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Friday, May 6, 2016

Horns push past Cougars

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

CLOSING SPEED: Viola's Alex Duncan puts the pressure on Izard County's Kaydie Campbell in the Lady Longhorns' 50-30 victory Dec. 18 in Brockwell. Photo/Mullins
The Viola Longhorns may have improved to 16-5 overall and picked up their second win in 1A-2 North play Dec. 18 at the Cougars' Den in Brockwell, but the victory over the homestanding Cougars was anything but a walk in the park.

Izard County came out inspired and it took all the Longhorns had to push past the Cougars 42-34.

Earlier in the evening, the Lady Longhorns ran their season record to 18-6 with a big 50-30 win over the Lady Cougars.

In boys' action, Ryan Walker tossed in the first five points of the night to give Izard County a quick 5-0 lead. Walker, who was hampered by foul problems for most of the contest, finished the game with seven points after fouling out late in the fourth.

Izard County led 7-0 when Dillon Holestine broke the ice for Viola with a trey with two minutes left in the first.

That turned out to be the Horns' lone points of the first, with Trenton Hatman (nine points) closing the book on the frame with a jumper for the Cougars that staked Izard County to a 9-3 lead after one.

Caleb Cowan racked up Izard County's first four points of the second to push Izard County in front 13-5. Cowan led all scorers with a game-high 14 points.

Viola, after struggling for much of the first at putting the ball into the basket, warmed up a bit midway into the second period.

Jackson Rains (11 points) got untracked and drilled a 3-ball, followed by a baseline hoop from Ethan Houghtaling (seven points).

Then, with a touch over two minutes left on the clock, Jordan Cotter (11 points) nailed a triple and Rains tossed in the last three points of the first half to send the teams to intermission with Viola in front for the first time, 16-15.

The game was knotted at 21-all late in the third, but Viola managed to pull ahead and lead 26-23 heading into the final frame.

Walker fouled out with 3:36 left in the game, but despite losing their big inside presence, Izard County still stitched together one last push.

Turning up the heat full-court, Hatman hit a layup for the Cougs and then Izard County coaxed Viola into a turnover on the ensuing in-bounds. Preston Harmon was fouled attempting a 3-pointer and strolled to the charity stripe where he hit all three free throws to pull the Cougars within three, 33-30.

And although the Longhorns hit just one field goal the rest of the way, a layup by Jacob Payne (six points) with 2:48 left, Viola hit enough free throws to keep the Cougars at bay with an eight-point win.

Blake Baumunk finished with four points for Viola.

Kyle King posted one point for Izard County.

In girls' play, Viola used a 14-zip run late in the second period and early in the third to break open what had been a close contest.

Izard County grabbed a fast 5-0 lead on a deuce from Amber Hall (11 points) and triple by Rachel Harmon.

Viola responded with a long-range bomb from Dedra Johnston (10 points) and jumper by Leslie Barker (13 points) that locked the game at 5-all.

Hall hit the last hoop of the first to give Izard County a 9-7 lead after one.

The Lady Cougars hit a brick wall in the second and a pair of free throws from Trisha Arnold (six points) was all Izard County could muster.

However, Viola finished the second strong, using inside buckets from Taylor Griggs (five points) and Michaela Thompson (17 points), along with a 3-ball by Heather Simmons, to push in front 19-11 at intermission.

This margin grew to 26-11 after the Lady Longhorns scored the first seven points of the third.

Izard County just could not find any groove on offense and when the third period ended, the Lady Longhorns were in front by 20 points, 41-21.

For good measure, Viola reeled off eight straight points deep in the final frame to finish off its 50-30 victory over the Lady Cougars.

Alex Duncan finished with two points for Viola.

Kaydie Campbell had seven points for Izard County, while Emily Crider added two and Harmony Herron one.

The junior Lady Cougars opened the night with a 26-23 win over the junior Lady Longhorns.

Sami Wagner paced the victors with nine points, while Heather Lawrence had seven.

Kirsten Moore led Viola with a game-high 11 points. Hannah Duvall tallied seven.

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