Cougars Come From Behind at District
The Cougars advanced to the second round of the 2A-3 District Tournament with a 65-56 victory over Buffalo Island Central Monday night at Marmaduke.
The contest went down-to-the-wire with the Cougars pulling ahead in the final two minutes of the game.
Dillon Shelton drove inside, drawing defenders, before dishing to Mitchell Weber on the left baseline for a hoop with 2:09 left in the fourth quarter, cutting the BIC lead to one, 53-53. Mitchell Weber picked off a pass at midcourt and took the ball to the basket for an and-one opportunity. The additional free throw gave the Cougars a two-point lead, 55-53. BIC missed a jumper and Mitchell Weber secured the rebound. Weber got the ball to Alec Scott, who made two at the line after being fouled with 1:05 remaining. Austin Pike hit a big trey for BIC, cutting the RHS lead to one, 57-56, with 56 seconds left. Shelton sank two at the stripe on a quick foul by BIC. Mitchell Weber came up with another big steal, tapping the ball away from behind on a pass to the top of the key. The RHS senior secured the loose ball and made both free throws after BIC fouled to stop the clock. Mitchell Weber added four more free throws in the final 24 seconds, as BIC's three-point attempts came up short.
Heading into the contest, Rector had two starters, Shelton and Reed Weber, battling flu-like symptoms. Mitchell Weber battled foul trouble, sitting much of the second and third quarters.
"It wasn't pretty, but we'll take it," RHS coach Matt Mills said. "We had to overcome guys being sick and guys having foul trouble to do it."
BIC scored six straight points early in the fourth to move ahead 49-46. Shelton appeared to draw a foul on a drive to the hoop, but no call came and BIC nailed a triple in transition.
"When they hit that three, it felt like everything was going against us," Mills said. "I think most people there probably thought the game was over. BIC looked like they were going to slow things down, but Mitchell got those two steals and we were able to get right back in it. We weren't anywhere near our best, but we found a way to win."
Rector led 16-15 after first quarter. BIC was in front 26-24 at intermission and 41-39 heading into the fourth.
Foul trouble didn't keep Mitchell Weber from putting his stamp on the game. The senior notched a game-high 26 points, with all but five coming in the first and fourth quarters. He made nine of 11 free throws, with seven of those coming in the fourth frame. Alec Scott finished with 14 points for the Cougars, including eight of 11 at the stripe. Also scoring for Rector were Shelton 9, Reed Weber 7, Daniel White 6 and Adam Dinkins 3.
BIC was led by Pike's 18. Nick Bollinger added 12 in the loss.