Indians fall in tournament play
Eleventh-seeded Marked Tree and seventh-seeded Izard County Consolidated (ICC) played a pretty even first half. ICC led after the first quarter with Marked Tree taking the lead at the half. ICC got the better of the Indians in each of the quarters in the second half to post a 44-38 win in the NEA Invitational Tournament being held in Jonesboro.
D'Angelo Griffin opened he game shooting two technicals free throws due to a rules violation against ICC in pre-game warmups. Griffin hit one of two to give the Indians the early 1-0 lead. ICC took a 3-1 lead before Griffin tied it up with a coast to coast lay up with 5:56 left to play. The Cougars took a 5-3 lead before Griffin was fouled attempting a shot and hit one of two free throws to make it 5-4. ICC scored the next four to go up 9-4 with 41 seconds left in the opening quarter. Griffin hit a jumper in the lane to make it 9-6 after one. Griffin had all six points in the period for the Indians.
Marked Tree came out on fire the second quarter scoring the first 11 points to go up 17-9. Terry Carter made one of two free shots before Daniel Rucker sailed in for a lay up. Griffin hit a jumper in the lane and Cameron Mitchell got a free throw to fall to make it 12-9. Carter grabbed an offensive rebound and stuck it back in followed by a steal and lay up from Keland Perry making it 16-9. Griffin added a free throw before ICC converted a conventional three-point play and got a basket inside to make it 17-14 Marked Tree with 1:47 left until half time. Griffin scored on a fast break lay up and was fouled. The free throw was good to make it 20-14. Mitchell extended the lead to 22-14 with an offensive rebound and basket with 28 seconds left. The Indians went to the half leading 22-17.
The Cougars hit back to back shots to open the third quarter to cut the lead to 22-21. A Carter basket and ICC three-point play tied the game at 24 with 5:39 left. The teams went back and forth over the next three minutes before ICC hit back to back shots to take a 32-28 lead with 1:31 to play. Rucker got two free throws to fall for the Indians to make the score 32-30 Cougars after three.
A 6-2 run by ICC to open the fourth would prove to be the difference in the ball game. Marked Tree got no closer than four points the rest of the quarter. Griffin scored six points in the quarter and Carter added two points as the ICC went on to win 44-38.
Griffin led the Indians with 18 points and Carter finished with 11 points.