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Bluejays finish strong against Mammoth Spring in Bears' Den

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Sports Editor

Taking a a page straight out of the "It's not how you start, but how you finish," book, the Koshkonong Bluejays shook of a sluggish beginning to wrap things up strong against the Mammoth Spring Bears Feb. 1.

Down by double digits right off the bat, the Bluejays pulled together in the second half to knock off Mammoth Spring 64-60 at the Bears' Den.

Mammoth Spring came out on fire in the first period, jumping out to a 20-8 lead before Koshkonong could even catch its breath.

The Bears were especially active from beyond the arc in the game's first 10 minutes, as they cashed in with five triples during that time span.

Trent White (13 points) knocked down a pair of 3-balls, and Logan Lawrence (15 points) pulled the same trick, helping the Bears out of the gate quickly.

Justin Rigel kept Koshkonong afloat while Mammoth Spring scorched the nets, by tossing in eight points in the first period for the Bluejays. Rigel logged a game-high 24 points on the night.

Despite his early play, Rigel and his mates still trailed 24-10 after the first period.

In a 30-17 hole at the 5:15 mark of the second period, the Jays started to find their footing a bit.

Rigel knocked in Koshkonong's first trey of the game, helping the Bluejays on a 14-2 run.

Shane Waggoner (17 points) chimed in with a trifecta during that stretch, and when the smoke had cleared, the Jays were down by just four, 32-28, with 1:17 left until the half.

Derick Felton (15 points) capped the first half with a hoop for the Bears near the buzzer, keeping his squad out front 35-28 at intermission.

Greg Spoor (seven points) cut into Mammoth Spring's margin even more by opening the third with a triple for Koshkonong, but the Bears managed to hold serve until late in the frame, when the Jays got a big push from their bench.

During a two-minute segment that ended the third, Tyler Roark tossed in all six of his points on the night, swinging the advantage to Koshkonong for the first time in the contest, 47-43.

Mammoth Spring's Addison Guy (six points) hit a shot as the frame drew to a close, but the Jays kept things in their favor, 47-45, after three.

The fourth period was close all the way, with the game deadlocked seven times, as the two squads fought to the finish.

In the end, Rigel managed to have the last say for Koshkonong.

With the Jays behind 60-58 at the 1:38 mark, Rigel got loose for a pair of buckets in the lane that staked his side to a 62-60 lead.

The charity stripe was not kind to the Bears inside the last minute, as Mammoth Spring came up short from the line, while the Bluejays did not.

With 16 ticks remaining in the game, Nathan Evans (four points) iced the game with a pair from the free throw line, capping Koshkonong's come-from-behind victory.

Seth Johnson tallied four points for the Bluejays, with Lucas England adding two.

Dustin Madden posted seven points for Mammoth Spring, while Cameron Kent and Jesse Gaines hit for two points apiece.

The Bears bounced back Feb. 3 with a tight win over another one of their north-of-the-border neighbors -- the Couch Indians.

With the game locked at 45-all after regulation play ended, the Bears outscored Couch 7-3 in the extra frame to earn the non-conference win.

Lawrence (12 points) came up big for Mammoth Spring in the overtime period, logging a bucket and two free throws in the frame. Kent tallied nine points and 10 boards for the Bears.

The Lady Bears opened the evening by knocking off the Lady Indians 62-38 to run their season mark to 23-4.

Ann Whiteside paced Mammoth Spring with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Madison Busch tallied 16 points on the night.

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