threes when they needed to. They had two big treys in the fourth quarter. Manila is a good team and they played an excellent game. I thought we gave a great effort and never gave up. Games like this at the end of the year--you are just trying to get into district tournament play healthy. It hurt us when our post players got in foul trouble, but I thought everyone stood up and handled adversity real well. This was a state tournament level game. Manila is a very good team. This can only help us get ready for the post season."
"We played well," said Manila Coach Mark Manchester. "It was probably about as good as we've played in a while. We did a really good job defending them. Brittany Fowler is such a good player, but I felt like she had to earn every point she got tonight. Stan Fowler's teams always play so hard, and I thought we responded to the challenge tonight. I am really proud of our kids. I thought we played one of our better games and we played it at the right time."
Manila will open 3A-3 District Tournament play Thursday night at Hoxie as the number one seed. Game time is 7:30.
BIC will begin 2A-3 District Tournament action Thursday night at Marmaduke. The second seeded Lady Mustangs will tip off at 4:00.