Cougars Notch Key Conference Victory
The Cougars continued to bring a high level of excitement to the court for their third straight victory out of the gates in the 2014-2015 basketball season Friday night in Rector, topping the visiting Marked Tree Indians, 52-46, in their first 2A-3 conference matchup of the year.
"That was huge; a big win," RHS coach Matt Mills said after the game, "This group of guys has bought in and gives you everything they have. I really like how we're playing right now. We're playing unselfishly, sharing the ball well, and we're hustling on every play. It's fun to watch and it's fun to coach a team like this."
Rector led most of the night, but Marked Tree fought back with an 8-0 run to close the third frame with the teams knotted up at 36-36. Nick Hardin and Lawson Ford hit back-to-back jumpers early in the fourth to give the Cougars some breathing room, 40-36, before a Hardin trey offset a drive by Marked Tree's D'Angelo Griffin, moving Rector five points ahead, 43-38. Another Hardin triple, this time from NBA range, gave RHS an eight point advantage, 46-38, with 4:25 remaining.
The visitors were able to close within two points, 48-46, with only 22 seconds left to play, but Ford buried four crucial free throws in the final 17.5 seconds to hold off the rally.
Another key factor in the outcome was the total team effort on the glass, led by Garrett Buck's 11 rebounds.
"We got in there and battled with them, and I don't think they were expecting that," Mills said.
Rector led 16-13 after the first frame and 30-26 at intermission.
Ford's 13 points and Hardin's 12 paced the Cougars on the night. Also scoring for RHS were Mason McCluskey 8, Danny Hager 4, Buck 4, Landen Crancer 3, Skyler Shickley 2 and Huston Highfill 2.
Griffin led Marked Tree with 19 points. Tirek Young added 11 points for the Indians.
The Cougars (3-0, 1-0) are set to host the Earle Bulldogs as part of a four game night Tuesday. RHS is set to host Riverside beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2.
The Junior Cougars fell to a tough Junior Indian squad Friday night, 51-26.
Rector trailed throughout: 12-6; 29-12 and 41-19.
Hunter McNeely led the Junior Cougars with eight points. Also scoring for Rector were Kirk Beshears 5, Sam Simmons 4, David Hatfield 2, Trey Rodden 4, Parker Bucy 2 and Max Ford 1.
Tigers by the Tail
The Cougars cruised to a 62-35 victory over the visiting Maynard Tigers Tuesday, Nov. 18 in Rector.
Seniors Crancer, 13 points, and Shockley, 12 points, led the Cougar scorers in the rout. Also scoring for Rector were Ford 9, Hardin 8, Buck 6, Case Watson 5, McCluskey 4, Hager 3, Chito Martinez 2 and Chase Jackson 2.
Rector led throughout the contest: 20-12; 47-13 and 56-24.
The Junior Cougars fell to Maynard in their contest, 32-26.
McNeely led Rector with eight points in the game. Also scoring for the Junior Cougars were Hatfield 7, Rodden 4, Simmons 4 and Beshears 3.