Cougars Fall in NEA Tourney

Thursday, January 2, 2014
Rector's Alec Scott makes a strong drive to the hoop during the Cougar loss to Maynard in the NEA

The Cougars avenged an earlier loss to Cross County in the first round of the Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament Division I, but fell to a red hot Maynard team and one of the tourney's biggest scorers in the second round.

The Cougars rolled to a 53-33 win over Cross County on Dec. 21. Rector held the Thunderbirds scoreless in the opening and closing quarters, taking firm control of the contest.

"I thought there were times where we played really well defensively," RHS coach Matt Mills said. "There were some lapses, but on the whole I thought we did a good job of controlling the tempo and forcing them into bad shots. When you shut a team out for two quarters, you know you're doing something right. The next thing is to put that together and do it on a consistent basis."

RHS led throughout: 17-0; 28-14 and 45-33.

"We came out a little sluggish in the third quarter," Mills noted. "I don't know if that's because we were wound up going into the game and built up a big lead and then got sluggish. I thought we came back in the fourth quarter and finished the game strong. That's something we had trouble doing a few weeks ago; we weren't finishing games. So, this is definitely a step in the right direction."

Adam Dinkins paced the Cougars with 20 points in the victory. Lawson Ford, 16 points, and Reed Weber, 10, scored in double figures for RHS. Alec Scott, six points, and Nick Hardin, one point, rounded out the Rector scoring.

The Cougars made 14 of 18 free throws on the day.

Against Maynard Thursday, the Cougars started strong, but fell off in the second half, falling to the Tigers, 70-45.

RHS led by as many as 11 points in the first half, doubling up Maynard 22-11 early in the second quarter, but couldn't buy a basket in the second half. The Cougars saw a 27-21 halftime advantage disappear in a hurry, as Maynard outpaced RHS 25-7 in the third quarter. RHS managed just six field goals total in the third and fourth quarters.

The Tigers were led by 38 points from NEA Tournament standout Colton Watson.

Weber paced the Cougars with 19 points on the night. Dinkins added nine points for RHS.

Rector is set to return to action when the Cougars host Buffalo Island Central beginning at 6 p.m. Jan. 7.

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