ICC adds district title to conference crown with win over Calico Rock
Based on their performance in the championship game of the 1A-2 South District Tournament Feb. 17 at Harold Ray Jeffery Gymnasium in Calico Rock, the Izard County Consolidated Cougars, should they be found in the tool aisle at the local hardware store, would most definitely be a buzz saw.
Well-oiled, sharpened to a T and ripping through everything in sight.
That would be the ICC Cougars.
It didn't take long to get the blade spinning for top-seeded ICC in the championship game against the homestanding Pirates, and the Cougars didn't cut the power until they had claimed the tourney trophy with a convincing 53-20 win over the third-seeded Pirates.
While baskets for Calico Rock were at a premium on this night, due to the Cougars' trapping, smothering full-court pressure, ICC's Joey Stefka had no problems racking up points.
Stefka's 13-point outburst in the third period was one point more than the entire Pirate team could muster through three periods of play. Stefka finished with a game-high 22 points for the Cougars, who also went undefeated in 1A-2 South play in the regular season.
ICC jumped out quickly by scoring the first 10 points of the game.
Scott Small (10 points) racked up six of those points, while Kyle McCandlis (seven points) and Stefka logged the other four.
The Pirates got on the board at the 2:45 mark of the first via a jumper from Jonathan Moss.
Marshall Branscum (four points) closed the first with a layup for Calico Rock, but the Cougars were in control 15-4 after one.
The Pirates' second-period output was also limited to four points, a hoop by Brayden Fountain coupled with a pair of free throws by Adam Green (four points).
McCandlis nailed a trey for ICC with 1:10 remaining until the half, helping the Cougars extend their lead to 26-8 at intermission.
Stefka's huge third period kept the wheels rolling for the Cougars in the second half, as ICC stood in front 45-12 after three, en route to a 53-20 victory.
Spencer Caraway and Jeremy Tanner tallied four points each for ICC, with Steven Walker adding three. Adam Montgomery and Zac DeSanto ended the game with two points apiece.
Jared Dover recorded three points for Calico Rock, with Andy Yoon finishing with two.
The Cougars pushed past fourth-seeded Norfork 45-40 Feb. 15 in semi-final action behind 18 points from Stefka.