BIC holds off Riverside to secure 2A-3 Conference stronghold
Buffalo Island Central withstood a determined second half comeback from archrival Riverside to hang on for a hard fought 57-48 victory Tuesday night, Jan. 14, at Lake City. The win allowed the Mustangs to solidify their hold on first place in 2A-3 conference play, while the Rebels fell two games behind BIC in the league race. The Mustang victory also spoiled Riverside Coach Buster Campbell's attempt to secure his 800th career victory.
"That was a typical Riverside-BIC basketball game," said Mustang Coach Bill Taylor. "It wasn't very pretty. It's our little version of Auburn-Alabama or Ohio State-Michigan. It was just a grind and didn't flow very well. This is as good a rivalry as there is in this part of the state, and we're just glad to come in here and get a win."
The Mustangs broke an early 2-2 tie and took control of the first quarter, capped off by Armorel transfer Seth Eatmon's three pointer, which gave BIC a 15-6 lead at the end of the first break. BIC maintained its nine point advantage going into halftime, leading 28-19.
The Rebels fought back in the third quarter. Brandon Sain began the comeback with a three pointer and a short jumper in the lane. Kollin Stone's inside bucket pulled Riverside to within 28-26 at the 6:03 mark, capping off a 7-0 Rebel run. But back to back treys from Alex Ballin and Eatmon gave the Mustangs an eight point lead, 34-26, at the 5:05 mark. The Rebels began chipping away at the BIC lead once again. Ben Hensley buried a three pointer, followed by a fast break lay-up from Caleb Waugh, slicing the Mustang lead to three. An Austin Pike basket and another Eatmon trey gave BIC a 39-32 advantage with 2:53 left in the quarter, but the Rebels closed with a 6-0 run, getting a pair of buckets from Devon Austin around another Waugh lay-up to slice the BIC lead to 39-38 entering the final frame.
BIC built its lead to 45-38 early in the fourth quarter, but the Rebels charged back one more time when Hensley and Stone drained back to back triples, slicing the deficit to one, 45-44. A Mustang turnover led to a Waugh fast break lay-in at the 5:24 mark, and the Rebels had their first lead of the game, 46-45.
BIC answered on its next possession when Pike scored on a tip-in following an inbounds play under the Mustang basket and was fouled. The 6'4" junior completed the three point play, giving BIC the lead for good, 48-46. The Mustangs put the game away by going 7-10 from the foul line down the stretch.
"It doesn't surprise me at all that Riverside battled back in the second half," Taylor said. "I told our players at halftime the Rebels would make a run. The big play of the game for us was the inbounds play to Pike. We got the 'and one' and then got a couple of defensive stops. I am really proud of our team. Since we've come back from the break we've won at Rector, at Augusta and here. I'm real proud of those three wins."
"It was a typical Riverside-BIC ball game," Coach Campbell said. "I didn't think either team played particularly well, especially in the first half. We were lucky to be down only nine. BIC struggled from the line, going just 4-13 in the half, and we didn't shoot any free throws. I thought we were both tight and it was just one of the old time battles. We both had trouble getting into a flow. Our kids battled tonight and really played hard. BIC is just so big and physical. They are a tough matchup for us."
Eatmon led BIC with 16 points, including four three pointers. Nick Bollinger scored 11 while Pike added 10. Jacob Sanders tallied nine, Alan Carmichael had eight while Ballin chipped in three points. BIC finished just 12-24 from the foul stripe but did go 8-11 in the second half. The Mustangs made seven three pointers.
Austin topped the Rebels with 12 points while Waugh and Stone added 10 points apiece. Hensley scored six while Victor Cerda and Sain scored five points each.
In junior high action, Riverside defeated BIC 54-47 to take a two game lead in the conference standings. Dillon Turner led the Rebels with 17 points while Braden Overman added 15. Canon Walling also hit double digits with 10 points. Dylan Davis scored eight while Gavin Stone pitched in four. The Rebels were 10-14 from the foul line and hit four three pointers.
Trey DePriest and Andrew McFarlin paced the Mustangs with 15 points each. Dax Hurst scored 10, Chayse Carmichael had five while Cory Turner chipped in two points. BIC hit all five free throw attempts and drained eight treys.
The Rebels led 18-16 after the first quarter before BIC rallied to take a 28-27 halftime edge. The Mustangs led 38-34 after three periods of play.
BIC closed the week, defeating McCrory on back to back nights Thursday and Friday. The Mustangs won Thursday's game 63-36 at the Mustang Athletic Complex in Monette before downing the Jaguars 66-53 Friday night at McCrory.
In Thursday night's contest, Jacob Sanders led the way with 16 points while Austin Pike and Nick Bollinger added 12 and 10 points respectively. BIC claimed the junior high contest 64-28.
Sanders also led the Mustangs in Friday night's victory with 22 points and eight rebounds. BIC (20-2, 11-0 2A-03) also got 14 points and seven rebounds from Pike while Bollinger added 13 points.
Shyheim Woods led the Jaguars with 14 points while Koty Skudlark and Malik Freeman added 13 and 11 points respectively.
BIC took the junior high contest 58-35.