Cougar Hoops Squads in Action
The Rector Lady Cougars notched two conference wins Monday night at Marked Tree.
The senior Lady Cougars battled back and forth with the Indians, but ended up pulling off a victory, 21-17, making the team 8-8 overall and 5-3 in conference.
Marked Tree was on top in the first quarter 10-4, but the Rector ladies made a comeback in the second, leading the rest of the game with 13-10 at halftime and 17-11 at the end of the third.
Senior Colby Lynch led the Lady Cougars in scoring, posting 12 points. Other scorers were Matison Dean 8 and Tori Hill 1.
"We didn't shoot well, but defensively we played really well," coach Matt Dean said. "We were able to hold on and get a good conference win."
The junior high ladies started off slow, "but in the third quarter we did some good shooting and took back the lead," Dean said.
Marked Tree led the first half, 6-4 and 16-5, but the young Rector team pulled in front 22-18 in the third on the way to an exciting 29-28 win.
Leading scoring for the Cougars was Gabby Clark with 11. Other scoring was Mylessa Gant 9, Shianne Rients 5, Michaela Rients 2 and Ryleigh Laden 2.
Both Lady Cougar squads will host Earle on Thursday and Riverside on Monday, battling two of the better teams in the conference.
Offensive woes continue for the Rector Cougars as they fell short in a couple of home basketball games during the past week.
In both cases, the Cougars notched scoring totals in the 40s, in a conference setback on Tuesday night to Buffalo Island Central and a non-conference battle Friday with Walnut Ridge.
Coach Matt Mills acknowledged the offensive issues in both games, but had a different overall take on his team's performances for the week.
"Despite our scoring problems, I was really pleased with the defensive effort all the way through against Buffalo Island Central," he said. "We played hard from start to finish.
"That wasn't so much the case against Walnut Ridge," he said. "We kind of let up on the effort and gave them a bunch of easy baskets."
The opponents offered two different offensive styles, as BIC hurt the Cougars with a barrage of outside shots, while Walnut Ridge did most of its damage inside.
The Bobcats entered the game ranked second in the state in Class 2A and were led by postman Spencer Wilson, who netted 26 points. "We just had no answer for him," coach Mills said.
The game was relatively close in the early going as the visitors posted quarter leads of 16-7 and 23-19. Three-point baskets by Case Watson and Kirk Beshears in the second quarter helped keep the Cougars in touch. But the Bobcats had a big 24-point third period to begin putting the game out of reach, eventually rolling to a 62-41 decision.
Walnut Ridge really made their mark at the free throw line, hitting 24 of 36 to only 2-4 for the Cougars.
Kenzie Flippo joined Wilson in double figures with 13.
Lawson Ford was the only Cougar in double figures with 14. Also scoring were Chase Jackson 9, Garrett Buck 6, Watson 5, Beshears 3, Danny Hager 2 and Huston Highfill 2.
Jackson had an outstanding game for the Cougars against BIC, dominating the boards with 16 rebounds.
"Chase played incredible," coach Mills said. "We know he is capable of doing that. When he plays like that, we are so much better."
The pattern in the BIC game was much the same as Walnut Ridge. The Cougars stayed close in the first half, but couldn't hang on after intermission.
The visiting Mustangs were ahead 13-10 after one quarter and 31-26 at the halftime break. Rector stayed close with the help of four three-pointers in the first half, by Watson, Ford, Jackson and Easton Tracy. Unfortunately, BIC netted five treys before intermission and finished with nine for the game. The Cougars ended with six three-pointers.
BIC eased to a 45-37 advantage after three quarters and went on to win, 64-44.
BIC was 9-12 at the charity stripe while Rector was 0-3.
Ford led Rector with 15 points. Also scoring were Jackson 7, Hager 6, Buck 6, Highfill 4, Tracy 3 and Watson 3. Trey DePriest had 20 points for the winners, while Dax Hurst and Andrew McFarlin added 10 each.
"I thought it was one of our best overall performances," Mills said. "We were really solid on the defensive end and we had only nine turnovers.
"But we go long stretches without a basket and we just can't do that, because the other teams in our league are not going to have those stretches.
"BIC is tough because they can put so many good shooters out there."
Rector dropped both junior high games during the week, 40-23 to BIC and 35-21 to Walnut Ridge.
Quarter leads for BIC were 16-4, 23-12 and 31-14.
Scoring for Rector were Mike Hart 6, Trey Rodden 3, Parker Bucy 3, Kale Hardin 2, Conly Lockhart 2, Max Ford 2 and Zane McNeely 2. Taylor Gipson had 12 for BIC.
Rector was strong in the early going against Walnut Ridge, posting a 7-6 advantage after one frame and 11-10 at intermission.
But the visiting Junior Bobcats took control in the second half, moving to a 22-18 lead after three period on the way to a 35-21 victory.
Ford led Rector with 12 points. Also scoring were Ty Jones 5, Lockhart 2 and Patterson 2. Slade Dalton had 10 for Walnut Ridge.
Walnut Ridge hit 13 of 23 free throws, while the Junior Cougars were 1-4.
Both Rector teams were scheduled to travel Tuesday night to Marked Tree and will host Earle on Friday.