BIC junior Mustangs bring home 2A-3 District Tournament championship
Buffalo Island Central withstood a determined upset bid from fourth seeded Marked Tree to capture the 2A-3 Junior High District Tournament Championship with a 44-34 victory Saturday night at Marmaduke.
The underdog Indians, who knocked off top seeded and conference co-champion Riverside in Friday night's semifinals, stayed close throughout the game before watching the Mustangs pull away in the fourth quarter for the 10 point victory.
BIC led 10-2 late in the first period, thanks to a pair of three pointers by Adrian Lopez, before Travius Brown connected on a three of his own to cut the BIC lead to 10-5 entering the second stanza.
Cory Turner's bucket to begin the second quarter gave BIC a five point bulge, but the Indians stormed back and tied the game 12-12 on a basket by Paul Colman with 3:00 left in the half. Trey DePriest put the Mustangs back on top before Nick Andrews' offensive stick-back knotted the game at 14 apiece with 13 seconds to go before intermission. With the clock winding down to end the half, Dax Hurst threw in a long three pointer that banked home as the buzzer sounded, giving BIC a 17-14 halftime advantage.
Hurst continued his hot shooting with a two pointer and another trey to give the Mustangs a 22-15 lead midway through the third period, but the Indians battled back once more, cutting the lead to 27-26 on back to back offensive stick-backs from Markel Perry and Nick Andrews late in the quarter. Turner worked his way free for an inside bucket just before the third quarter horn sounded to push BIC's lead to 29-26 entering the final frame.
Turner scored to begin the fourth quarter before DePriest drilled a three as he was falling out of bounds, giving the Mustangs a 34-26 lead at the 4:16 mark. Marked Tree would get no closer than six points the rest of the way, and the Mustangs claimed the championship.
"Marked Tree is a very good team," said Mustang Coach Bill Taylor. "The other two times we have beaten them this year were our two best games of the year. I am really proud of our guys and how hard they fought tonight. This is a really good league so it's a really good accomplishment to come and win this tournament. It was a big shot that Dax Hurst made before the half. Sometimes you have to have some luck and we did tonight. It was a scramble situation and he threw it up and it turned out to be the shot of the game. I thought the biggest difference in the game may have been the play of Cory Turner. He was all over the glass tonight."
DePriest and Hurst led the Mustangs with 12 points apiece while Turner chipped in 10. Lopez had six while Chayse Carmichael and Andrew McFarlin added two points apiece.
Colman led the Indians with 12 points.
Depriest, Hurst, McFarlin and Turner were named to the 2A-3 All-Conference team.