Putback of missed shot helps Couch slide past Mammoth Spring in thriller.
There's nothing quite like reaping the benefits of being in the right place at the right time.
Especially after working hard to get there.
Couch's Cody Roberts was most definitely in the right place at the right time Feb. 8 in the waning seconds of the Indians' visit to Mammoth Spring.
Roberts grabbed the rebound of his own missed shot and stuck it in the hoop as the game-ending buzzer sounded, giving Couch a thrilling 47-45 victory over the homestanding Bears in non-conference hoops action.
Earlier in the night, the Lady Indians made sure Couch swept their neighbors from Arkansas with a 57-41 win over the Lady Bears.
With Mammoth Spring leading by one, 36-35, heading into the fourth period of the boys' contest, the stage was set for some late fireworks and both teams delivered some big blasts down the stretch.
Couch took a 41-40 lead with 2:58 left to play, thanks to a free throw from Nick Ford (seven points).
But as they had done all game long, the Bears came up with a timely 3-pointer, this one from Adam Watson (12 points), when Mammoth Spring needed it most. For the game, the Bears drained 10 treys, including five by Aaron Shipp (15 points) and four from Watson.
After Watson's last triple of the game staked the Bears to a 43-41 lead, Couch knotted things at 43-all on a pair of free throws by Blake Martin. Martin paced the Indians with a game-high 18 points.
Then the frantic race to the finish got a bit crazy.
With Couch on top 44-43 after a charity toss by Ford, Mammoth Spring missed a couple of 3-pointers that could have given it the lead, along with two free throws.
Couch really didn't do much to help its cause either, turning the ball over on a pair of traveling violations and also missing a couple of big free throws.
The Indians did manage to ease their lead out to two, 45-43, on a free throw from Ford, but Mammoth Spring kept its hopes afloat on a stickback from Wes Davis (four points) that locked the game at 45-all with 13 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, the Indians moved the ball down the floor and Roberts split a pair of Bear defenders, firing up a seven-foot leaner that just missed the mark.
However, Roberts (14 points) was Johnny-on-the-spot and grabbed his missed shot and stuck it in the bucket just as the buzzer sounded, giving Couch a hard-fought 47-45 win.
The Bears started the contest by playing bombs-away from beyond the 3-point arc.
Aaron Shipp jacked his first two long treys in the first period, while Watson added his first of the night, helping Mammoth Spring to a 13-9 lead after the first period.
Watson fired in two more treys early in the second to stake the Bears to a 19-15 lead.
Down but not out, the Indians closed the half on a positive note.
Ford hit a triple for Couch, while Zain Hopper (four points) and Martin added a couple of hoops in the paint to give the Indians the lead.
A layup from Josh Hopper pushed the Indians on top 26-23, but Seth Godwin (five points) shut the door on the first half with a layup that saw the Bears within one, 26-25, at intermission.
Mammoth Spring reversed the order of things in the third by taking a 36-35 lead after three periods of play. The Bears hit just four field goals in the third, but three of those were treys by Aaron Shipp, including one that just beat the period-ending buzzer.
Although Mammoth Spring would bust two more triples in the final frame, it was a short shot by Roberts that decided matters, giving the Indians a two-point win.
Doug Melton finished with two points for Couch.
Gage Busch tallied five points for Mammoth Spring, with Justin Shipp and Ethan Gaines adding two points each for the Bears.
In girls' action, the Lady Indians jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first and remained in control for the rest of the night.
Mammoth Spring did pull within three points of Couch late in the third, but the Lady Indians would not budge and managed to hold the Lady Bears at bay.
Couch's first three buckets of the game were treys, two from Whitney Mills and one from Tara Combs. Mills led Couch with a game-high 17 points, while Combs followed close with 12.
Down 9-0, the Lady Bears responded with hoops from Ashley Walsh (nine points) and Kayly Vest (eight points) that ended the first period with Mammoth Spring trailing 11-4.
The Lady Bears pulled even at 11-all with a 7-0 run to start the second.
Kylee Busch (seven points) started the Mammoth Spring spurt with an old-fashioned 3-point play, followed by jumpers from Melanie Maguffee (seven points) and Walsh.
Then it was the Lady Indians' turn at a string of unanswered points.
Combs ignited an 8-0 burst for Couch with a triple, and Mills chipped in with the next five points, including a trey, to push the Lady Indians in front 19-11.
Mammoth Spring hung tough in the race to the halftime buzzer, with Courtney Risner (eight points) nailing a 3-pointer with a shade over three minutes left in the first half.
The Lady Indians, too, finished strong in the first half, with Traci Murdock (five points) and Kassi Burr (six points) canning a triple apiece in the last 20 seconds of the second period, sending the teams to the break with Couch on top 33-25.
Mammoth Spring did edge to within three points of the lead, 37-34, on a 3-ball from Risner at the 2:40 mark of the third, but Couch closed the frame on a 5-1 run to take a 42-35 lead to the fourth period.
Couch outscored the Lady Bears 15-6 in the final frame to post a 57-41 win over Mammoth Spring.
Kandy York and Courtney Redus finished with seven points each for Couch, while Jessica Jones logged three points.