Cougars Roar to Win over Riverside

Thursday, January 22, 2015
Senior Landen Crancer is greeted by teammates as his name is announced as a starter in action from earlier in the season. The Cougars return home Thursday night after a lengthy series of away games.(TD photo/Ryan Rogers)

The Rector Cougars notched a big time 2A-3 victory Tuesday night, upending the always-tough Riverside Rebels at Caraway, 49-46.

RHS continued its scrappy play on the defensive end--even turning up the pressure a few notches.

"We played incredibly hard on the defensive end all night," coach Matt Mills said. "I thought that was our best game defensively by far."

The Cougars' recent shooting woes continued in the first half, with the exception of junior guard Chito Martinez who hit key baskets to keep RHS competitive early. Riverside was in front 24-17 at intermission. Rector went into the break making just three of their 13 attempts from beyond the arc.

The second half was another story, however, as RHS made eight of 10 triples over the course of the final two quarters, literally shooting the lights out and sending the vocal Riverside crowd home unhappy.

"We had a really good second half," Mills said. "We were missing open looks in the first half, but it seemed like everything was falling in the second."

Earlier Games

Offensive struggles hindered the Cougars in two conference losses on the road this past week, with the hard-working Rector team unable to get much going in terms of scoring in either contest.

"We've been unable to make shots, and it's frustrating because these guys are working so hard and it's just not coming together at the same time," Mills said of his team. "I don't think I've ever seen anything like it before. We've had several good shots that look like they're on the way down--and then they come out. The only thing we can do is stay after it and keep working hard."

Friday night the Cougars faced a tough challenge in the ultra-athletic Earle Bulldogs. EHS took advantage of the Rector shooting woes, posting a 54-19 victory in Earle.

RHS trailed throughout: 18-5; 39-15 and 47-16.

Chito Martinez led the Cougars with six points on the night. Also scoring for Rector were Lawson Ford 4, Chase Jackson 3, Nick Hardin 2, Skyler Shockley 2 and Garrett Buck 2.

The Junior Cougars fell in their meeting with Earle, 61-34.

The Junior Cougars led 10-7 after the first frame on the strength of a pair of triples by Sam Simmons and key buckets from Kirk Beshears and Hunter McNeely, but the hosts picked up the pace in the second frame, outpacing Rector 17-7 en route to an Earle advantage, 24-17, at intermission. Rector trailed 43-28 heading into the final frame.

Simmons paced Rector with 11 points on the night. Also scoring for the Junior Cougars were McNeely 9, Beshears 6, Trey Rodden 4, Kale Hardin 2 and Drake Lindsey 2.

Marked Tree Game

The Cougars fell to host Marked Tree, 61-33, on Jan. 13. RHS trailed throughout: 13-3; 31-13 and 41-19.

Danny Hager led the Cougars with 11 points in the loss. Also scoring for Rector were Hardin 9, Landen Crancer 6, Martinez 2, Mason McCluskey 2, Jackson 2 and Buck 1.

Griffin led Marked Tree with 19 on the night.

The Junior Cougars fell to Marked Tree, 48-20.

Beshears and McNeely led the team with six points each on the night. David Hatfield and Simmons scored three points each. Colton Lindsey rounded out the Rector scoring with two points in the contest.

The Cougars have two more critical conference matchups this week, with Earle coming to Rector on Thursday and a road game at CRA on Friday.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: