Cougar Boys Advance in District, Both Teams Set for Regional

Thursday, February 16, 2017

In a tale of two halves, Rector (11-13) found themselves down 31-27 at the half. The Cougars came out on fire in the second half and outscored Maynard 36-22 to take a 63-53 win over the Tigers in opening round play of the 1A-3 senior high district tournament at Bay.

Maynard scored inside and added a three-pointer to go up 5-0 before Rector got a three-pointer from Sam Simmons to make it 5-3 Tigers. Maynard drilled another three-ball as Easton Tracy netted a three-pointer for the Cougars making the score 8-6 Tigers. Maynard hit a trey, Tracy got a steal and lay-up before the Tigers drilled back to back three-pointers to make it 17-8 with 2:30 left. Cody Ails answered with a three-ball for Rector, Maynard hit a jumper as Kirk Beshears hit a jumper for the Cougars to make it 19-13 Maynard. The Cougars got one of two free throws from Max Ford before Maynard hit one of two free throws to make the score 20-14 after one.

The Tigers converted an old-school three-point play to open the second quarter as Kale Hardin hit one of two free throws for Rector to make it 23-15 Maynard. The Tigers scored inside, Ails drilled a three-ball for Rector, Maynard got a jumper in the lane before Ford scored down low and added one of two free throws to make the score 27-21 Tigers with 3:27 left. Maynard hit a trey, Ford drilled a three-ball for Rector as the Tigers hit one of two free throws to make it 31-24 Maynard. Beshears hit one of two free throws for the Cougars as Conly Lockhart hit a jumper in the lane for Rector to make it 31-27 Maynard at the half.

Rector High School honored the class of 2017 at a senior assembly held Friday, Feb. 10, at RHS. This year's senior night was cancelled, due to the fact the Cougar's opponents, KIPP Blytheville, were unable to make the trip to Rector. Members of the basketball teams, cheerleading squad and band were recognized during the assembly. This year's seniors include, from left: Front--Cobi Buck, Renae Edwards, Avery Bucy, Mackenzie McCluskey, Dominique Coln and Bailey Hoots. Second row-Amber Beck, Danielle Ballew, Natalie Varner, Jagger Ellis and Blake LaRue. Third row-Emmaline Hobbs, Matison Dean, Sarah Isom and Kota Gunn. Back-Easton Tracy, James Fannin, Jr. and Cody Ails.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

Rector got two free throws from Beshears for the first points of the third quarter before Maynard hit a baseline jumper to make the score 33-29 Tigers early in the quarter. Ails canned a three-ball for Rector, Maynard scored inside as Tracy netted a three-pointer to tie the game at 35. Maynard hit two free throws only to see Ails can another three-pointer for Rector and Ford get a floater to drop for the Cougars to make the score 40-37 Rector with 4:26 left. Maynard hit two free throws and got a jumper to fall to take a 41-40 lead before Ails hit his third three-pointer of the quarter to make it 43-41 Cougars. The Tigers hit three of four free throws on back to back trips to the line to re-take the lead at 44-43 before Simmons scored inside to make it 45-44 Rector. Beshears hit one of two free throws for Rector before Simmons added two free throws to make the score 48-44 Cougars after three.

Ails canned his sixth trey of the game to start the fourth quarter scoring as Beshears hit one of two free throws to make it 52-44 Cougars. Maynard hit a three-pointer, Beshears scored inside for Rector, the Tigers hit one of two free throws before Ford drilled a three-pointer for the Cougars making it 55-48 Rector with 5:08 left in the game. Maynard scored back to back baskets only to see Ford and Beshears both hit two free throws for Rector with Tracy scoring off the fast break for the Cougars to make it 63-52 Rector. Maynard hit one of two free throws with .01 left on the clock to make the final score 63-53 Cougars.

"Survive and advance," were the first words from Rector head coach Matt Mills on his thoughts of the game. "We didn't play our best basketball but good enough to get the win. We came out flat in the first quarter and then I thought we played good the rest of the game," Mills added. "Cody (Ails) has carried us on three-point shooting and he had a good night shooting tonight," Mills said.

Rector's Cody Ails plays tight defense on Maynard's Dillon Venson during the Cougars win this past Monday in Bay. (TD photo/Anthony Cossey)

Ails led Rector with 18 points on six three-pointers as the Cougars also got double digit scoring from Ford with 14 points, Beshears with 11 points and Tracy with 10 points. Simmons tossed in seven points, Lockhart netted two points as Hardin chipped in one point.

The victory earned the Cougars a second-round match-up with Bay on Tuesday evening, but more importantly a spot in next week's regional tournament at Calico Rock.

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