Cougars Avenge Loss to CRA

Thursday, January 29, 2015
Cougar Danny Hager dishes off to an open teammate after drawing the defender on a fast break during Friday's win over CRA.

The Cougars avenged an earlier loss to host Crowley's Ridge Academy Friday night, putting forth a solid effort to defeat the Falcons, 66-50.

The Cougars received a lift from two seniors on the night, as Skyler Shockley and Landen Crancer had their strongest outings of the season. Shockley and Crancer each scored 16 points for Rector in the key victory.

"I was happy with how we played as a whole, but I really thought Skyler and Landen stepped up and made some very big shots for us," RHS coach Matt Mills said.

Shockley did the bulk of his damage from mid-range, though. Shockley and Crancer each scored 16 points for Rector in the key victory.

"I was happy with how we played as a whole, but I really thought Skyler and Landen stepped up and made some very big shots for us," RHS coach Matt Mills said.

Shockley did the bulk of his damage from mid-range, elevating on a pair of beautiful pull-up jumpers, while hitting two from downtown. Crancer was a sniper from the perimeter, burying four triples to spread the defense while adding two baskets inside.

Danny Hager added 11 for the Cougars on the night. Also scoring for Rector were Lawson Ford 8, Nick Hardin 4, Houston Highfill 4, Garrett Buck 3, Chase Jackson 2 and Mason McCluskey 1.

James Scott led CRA with 21.

The win helps ease a December loss to CRA by the Cougars in Rector, a game won by a last-second heave by Scott. Friday night, the Cougars were aggressive on both ends of the court, forcing CRA into more mistakes than their previous encounter.

"I thought we played extremely hard in every facet of the game," Mills said. "We had so many guys contribute tonight, in more than just scoring. We made our rotations on defense, and it was probably our best game on offense this year. It was just a very good effort all-around."

The Cougars improved to 9-10 overall and are 4-7 in 2A-3 conference action, which is sixth place in the league.

The Junior Cougars wreaked havoc on the defensive side of the court Friday night, topping CRA 39-28.

Rector's pressing defense created turnovers and scoring opportunities in transition early, allowing the Junior Cougars to jump out to an 11-1 lead through the first quarter. The hosts were on their heels from there, as Rector was able to cruise to the victory. The Junior Cougars led throughout: 11-1; 18-9 and 27-16.

Kirk Beshears had a big night on offense, leading Rector with 16 points. Also scoring for the Junior Cougars were Hunter McNeely 9, Sam Simmons 7, David Hatfield 3, Colton Lindsey 3, Drake Lindsey 2 and Kale Hardin 1.

"I thought we did a good job defensively," Mills said. "We were able to take them out of rhythm early and forced them into taking tough shots."

The Junior Cougars improved to 4-14 overall and 4-7 in conference play.

The Cougars will host conference foe East Poinsett County beginning at 6 p.m. Friday night, which will serve as RHS' basketball homecoming, as well. Homecoming festivities are set to take place between the junior high and senior high games. The Cougars are set to visit rival Marmaduke beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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