Lady Cougars Power Toward 2A-3 Showdown
The Lady Cougars, ranked second in Arkansas Class 2A, added two more wins to their remarkable season this past week, cruising past conference foes Cross County and McCrory. Rector improved to 25-4 overall and 11-2 in conference 2A-3 with the victories.
The Lady Cougars had no problems on the road Monday night, downing the hosting Cross County Lady Thunderbirds in Cherry Valley, 77-20.
The contest was effectively over soon after starting, as the Lady Cougars scored more points in the first frame, 21, than their foes managed in the entire contest. Kendal Gunn, eight points, and Anna Blackshare, six, started RHS off on the right foot. Bekah Scott notched five points in the opening quarter while Bailey Haney scored two, as Rector ended the first period in front, 21-2. RHS led 36-9 at intermission and 58-15 heading into the fourth.
The Lady Cougars dominated at both ends of the floor. RHS limited Cross County's opportunities by forcing numerous turnovers with their pressing defense. On the offensive side, each Lady Cougar dressed out for the contest scored in the victory. Rector sank 11 three-pointers as a team, with Blackshare accounting for four on her own.
Blackshare led RHS with 16 points. Gunn netted 14 in the win. Also scoring for the Lady Cougars were Tori Hill 8, Scott 7, Marla Crancer 7, Lenae Haley 5, Brittany Fair 5, Harmony Brown 5, Haney 4, Kristen Smart 2, Cheyenne Ellis 2 and Colby Lynch 2.
The Junior Lady Cougars fell in their meeting with Cross County, 45-20.
Rector trailed throughout: 20-2; 34-7 and 38-16.
Sophi Adams led Rector with six points on the night. Also scoring for the Junior Lady Cougars were Dominique Coln 5, Matison Dean 5, Gabby Clark 2 and Sarah Isom 2.
Racheal Wilson led Cross County with 19 points.
With the loss, the Junior Lady Cougars fell to 3-16 overall and 2-11 in conference play.
The Lady Cougars rolled over McCrory, 65-17, Thursday night in Rector.
The contest was never in doubt, with RHS leading by a large amount after each quarter: 27-7; 43-16 and 56-16.
The trio of Blackshare, 11 points, Gunn, 10, and Smart, 10 points, paced the Lady Cougars on the evening. Also scoring for Rector were Haney 9, Ellis 8, Hill 8, Fair 4, Crancer 3 and Brown 2.
While the last two wins were not especially taxing for the Lady Cougars, the schedule will heat up for RHS as the regular season nears its end. The Lady Cougars are set to visit East Poinsett County Thursday. Beginning at 6 p.m. Monday, the Lady Cougars will welcome rival and Class 2A fourth ranked Marmaduke in what is one of the most anticipated matchups in Arkansas.
RHS coach Matt Dean says his team is focusing on EPC with Marmaduke looming ahead.
"We can't overlook EPC," Dean said. "They're down a little bit this year, but over there (at Lepanto) they're tough."
Once Thursday's contest is in the books, though, it will be full-speed ahead toward the Rector-Marmaduke rumble.
"It's going to be a big game Monday night," Dean said. "If Marmaduke wins, they'll be the conference champs."
For Rector to claim the conference crown, and a top seed heading into the district tournament, the Lady Cougars must win their final three conference games, topping EPC, Marmaduke and BIC in consecutive games.
"We've got to take of business Thursday first," Dean said. "We're preparing just like we have been lately. We've got a group of seniors here that are experienced and know this is the time of year to stay focused. This group will come ready to play."
The Junior Lady Cougars fell to McCrory Thursday, 45-18.
Rector trailed throughout: 16-9; 35-11 and 44-16.
Dean led the Junior Lady Cougars with six points in the loss. Also scoring for Rector were Hailey Hilfiker 4, Jackie Beck 4, Maddie Hobbs and Adams 2.