Cougars Open Season with Victory
Nick Hardin scored 13 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter as the Cougars pulled away from the visiting Armorel Tigers, 65-56, to open RHS' basketball season with a win in Rector Monday night. Hardin sank six of eight free throws in the final stanza and Lawson Ford buried four of six at the line at the Cougars held on down the stretch.
"Those free throws were critical, you know, and Garrett Buck hit two free throws in the fourth quarter that helped us keep momentum, too," RHS coach Matt Mills said. "Really, every one of our guys that stepped on the court, I thought, played extremely hard and contributed to the win. I told them they exceeded my expectations, and that doesn't happen very often. It was a real good win for this team."
Ford netted 13 points to join Hardin in double figures. Also scoring for the Cougars were: Danny Hager, 7; Landen Crancer, 6; Skyler Shockley, 5; Buck, 4; Mason McCluskey, 2 and Chase Jackson, 2.
Zach Gray paced Armorel with 24 in the loss.
Rector trailed 17-13 after the opening frame, but held a 35-32 advantage going into intermission. The teams were tied at 42-42 through three quarters of play.
"Armorel is one of those teams that's always tough," Mills said. "They had a few more games under their belt, so for us to come out and play like we did, and be as poised as we were, was a nice surprise."
The Cougars were slated to host Maynard Tuesday night in Rector. The boys are set to welcome conference foe Marked Tree beginning at 6 p.m. Friday Earle is set to visit Rector beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25.
The Junior Cougars battled Armorel in a 39-27 loss Monday night at Rector.
Rector trailed throughout: 9-4; 19-9 and 25-17.
Sam Simmons led the Junior Cougars with 13 points on the night. Also scoring for Rector were Hunter McNeely, 7; Kirk Beshears, 3; David Hatfield, 2 and Nick Mesa, 2.
"We're still putting everything together in junior high," Mills said. "There are some good athletes on this team and I expect these guys to become skilled players, but it just takes some time. They're getting there, though. I think this bunch will be fun to watch, I really do."