Lady Hounds Roll over BIC for Regional Crown
Marmaduke continued its season long dominance over Buffalo Island Central, racing past the Lady Mustangs 62-45 to claim the Region 2 Championship Monday afternoon at Sloan Hendrix High School in Imboden. It was the fifth time in six meetings that the Lady Greyhounds have defeated BIC this season.
Monday's title game turned in Marmaduke's favor when the Lady Greyhound defense held BIC scoreless during an eight minute span. BIC's Cassidy Qualls hit one of two free throws with 1:17 left in the first half to pull BIC to within 22-21, but the Lady Mustangs didn't muster another point until Brittany Fowler hit a 15-foot jumper with 1:07 left in the third quarter. Before the drought ended, Marmaduke had run off 16 unanswered points to grab a 38-21 advantage. The Lady Greyhounds held a 38-23 lead heading into the final frame.
BIC tried to mount a comeback early in the fourth quarter, as Fowler made four consecutive free throws followed by a back door basket by Hannah Poe, cutting the Lady Greyhound lead to 40-29 with 6:24 left in the game. Marmaduke answered with an 8-1 run, highlighted by baskets from Callie Price and Whitley Boggs to take a 48-30 lead with just 3:53 remaining.
The Lady Greyhounds connected on six of eight free throws in the next 90 seconds, and capped off the game with a pair of three point bombs by Sidnee Bopp and Allison Hampton to close out the victory.
Marmaduke held an early 12-9 edge after the opening quarter and took a 25-21 lead into the dressing room at the half.
The Lady Greyhounds placed four players in double figures, led by Whitley Boggs who scored 17. Jessica Lee netted 12, Alexus Jones tallied 11 while Bopp added 10. Price pitched in seven points while Hampton added three. Marmaduke connected on 26-36 foul shots and drained six three pointers on the afternoon.
Fowler scored a game high 24 points to pace the Lady Mustangs. Taylor McKuin pitched in seven, Cassidy Qualls contributed six, Emily Owens scored four while Katelyn Sparkman and Hannah Poe added two points apiece. BIC hit 16-23 free throws but failed to connect from beyond the three point arc.
"I thought we really played well today," said Marmaduke Coach Rick Smith. "We had a balanced scoring attack with four players in double figures. I thought we gave a great defensive effort, especially during the third quarter. Jessica Lee was solid today and Alexus Jones not only scored double figures but ran the offense well and came up with some big steals. We hit our free throws and made shots when we needed them. We are looking forward to opening up the state tournament on our home floor. It's an advantage for us but it's no guarantee that we are going to win it. We will have to be ready to play every time we take the floor. I thought we did a great job on Fowler today despite her getting 24 points. She is a great player and is so hard to defend. That's why she's going to be playing on the next level. I'm hoping we meet up with them for a seventh time. We've talked about that a lot and hopefully it will happen," concluded Smith.