Mustangs give Taylor farewell victory at MAC
Travon Cobb and Trey DePriest's clutch fourth quarter plays helped Buffalo Island Central to a 66-55 victory over Manila, handing Mustang Coach Bill Taylor a victory in his last game at the Mustang Athletic Complex Friday night in Monette.
BIC trailed 44-43 with 5:40 remaining in the game after a Jeremiah May bucket. But Cobb calmly drained a three pointer from beyond the top of the key at the 4:47 mark to put the Mustangs on top to stay, 46-44. Seconds later, Cobb laid in two points off the glass following a Lion turnover to up the BIC margin to 48-44 with 4:27 to go. May knocked down a free throw to trim the Mustang lead to three with 4:05 left, but DePriest answered by connecting on both ends of a one and one before following with a nifty move through the lane, giving BIC a 52-45 advantage with 3:11 showing on the clock.
Matthew May found daylight and scored on a driving lay-in at the 2:57 mark to pull the Lions to within 52-47, but a pair of Andrew McFarlin free throws, followed by a Cobb two pointer, pushed the Mustang lead to nine points, 56-47,with just 2:17 left to play. BIC salted the game away at the foul line to pick up their 18th victory of the year, giving their head coach one last win before a raucous home crowd.
Both teams struggled out of the gate before BIC managed to take an 8-5 edge on back to back treys from Depriest and McFarlin to close the first quarter. The two teams swapped leads throughout the second period before McFarlin's offensive stick-back sent the two teams into the locker room tied 25-all at the half. The Lions scored the first four points of the third stanza to take a 29-25 lead, but the Mustangs charged back and led 41-39 heading into the fourth quarter.
"Travon and Trey both made some big plays down the stretch," said Taylor. "We still made some mistakes but Manila is a really good team and we're proud to get the win. The kids played extremely hard. I don't think either team ever really got in sync offensively, but I thought we settled down in the second half and played well on defense."
DePriest paced the Mustangs with 23 points while Cobb added a double-double, scoring 20 points while pulling down 12 rebounds. McFarlin chipped in 11 points, Dax Hurst had six while Cory Turner and Canon Walling pitched in three points apiece. BIC dropped in 24-39 foul shots and connected on six treys.
Matthew May and Bradey Woodall topped the Lions with 15 points apiece. Conner Balew netted six, Jake Helton tallied five, Logan Hamilton scored four, Jeremiah May and Patrick Tanner chipped in three points each while Joel Burrow and Brock Birmingham added two points apiece. Manila struggled from the free throw line, hitting just 10-22 attempts, including a paltry 2-12 stretch in the fourth quarter. The Lions made three treys on the night.
Taylor reflected on his last game in the MAC. "It breaks my heart," said Taylor. "This is where I wanted my career to end. It's a special place to me with a lot of great memories. We had a lot of my former players here tonight, a lot of guys from the past, and all together we built this place. I'm proud they were here. It was a special night."
The Mustangs began the week Tuesday night with a 70-59 loss to Harding Academy. The Wildcats took a 24-14 lead after the opening period and held a 35-27 advantage at intermission. Harding Academy led 50-40 after three quarters of play.
Cobb led BIC with 24 points and 10 boards while Depriest chipped in 13.
BIC will begin play in the 2A-3 District Tournament this week at Marked Tree. The third seeded Mustangs will receive an opening round bye before facing the Cross County-Marmaduke winner Thursday night at 8:30.
Manila will open 3A-3 District Tournament action as the number one seed. The Lions will take on the winner of the opening round game between Rivercrest and Corning Tuesday night at Wilson. Tipoff is set for 5:30.
In senior girls action, BIC stampeded past Manila 49-32. The Lady Mustangs took a 14-5 lead after the first break and increased their margin to 25-11 at the half. BIC led 37-22 entering the final frame.
Heather Sipes produced a double-double, pumping in 22 points while snaring 11 boards. Senior Blaire Wildy, playing her last game at the MAC, scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Madison Nowlin netted nine while Jona Carmichael chipped in six points.
Hannah Teague paced the Lady Lions with 12 points. Taylor Harmon and Hannah McQueen scored six points apiece while Jordyn Wheeler and Tessa Pannells added four points each.
The Lady Mustangs will begin district tournament play Monday afternoon against host Marked Tree. Tipoff is 5:30.
The Lady Lions will begin 3A-3 District Tournament play Monday night against Corning. Tipoff is 7 p.m. at Rivercrest High School.