Lady Mustangs beat Sloan Hendrix, advance to NEA semi-finals
Buffalo Island Central outscored Sloan Hendrix 19-4 in the final period, breaking open a four point game, and went on to defeat the stubborn Lady Greyhounds 62-43 in quarterfinal action of the NEA Tournament Friday afternoon in Jonesboro.
Leading just 43-39 entering the final frame, the Lady Mustangs began the decisive fourth quarter with back to back three pointers from Karo Thomas and Madison Greathouse to increase their lead to 10. Taylor McKuin followed with an offensive stick-back and a free throw which completed a 9-0 BIC run, giving the Lady Mustangs a 52-39 advantage with 4:00 to go.
Alyssa Nichols dropped in a free throw to break the BIC run at the 3:29 mark, but the Lady Mustangs would go on another spurt, scoring the next six points for a 56-40 lead with just 2:12 left. The Lady Hounds got their only basket of the fourth quarter on a Cheyenne Vance jumper with 50 seconds left.
BIC galloped to an 8-0 lead to begin the game before watching Sloan Hendrix storm back to take a 9-8 edge on a Britney Wolfe bucket with 1:18 left in the first quarter. Thomas tied the game for BIC with a free throw before Wolfe answered with a pair of charity tosses to give Sloan Hendrix a 11-9 lead. Megan Webster canned a three pointer to put BIC up by one at the break.
Jessie Powell gave the Lady Hounds their last lead of the night with a pair of free throws early in the second quarter, before Thomas' seven-foot turn-around jumper gave BIC the lead for good, 14-13, with 6:41 left in the half. The Lady Mustangs led by as many as nine late in the second quarter, and took a 31-23 lead into the dressing room at intermission.
Hannah Poe drilled a three pointer and scored from the inside after a Sloan Hendrix turnover to give BIC a 38-28 lead midway through the third period, but the Lady Hounds fought back and pulled to within three, thanks to a three point play by Nichols and an offensive stick-back by Powell. McKuin canned four free throws to close out the quarter with the Lady Mustangs up by four.
BIC placed four players in double figures, led by Greathouse who scored 12 points. Thomas, McKuin and Poe all pitched in 10 points apiece while Webster and Kelsey Strickland added seven points each. Cidnie Brooks tallied four while Natalie Campbell chipped in two points. The Lady Mustangs connected on 20-29 free throws and drained six three pointers.
Wolfe led the Lady Hounds with 15 points while Nichols added nine. Sloan Hendrix hurt their own cause by hitting just 11-20 foul shots and committing 25 turnovers.