Mustangs survive fourth quarter Rebel rally in wild night at the MAC
Buffalo Island Central-Riverside, it never disappoints. Tuesday night's battle between the two old foes produced three technical fouls, two ejections and a nail biting finish. When the dust finally settled, BIC held on for a thrilling 58-54 victory before a raucous crowd at the Mustang Athletic Complex in Monette.
Both teams entered the 2A-3 conference matchup trying to position themselves in the league race. BIC jumped to an early 8-4 lead thanks to back to back three pointers from Seth Eatmon and Austin Pike. But the Rebels proved just as capable from beyond the three point arc, getting consecutive treys from Gavin Stone and Brandon Sain to take a 10-9 edge at the 2:19 mark. Stone's 12-foot pull-up jumper pushed the visitor's lead to 12-9, but the Mustangs went on a 12-0 run to close the quarter, hitting eight of nine free throws in the last 1:30 of the period to take a 20-12 lead after the first break.
Things started heating up even more in the second quarter when Riverside Coach Buster Campbell was issued back to back technical fouls and an automatic ejection with 6:58 left in the first half, just moments after a Mustang fan was escorted from the arena.
Rebel assistant coach Kevin Hall took the reign after Campbell's sudden departure, with Riverside trailing 21-12. The BIC lead remained at nine until Kody Winstead's three point play with 1:35 left in the half brought the Rebels to within seven. Pike answered with a three point play of his own, scoring on a spin move while being fouled. Pike's foul shot put the Mustangs up 30-20. Riverside trailed by 10 with 41 seconds left before intermission, but got a pair of Gavin Stone free throws and a steal followed by a layup at the buzzer from brother Kollin Stone to slice the BIC lead to 33-27 at intermission.
The Mustangs threatened to blow the game open midway through the third period. Pike began a 9-0 BIC run, hitting three free throws after being fouled while attempting a shot from beyond the three point line. Pike and Eatmon followed with back to back three point bombs and the Mustangs had a 46-31 lead with 3:53 left in the period. Riverside closed the quarter, outscoring BIC 7-1, trimming the Mustang lead to 47-38 entering the final frame. Gavin Stone and Winstead scored two point buckets while Bret Snyder ripped a three pointer to ignite the Rebel comeback.
BIC pushed its lead back to 50-40 early in the fourth quarter on a three point play by Trey DePriest. Riverside clawed its way back once again when Luke Baker knocked down a one and one and Winstead scored on a baby hook in the lane. Kollin Stone connected on a charity toss, and the Rebels were within 50-47 with 3:00 to go. A slicing drive to the bucket by Pike delivered two points for the Mustangs at the 2:31 mark to up the BIC lead to 52-47.
Kollin Stone answered for the Rebels with a nifty move through heavy traffic, throwing in a high floater off the glass while being fouled on the play. Stone nailed his free throw and suddenly the Rebels were within two points, 52-50, with just 28 ticks left on the clock.
Forced to foul, Riverside sent DePriest to the line where the sophomore guard calmly sank both ends of the double bonus to put the Mustangs in front 54-50 with 22 seconds to go. Kollin Stone quickly drove the length of the floor and scored once again to cut the lead to two. The Rebels immediately fouled Pike on the Mustang inbounds, sending the senior to the line. The all-state guard delivered both ends of the double bonus for a 56-52 advantage with 11 seconds showing on the clock.
Kollin Stone flew down the floor, scoring with seven seconds to go and was fouled as the crowd went into a frenzy. Trailing 56-54, Stone intentionally missed his free throw attempt in hopes of snaring the rebound and putting in a game tying basket. But the senior forward's foul shot missed the rim, giving possession to BIC. Riverside immediately fouled with five seconds left, sending DePriest back to the line where he sank both free throws to seal the Mustang's 58-54 victory.
