Cougars Earn Bragging Rights in Mohawk Rivalry
"Whenever Piggott and Rector play, you can count on both teams playing hard and with a ton of emotion," Mohawk assistant basketball coach Michael Harrell correctly said prior to Thursday's meeting of the Tribe and the Cougars Thursday night at Piggott. The game would ultimately go to the boys in blue, 59-49, but both teams were able to leave the court knowing their tremendous efforts helped continue a rivalry the type of which only a select few communities can claim.
Rector got things going early, jumping out to a 20-12 first quarter advantage. Senior Mitchell Weber hit a pair of buckets inside for Rector early, adding a free throw on an and-one, but early foul trouble forced the standout to the bench for much of the night. Three-pointers by Dillon Shelton, Nick Hardin and Adam Dinkins helped the Cougars on the offensive end in the first frame.
For the Mohawks, Lucas Brewer put on his hard hat and went to work inside, scoring two baskets in the paint and adding a free throw in the first period.
Rector pulled ahead by as many as 13 points, 26-13, on a pair of jumpers and a drive by Shelton in the first few minutes of the second frame. The Mohawks, though, would come roaring back to finish the first half with a 10-2 run. Brewer sank four of four from the line and added a bucket underneath on an inbound play during the stretch. Logan Murray buried a triple from the right wing. Austin Murray made one of two from the stripe at the 5:28 mark to start the run. The first half ended with the Cougars holding a 28-23 advantage.
The Mohawks were able to pull within a single point, 30-29, midway through the third frame. Trevor Grubb received a smooth pass from Logan Murray for a bucket inside and Brewer added two from the stripe and a basket under the hoop to close the gap. Rector responded with a 10-4 run over the final 3:45 of the third which included a drive from Alec Scott, back-to-back post buckets by Reed Weber, a hoop from Tyler Carter from the block and a pair of free throws by Adam Dinkins at the end of the frame. The Cougars led 40-33 going into the fourth quarter.
Rector led by as many as 12 in the final frame as Shelton and Alec Scott were able to drive to the basket. Shelton made four of four at the stripe in the final 1:11 and Alec Scott added a freebie to secure the victory for the Cougars.
Shelton finished with a game-high 23 points for Rector. Scott added 13 in the win. Also scoring for the Cougars were Dinkins 5, Hardin 5, Mitchell Weber 5, Carter 4 and Reed Weber 4.
"I thought our guards played real well tonight," RHS coach Matt Mills said. "We had two starters in foul trouble practically the whole night. I thought Dillon Shelton did an outstanding job for us and was the best player on the floor. Alec had a strong performance and I thought Dinkins and Nick Hardin did a good job coming off the bench."
Brewer led the Mohawks with 18 points on the night. Will Jett, Austin Murray and Bradley Stephens notched seven points each for the Tribe. Logan Murray six points, and Trevor Grubb, four, rounded out the Mohawk scoring.
Rector made 12 of 15 free throw attempts. Piggott sank 16 of 26 at the line.