The Izard County Consolidated Cougars built a big halftime lead only to see the Flippin Bobcats cut it in half early in the fourth period in non-conference hoops action from the Cougar Den Dec. 2.
Up by 21 points at intermission, the Cougars hit a second-half lull while Flippin warmed up a bit to cut ICC's lead to seven in the final frame before ICC regrouped to dust off the Bobcats 71-55.
Earlier in the night the Lady Cougars polished off Flippin 68-54.
In boys' action, the Cougars (9-4) high-stepped out of the gate to establish control during the first two periods of play.
James Morgan (10 points) had a productive first period, tossing in six of the Cougars' first eight points on the night, while Curtis Clark (10 points) ended the frame on a high note with ICC's last six points of the frame, all in the paint, to put his squad on top 14-11 after one.
Kyle McCandlis took over from beyond the arc in the second period by blasting the nets for three triples in the first four minutes of the period to extend the Cougs' margin to 29-18 midway into the frame. McCandlis led all scorers with a game-high 21 points on the evening.
Adam Montgomery (six points) also got in on the long-distance action by dialing up a 3-ball, and Joey Stefka (seven points) capped ICC's big second-period push with five unanswered points in the last 1:30 of the stanza to send ICC to the half with a comfortable 41-20 lead.
The Bobcats didn't fold up their tent and head home in the second half; rather they hung around and kept ICC from completely running away in the third.
Flippin opened the period with eight straight points to narrow ICC's advantage to 41-28 with six minutes left in the frame.
The Bobcats bookended their third-period effort by closing the frame on a 7-2 run that cut the Cougars' lead to 56-43 after three.
Catching the Cougs on their heels to start the fourth, Flippin fashioned an 8-1 run to open the final period, a run that sliced ICC's lead to seven, 58-51, with 4:57 left in the game.
Despite posting just two field goals in the fourth, one from Scott Small (seven points) and one from Colton Selph, the Cougars managed to gather themselves enough to knock in 11 free throws and keep Flippin from mounting a successful comeback.
Jonathan Quillman finished with eight points for the Cougars.
In girls' action, ICC's statbook-stuffing double threat of Brittney Richardson and Sammi Fowler were too much for the Lady Bobcats to handle, with the Lady Cougars (10-2) prevailing by 14 points.
Richardson posted 26 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, while Fowler added 19 points, nine boards, eight assists and three steals for ICC.
And while ICC's high-powered offense draws praise, and deservedly so, it was the Lady Cougars' defense that set the tone in their wire-to-wire victory over Flippin.
ICC held the Lady Bobcats to a pair of field goals in the second period, helping the Lady Cougars turn an 18-12 lead after one into a 39-23 advantage at the break. If Flippin hadn't managed to knock in six free throws in the frame, the Lady Bobcats' second-half outlook would have been bleaker than it was, down by 16 at intermission.
Much like their boy counterparts would do later in the evening, the Lady Bobcats put together a nice run in the second half to keep things from getting totally out of hand.
Down 47-33 at the 2:57 point of the third, Flippin slipped out on a 12-6 run to end the frame down 53-45.
Leathyr Spangler (seven points) stopped Flippin's momentum with five straight points early in the fourth, and Brittney Bailey chipped in with four unanswered to end the Lady Bobcats' plans on overthrowing the Lady Cougars, as ICC put the cap on the 68-54 win.
Chelsie Yancey tossed in six points for the Lady Cougars, with Courtney Blevins adding three, and Melissa Martin two.
It's always a tight affair when the ICC Cougars hook up with the Salem Greyhounds on the hardwood, and Nov. 29 was no exception.
With the contest locked at 55-all, ICC's James Morgan drilled a 15-foot jumper with a shade over one tick left on the clock to break the tie and put the Cougars on top.
Salem called a quick timeout and ended up getting one final shot, but it missed the mark as the buzzer sounded, giving the Cougs a 57-55 win in 2AA-North play.
Morgan paved the way for ICC with 19 points, while Stefka added 10. Montgomery had Nine, Quillman eight and Small seven. McCandlis and Clark logged two points apiece for the Cougars.
Lance Powell tossed in a game-high 24 points for the Greyhounds, while Cody Erby chipped in with 15. Chad Willett had six, Derek Estes five, Seth Lindbloom four, and Devon Bozeman one for Salem.
Earlier in the evening, Richardson blasted her way through a triangle-and-two defense, hitting the Lady Hounds with 39 points and nine boards as ICC knocked off Salem 64-44.
Fowler followed with another 14-point, 10-board double-double for the Lady Cougars. Yancey logged eight points, Spangler two, and Martin one for ICC.
Lairen Hall paced Salem with 14 points, with Carrie Johnson adding seven. Jenny Neal had six, Tori Watkins five, and Tabitha Hall four. Chelsea Taylor posted four points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Lady Hounds, while Jordan Nelson and Bailey Wagner ended the game with two points each.