"I was really proud of the way we battled back," said Riverside's Kevin Hall. "We made some adjustments at halftime and started attacking the rim. We were using our ball screens more effectively in the second half and getting in the lane, getting good looks. We got to the line in the second half and made some tremendous hustle plays. The kids didn't quit against a really good team. BIC is very tough to beat in their house. We cut it to one possession with seven seconds left, and we were hoping to get a rebound off a missed free throw, but things didn't work out. I was really proud of how everyone played. Winstead had a good second half and both Gavin and Kollin Stone really played well. Kollin made some big buckets at the end. He has a motor that never quits."
"It was just what I expected, a tight game all the way to the end," said Mustang Coach Bill Taylor. "It was typical BIC-Riverside. I didn't think either team really flowed on offense, which is indicative of the low score. It was kind of a grinder. Austin Pike had a big night with a triple double. Anything less and we would have gotten beat. I thought Austin was terrific tonight. He kept his composure, never got rattled and did a really good job of leading us. Cory Turner and Dax Hurst's defense was really big. We did a really good job at the foul line, hitting 29-37. We hit them when we had to, especially in the last minute. It's still the hottest rivalry around; it's the Yankees and Red Sox on the hardwood," chuckled Taylor.
Pike finished with 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocked shots to lead the Mustangs. Eatmon scored 12, DePriest had six, Turner netted four while Alan Carmichael pitched in two points.
Kollin Stone paced the Rebels with 16 while Gavin Stone scored 15. Winstead tallied nine, Sain had seven, Baker contributed four while Snyder chipped in three points. Riverside sank 12-18 foul shots and drained three treys on the night.
In junior high action, BIC blasted Riverside 55-28. Andrew McFarlin led the Mustangs with 19 points while Miles Gifford pitched in 13. Chayse Carmichael tallied eight, Canon Walling scored six while Abraham Lopez, Blaine Wildy, Kaleb Dublin and Whit Cagle added two points apiece. Jace Couch chipped in one point.
Dillon Turner led Riverside with 11. Keech Wilmoth netted eight, Landon Moyer scored four, Ethan Cash had two while Hayden Carr, Justin Berry and T.J. Emison contributed one point each.
Riverside traveled to Bay Friday night and knocked off the state's top ranked team in Class 1A, posting a 77-69 upset of the Yellowjackets.
Gavin Stone poured in 30 points while Kollin Stone added 19 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Rebels. Braden Overman pumped in 15, Luke Baker tallied seven, Brandon Sain scored three, Kody Winstead contributed two while Bret Snyder chipped in one point.
Tyler Pritchett led Bay with 24 points, Colton Watson scored 16 while Taylor Layne added 11.
In junior high action, Landon Moyer's short jumper at the buzzer lifted the Rebels to a 28-26 victory over Bay. Moyer scored a game high 19 points to lead the Rebels. Dillon Boatman tallied four, Ethan Cash and Dillon Turner had two points each while Keech Wilmoth pitched in one point.
Dax Gibson paced the Yellowjackets with 14 points.
Riverside returns to the hard court Tuesday night, hosting Rector in 2A-3 conference play at Lake City. The Rebels will take on Earle in another conference matchup Friday night at home.
BIC hosted Crowley's Ridge Academy in a 2A-3 conference game at the Mustang's Night of Champions Saturday at Monette. BIC rolled to a 75-40 win as 12 Mustangs hit the scoring column, led by Alan Carmichael's 15 points. Trey DePriest also hit double digits with 14. Cory Turner and Abraham Lopez tallied nine points apiece, Austin Pike had six, Dax Hurst netted five, Juan Castillo chipped in four while Tyler Parker, Lane Crites and Drake Jones added three points apiece. Trevor Couch and Jonathan Mondragon chipped in two points each.
In junior high action, BIC downed CRA 49-26. Miles Gifford led the Mustangs with 16 points while Andrew McFarlin added 13. Canon Walling and Chayse Carmichael scored seven points each. Abraham Lopez and Taylor Gipson chipped in two points each while Kaleb Dublin added one point.
The Mustangs hit the road this week with a pair of conference matchups. BIC will travel to Cherry Valley Tuesday night to play Cross County before going to Lepanto Friday night to battle EPC.