Cougars, Mohawks face off in Clay County highlight
It was a night of quality basketball at Rector Thursday night as the hosting Cougars welcomed Clay County rival Piggott for Senior Night. The contest was among the top played throughout the state, as the Cougars and Mohawks battled in a hard-fought 52-40 Rector win.
Piggott held a 35-34 advantage going into the fourth quarter, but Rector was able to open the frame with a 13-0 run over the first 6:39 of the period which gave the hosts all the momentum down the stretch. Dillon Shelton got loose for a pair of big three-pointers in the fourth and capped the run with a pair of free throws to give Rector a 47-35 lead with 1:21 left in the contest. Mitchell Weber started things with a spin move inside, sinking the shot and notching a free throw on contact. Weber buried two more at the line with under two minutes to play.
PHS senior Zach Redmon drilled a three-pointer with 1:11 remaining for the Tribe's first bucket of the frame. Austin Murray scored on an offensive rebound with under 40 seconds to go, wrapping up the Mohawk scoring on the night.
The contest was up for grabs throughout the first three frames, as local fans were treated to two teams working hard on the court. The first quarter finished with Piggott in front, 13-9. It remained a tight game at intermission, with the Cougars holding a 25-22 advantage.
Rector took a seven point lead, 31-24, on a three-pointer by Denver Knight with 5:33 left in the third. An earlier drive by Shelton and a free throw by RHS senior Brandon Stevens started the host's run.
The Mohawks closed the third with an 11-3 run to lead by a point heading into the final frame. Lucas Brewer helped the Tribe bounce back in the third, scoring six points during the pivotal stretch and a total of eight in the period. Piggott senior Spencer Coomer sank three of four free throws during the run. Logan Murray added a turnaround jumper during the stretch.
"That's a good win," RHS coach Matt Mills said afterward. "That was a game where both teams went out there and worked their tails off. You know it's going to be a good game whenever you have Rector and Piggott on the same floor."
Three Cougars scored in double figures on the night. Knight led the charge with a game-high 18 points. Shelton and Mitchell Weber added 15 and 13, respectively. Stevens, five points, and Reed Weber, three, rounded out the Rector scoring.
Piggott was led by 14 points from Brewer. Also scoring for the Mohawks were Austin Murray 9, Redmon 7, Logan Murray 5, Coomer 3 and Beau Wicker 2.
"Our effort was there and I felt like we did a good job on them (Rector) defensively, but we just weren't hitting our shots," PHS head coach Josh Robins said. "We got some good shots, but we couldn't hit them. I can't fault our effort. I thought my kids played hard, as did Rector's. You've got to tip your hat to Rector; they're a good team."