ICC traveled to Mt. Pleasant last Friday night for some varsity action, winding up the regular season for both before district tournaments start. Mt. Pleasant will play at Viola in their districts, while ICC heads up the road to Mammoth Spring.
Mt. Pleasant held its Senior Night, honoring upperclassmen in their final game on their home court.
In the senior girls' matchup, the Lady Bluebirds were fired up behind the incomparable Katie "Did" Caraway. Caraway closed one more chapter on her fabled career, but the story is far from over. After the district tournament and then the regionals at Sulphur Rock, the number eight Lady Bluebirds are favored to go to the state tournament once again.
The Lady Cougars drew first blood when Jessica Horton took the inside lob from Brandy Irvin and hit the turnaround, but the lead was short lived. Back-to-back buckets by Tamra Love put the Lady Bluebirds up, but ICC wasn't about to throw in the towel.
Mandy Haney grabbed a rebound and went the distance for the layup, then Melissa Sherrell hit a 12-foot jumper off the right side of the lane to put ICC up 6-4.
Caraway hit her first bucket of the night from the left baseline, then Amy Fulbright made a steal at halfcourt and returned it for a layup to put the Lady Bluebirds back on top.
Sherrell posted up and then hit the turnaround in the lane to knot the game at 8-all, but the Lady Bluebirds finished the quarter off on a 10-2 run behind the strong play of Aluana Wolfe, who accounted for the last 6 Lady Bluebirds points of the quarter.
Haney hit a layup on the break to pull ICC to within 6 points, but Wolfe and Caraway hit back-to-back buckets to keep the pressure on the Lady Cougars.
Horton stuck back a rebound to cut the deficit below 10 points, but Wolfe and Caraway went to work again. Wolfe hit a free throw, then Caraway knocked down a trey from the right corner and then a pullup jumper for 2. Regan Smith drained a trey to put the Lady Bluebirds up 33-14, capping an 11-0 run by Mt. Pleasant.
Haney hit a bucket for the Lady Cougars to end the run, but Mt. Pleasant kept the guns blazing away, outscoring ICC 5-4 to end the first half and hold a 38-20 lead.
The Lady Bluebirds used an 8-3 run to open the third quarter, doubling the Lady Cougars at 46-23. The Lady Bluebirds then finished out the third quarter on a 10-7 run, taking a 56-30 advantage into the final stanza.
Smith nailed a trey for the Lady Bluebirds to open the fourth, but ICC came back with 7 unanswered points to break the barrage, closing to 59-37.
Mt. Pleasant hit a 9-6 run to take a 68-43 lead late in the game, but ICC didn't quit. Back-to-back buckets by Blair Gay and a deuce by Laura Gaskins ended the game with Mt. Pleasant claiming a 68-51 victory.
Those hitting double digits for the Lady Bluebirds: Wolfe (15), Caraway (14), Smith (14), and Love (12).For the Lady Cougars: Blair Gay (15) and Sherrell (10). The Cougars weren't exactly gracious guests, and they spoiled the evening for the Bluebirds.
After Mt. Pleasant scratched first with a Robby Webb deuce, the Cougars ripped off 4 points with Shane Irgens hitting a couple of free throws and Josh Jackson sticking back a rebound.
The Bluebirds knotted the game at 4-4 when Casey McCullough hit a pullup jumper off the right side, but ICC took the lead for good when Irgens hit the jumper in the lane. Joe Hawkins tacked on 3 more points with a long range bomb from the right corner, giving ICC a 9-4 lead.
The Bluebirds ran off 4 straight points to end the quarter, but still trailed by one at 9-8.
Irgens started the second quarter off with 4 straight points for the Cougars, pushing their lead to 5 at 13-8. McCullough stopped the run with a slicing layup at the 4:13 mark in the second quarter, but Hawkins answered for the Cougars in the form of a trey from the top, pushing the Cougars' lead to half a dozen.
The Cougars put together a 9-3 run behind 6 points by Irgens to take a 25-13 lead, but the Bluebirds cut into the lead when Webb hit a bucket with 3 seconds left in the half. The Cougars went into the locker room up by 10 at 25-15.Josh Dockins pushed the lead to a Baker's dozen when he drilled a trey from the left wing, but back-to-back buckets by the Bluebirds chopped the lead back down to single digits.The Cougars caught fire and went on a 14-2 scoring spree, with Irgens accounting for 12 of the points, taking a commanding 42-21 lead.
The Bluebirds hit a couple of free throws and then a deuce to finish off the quarter, but the Cougars held a 42-25 lead with one quarter to go.
The Bluebirds finally managed to outscore the Cougars in a quarter, but it was too late to recover from the hole they were in. The Cougars held their composure, and never let the Bluebirds get any closer than 14 points, which was also the margin of victory, and ICC took a 56-42 win.
Those in double digits for the Cougars: Irgens (28) with 10 rebounds, and Hawkins (11).For the Bluebirds: Robby Webb (14).