Cougars Trim Tigers in Homecoming Tilt
The last week of January proved busy for the Rector Cougar basketball teams, as they battled through both conference and non-conference action. Friday night they marked homecoming at RHS with a sweep over the Maynard Tigers, which included a special moment for Cougar fans.
The Cougar boys took on Crowley's Ridge Academy on Tuesday, Jan. 24, and split a pair on the night.
The senior boys took their contest 67-60 over the Falcons, thanks-in-part to a 23-7 first quarter.
CRA responded in the second quarter, outscoring the Cougars 17-9, giving the RHS squad a 32-24 advantage at the break. The third quarter also went to the Falcons, as they outscored the Cougars 22-18 in the period to pull to 50-46 after three. But, the RHS squad held on down the stretch to take the fourth quarter 17-15 and set the final score.
Leading the scoring effort for the Cougars was Kirk Beshears with 23, while Easton Tracy finished with 13, Max Ford had 11 and Cody Ails was also in double figures with 10 points in the win.
The Falcons were led by Landon Brinkley on the night with 18.
The Junior Cougars dug a hole for themselves in their game with CRA, falling behind the Falcons 12-5 by the end of the first quarter. And, despite outscoring their opponents throughout the remainder of the regulation, they fell in overtime 50-44.
After trailing by seven points after one, the Cougars outscored the Falcons 12-9 in the second and 13-9 in the third to tie the ballgame. Both teams scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, sending the contest to overtime knotted at 42-42. But, the overtime period belonged to CRA, as they took the frame and set the final score.
Adam Romine led the Cougars in scoring with 13 while Lastin Lindsey was also in double figures with 11.
The Cougars also made up a set with the Greyhounds of Sloan-Hendrix last week, and were swept on the night. The senior boys hung with the Greyhounds early in the contest, as they trailed just 15-13 after the first quarter. But, a 28-12 advantage in the second period, and a 23-15 difference in the third, gave Sloan-Hendrix the edge by a final of 74-43.
Ails led the RHS offense on the night with 12 while Ford was also in double figures for the senior Cougars with 11 points. Point guard Tyler Murphy led all scorers for the Greyhounds with 22.
The Junior Cougars fell behind Sloan-Hendrix 11-8 by the end of their first quarter of play, and trailed 27-16 at the halftime break. The Greyounds also outscored the young Cougars 16-4 in the third and 16-9 in the fourth to set the final at 59-29.
Horton and Lindsey paced the effort for the Cougars with 5 points each in the loss.
The Maynard Tigers visited RHS Friday night for homecoming 2017, with the Cougars sweeping the visitors on the night. Between games the homecoming court for this year was introduced, and near the end of the varsity contest a special moment occurred for one of the Rector students.
With a large partisain crowd in attendance, the Cougars took on the Tigers for their annual homecoming contest Friday. And, with the support of those on hand the Cougars were never tested, taking the contest by a final of 57-36.
On the night the RHS squad was consistent, as they outscored the Tigers 13-9 in the first, 13-12 in the second. The second quarter ended with a long-three pointer by Max Ford, his only basket of the game, as the home team enjoyed a 26-21 advantage at the break.
The Cougars remained consistent in the second half of play, outscoring their visitors 13-9 in the third and 18-6 in the fourth. The effort was aided greatly by a big second half by Cody Ailes, as he stroked 12 of his 15 points--all on three-point baskets.
Late in the game, with the contest in hand, Rector Coach Matt Mills went to his bench and called-on senior James Fannin, dressing for the first time this year. Fannin, with the cooperation of the Maynard coach and team, had the chance to hit a field goal late in the contest--sparking a huge response from the crowd and his teammates.
Top scorer for the Cougars was once again Beshears, as he finished with 18, while Ails had 15 points, Tracy finished with 10, Kale Hardin and Sam Simmons had 4 each, Ford finished with 3 and Colton Lindsey and Fannin each finished with 2 points in the win. Dakota Lee was top scorer for the Tigers with 14 in the loss.
The Junior Cougars got off to a slow start in their game with Maynard, and found themselves trailing 9-8 by the end of the first quarter. The squad responded with a 9-0 advantage in the second quarter, as they took a 17-9 lead over the visitors into the break.
The RHS junior boys also had a strong second half, outscoring the Tigers 13-8 in the third and 10-5 in the fourth, to set the final score and secure the win.
Leading the way for the Junior Cougar offense was Romine with 9 while Lane Stucks finished with 8 points.
"We're finally starting to feel like we're turning the corner, we're 5-3 since Christmas," Coach Mills said of the stretch. "I felt we played extremely well against CRA in a game which meant second place in our district and we took care of that. Then we took on Sloan (Hendrix) and they showed us some things we need to improve on."
Of the homecoming contest, Mills noted he felt it showcased some of the best defense the team has featured all season. "I thought we got it back tonight, I thought we played our best defense of the year--we played just incredible defense," he offered. "Holding them to 36 points I thought was a great job defensively."
With only a handful of games remaining, he noted the team will be tested in the days to come.
"We've got Piggott and Marmaduke, and those will be good games," he explained. "And, we've got Bay down the stretch, we're going to find out just how good we are--and that's what we need to do."
Both boys teams were slated to be in action against Marmaduke Tuesday evening, although final scores and other stats were not available as of press time. The boys will host the Piggott Mohawks this Thursday, Feb. 2, with the junior district tournament set to begin this weekend. The senior squad will be on the road at Bay next Tuesday, and will close out the regular season with a trip to Piggott to take on the Mohawks on Friday, Feb. 10.