Cougars Post Big Conference Win over Indians
The Cougars couldn't take advantage of a few late opportunities late on the road Friday at Augusta, falling to the hosting Red Devils, 76-75. Rector missed a free throw and an open three-pointer in the final minute of play, with both opportunities potentially tying the game down the stretch.
Augusta led throughout: 18-15; 34-31 and 55-46.
Augusta came out firing, shooting a high percentage from the field throughout the night.
"We caught them on the wrong night," Rector coach Matt Mills said. "I thought we played well, but they were hitting everything they put up. I think they ended up shooting around 70 percent from the floor. I thought we played hard and had a chance to tie the game twice late, but just couldn't come through."
Seniors Dillon Shelton and Mitchell Weber paced the Cougars in scoring. Shelton led Rector with 27 points while Mitchell Weber finished with 21. Alec Scott also notched double figures, netting 12 points. Reed Weber and Daniel White rounded out the Cougar scoring with nine and six points, respectively.
Augusta was led by 28 points from Gant and 21 from Brown.
With the loss, the Cougars move to 15-8 overall and 5-5 in the ultra-tough conference 2A-3.
The Junior Cougars fell to Augusta, 41-38, in their matchup.
Rector led 6-5 after the first frame, but trailed 20-12 at intermission. Augusta led 29-26 heading into the final frame.
Freshmen Lawson Ford, 13 points, and Garrett Buck, 10, led the Junior Cougars in scoring. Also scoring for Rector were Easton Tracy 7, Danny Hager 6 and Kade Scott 2.
Marked Tree Win
The Cougars picked up a big win last Tuesday over the Marked Tree Indians in Rector, 69-63.
The back-and-forth contest hit an exciting crescendo in the fourth quarter. Trailing by a point, 57-56, the Cougars moved ahead by one with 2:35 left in the contest. Shelton tipped the dribble away from the Indians' guard near the Rector basket, with the loose ball bouncing to White, who further tapped the ball to Alec Scott. Scott recovered the ball and sent the pass to Shelton for the go-ahead layup. The Indians came up short on the next possession, giving the ball back to Rector. White, who played very well in the final frame, was able to penetrate inside off the dribble, spinning in the paint and hitting a floater with 2:10 left in the game, pushing the Cougars to a 60-57 advantage. Marked Tree would tie the game at 60-60, but Mitchell Weber answered with a three-pointer from the right corner with 1:26 left, giving Rector a 63-60 lead. Alec Scott and Shelton hit one of two each at the line, pushing the advantage to 65-60 with 34 ticks left. The Indians scored on an offensive rebound and added a free throw to cut it to two points, 65-63, but Alec Scott got inside for a nice finger roll basket with 15 seconds left before Shelton put the game away with a pair of free throws with 3.3 seconds showing.
"That was a big win," Mills said. "We needed that one."
Seniors White and Shelton stepped up for the Cougars, particularly down the stretch with leading scorer Mitchell Weber hindered by foul trouble.
"I felt like Dillon (Shelton) took over for us in the third quarter and Daniel (White) took over in the fourth," Mills said. "Without them coming through like they did, we don't win the game."
Shelton led Rector with 21 points, including 11 in the third quarter. White scored 18 on the night, 16 of which came in the second half. Alec Scott finished with 16 points, including five of six from the stripe. Also scoring for Rector were Mitchell Weber 10, Reed Weber 2 and Tyler Carter 2.
Allen Buchanan led Marked Tree with 19. Darius Ivy had 15 for the Indians, who had topped the Cougars in two previous meetings.
Rector led 10-5 after the first frame, but the teams were tied at 23-23 at intermission. The Cougars took an 11 point advantage into the fourth quarter, 50-39, but the Indians opened the final frame with an 8-0 run to quickly close the gap.
The Junior Cougars topped Marked Tree, 51-39.
Rector jumped out early and never looked back, leading 13-7 after first quarter and moving ahead 28-13 at intermission.
The outside shot was falling for the Junior Cougars in the first quarter. Ford, Hager and Chito Martinez each buried a triple in the opening period to start the game strong for the boys in blue.
Three Junior Cougars scored in double figures on the evening. Buck led the way with 16 points. Hager and Ford added 11 and 10, respectively. Tracy added nine points. Martinez and Kade Scott finished with three and two points, respectively, to round out the Junior Cougar scoring.
Marked Tree's Griffin notched 25 points in the loss.
The Cougars were slated to travel to Riverside Tuesday night. The Cougars are set to visit McCrory beginning at 6 p.m. Friday. Rector is slated to host Cross County beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday.