Cougars Edged by Tribe at RHS Senior Night

Thursday, February 15, 2018
Piggott's Brett Burns (left) looks for the open pass as he's defended by Rector's Hunter McNeely (2) during Friday night's contest at RHS. Also pictured are Kale Hardin for the Cougars (30) as he defends Mohawk Quentin Reeves, and Rector's Kirk Beshears (23).
TD photo/Tim Blair

The Rector Lady Cougars hosted the Piggott Lady Mohawks in the regular season finale last Friday, Feb. 9, at RHS. Playing in twin bill with the senior boys, the Rector girls helped observe senior night for the class of 2018, although there are no 12th graders on this year's roster.

But, the Piggott girls proved to be inhospitable visitors, as they took the Lady Cougars into overtime and left town with a 45-43 non-conference decision. The difference in the game was arguably the presence of Lady Mohawk freshman guard Claire Bellers, moved up from the junior high team following their elimination from the district tourney Thursday evening. Bellers led the Tribe with 14 points on the game, including the three-pointer which sent the game into overtime.

In the early going the Lady Cougars looked to repeat their earlier win over the PHS girls, as they took an 11-10 lead after one, and a 21-17 advantage into the break. But, the Lady Mohawks were able to battle back in the second half, outscoring their hosts in the third to tie the game at 26-26 going into the fourth quarter.

Down the stretch the two squads matched one another basket-for-basket, ending regulation with the score tied at 40-40.

In overtime, the Lady Mohawks struck first with Bellers nailing a three pointer to make it 43-40. Moments later Kenna Parrish was fouled, and made both shots to cut it to a 43-42 advantage. Bellers tried another long shot on the following possession, with Gabby Clark pulling down the rebound for the Lady Cougars. At the other end Mylesa Gant launched a three, with Madison Rahn grabbing the rebound for PHS.

Following a Piggott timeout, Bellers was fouled and made one of two to give the Lady Mohawks a 44-42 lead. After another Rector miss, Rahn was fouled and made one of two to give the visitors a 45-42 lead with 17.9 to play and set the final score.

Parrish led all scorers with 17 for Rector, Gant was also in double figures with 11. In addition to 14 for Bellers, Brielle Burkman scored 13 for the Tribe and Rahn added another 11.

Boys Game

Trey Gossett canned one of two free throws, then wrestled the ball to the floor after missing the second, as the Piggott Mohawks beat the Rector Cougars 60-59 Friday at RHS. Prior to the contest, the class of 2018 was recognized with senior night activities for the Cougars.

The contest was the nightcap of a set with the Lady Cougars and Mohawks, and the large crowd in attendance was treated to a phyisical and exciting rivalry contest. The contest also featured another wrinkle, as former teammates Alan Rabjohn and Matt Mills were meeting as head coaches. Last week Rabjohn was promoted to lead the PHS team down the stretch after Coach Seth Medlen stepped-aside due to personal issues.

“It was a little strange, there at the end of the game me and Mills were standing side-by-side near midcourt,” Rabjohn noted later.

As they did in their first meeting to begin the Tribe's season, the Cougars jumped to an early lead Friday night as they took a 16-8 advantage after one paced by Jordan Wilson with six points. But, the Mohawks adjusted in the second, and shut-down Wilson for the remainder of the game. Quentin Reeves also began to find his stride for PHS, scoring seven of his 12 points in the frame.

Outscoring their hosts 18-13 in the second, the Mohawks cut the halftime lead to 34-27 in favor of the Cougars.

Coming out of the locker room to begin the second half, both teams made adjustments. What resulted was a 15-12 advantage for the Mohawks, as they cut the Rector lead to 47-45 entering the fourth quarter.

Swapping baskets in the early going of the fourth quarter, Mohawk Brier Staples tied the game at 54-54 at the 3:00 mark with a pair of free throws. The Cougars then began to kill the clock, running off nearly a minute before Kale Hardin was fouled. He stepped-up and canned both attempts, giving the Cougars the 56-54 advantage at the 2:15 mark.

Following a Mohawk miss, the Tribe was forced to foul and Holden Tarno hacked Beshears at the 1:17 mark of the fourth. The senior Cougar canned both, extending the RHS lead to 58-54.

The Piggott squad responded with a fast break basket by Staples to cut it to a 58-56 advantage, and a timeout to talk strategy. Forced to foul to stop the clock, Quentin Reeves hacked Beshears again, but this time he missed the front end of the one-and-one.

At the other end Mohawk senior guard Brett Burns hit a huge three-pointer, giving the Tribe a 59-57 lead with under a minute to play.

On the following inbound play Beshears collided with Spencer Hardin, drawing the blocking foul and a chance to tie the game. Making them both, he knotted the ballgame at 59-59.

Playing for the win, the Tribe ran the game clock down to the 10 second mark and called timeout. When play resumed they looked to Gossett on the pick and roll, and he was fouled in the process. Standing in the face of the roaring RHS student section, he calmly nailed the first free throw to give the Mohawks a 60-59 lead with 2.9 second left in regulation. Missing the second, Gossett battled into the lane and wrestled for the rebound as time expired.

Spencer Hardin led all scorers with 16, although he left the game late with an apparent ankle injury. The Cougars had three playes in double figures, led by Beshears with 13; Max Ford with 12 and Kale Hardin with 10. Rounding out the scoring effort for the Tribe was Reeves with 12; Burns with 9 points and Gossett with 5—including the game winner.

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