The Mansfield Tigers travelled to Johnson County Westside to take on the Rebels for their Homecoming. The Tigers had not had a road game in 36 days, as they stayed at home for the Bill Frye Invitational, during Christmas Break, and their game against Mountainburg had been postponed to a later date. The Tigers came home with a conference road win!
Peyton Martin got the night started off with a 15-foot jumper for the Tigers but Ashton Yarbrough would answer on the following possession for the Rebels. Miles Lingar would hit a free-throw for Westside with 5:28 to go in the first quarter. Braxton Byers would score a lay-up to give the Tigers the lead, 4-3, at the 4:30 mark. The Tigers would never lose the lead from this point. Ethan Pettus would score the next basket for the Tigers but a turnover and score from Yarbrough would get the Rebels back within a point. Zayne Dugan would score back to back buckets for Mansfield and extend the lead to 5, with 1:30 left in the quarter. Hunter Holman would create a turnover and race to the other end for a lay-up, to cut the lead back to 3. Dugan would add another basket to push the lead back to five. After a quarter of play, the Tigers would lead 12-7.
Westside’s David Gregory would score the first basket of the second quarter and cut the Tiger lead to three. But on the ensuing possession, Tyler Escalante would knock down a three-pointer extending the lead to six. The Rebels would use a 5-0 run, with baskets from Holman and Gabe Hickey and a free-throw from Dakota Beavers. Peyton Martin would stop the Rebel run with a three pointer off an E. Pettus assist. Pettus would extend the lead back to six after a steal and score but Holman would get an and one opportunity for the Rebels on a transition basket. The last 1:45 of the quarter was a defensive battle with the halftime score being 20-17, in favor of the Tigers.
The Rebels would start the second half off with a D. Beavers basket to cut the lead back to one. The Tigers would use a 4-0 run to extend the lead back to five, with baskets from Dugan and Clint Stovall. With 4:23, Yarbrough would add a basket for the Rebels and a free-throw from Lingar would make the score 24-22, half way through the 3rd quarter. This would spark a 7-0 run for the Tigers, with a free-throw make from Drew Elmore and Stovall. Stovall would add a three point basket, and a putback from Zach Hayslip, would give the Tigers their biggest lead of the night, 31-22. Carson Hurst would score his first basket of the game for the Rebels but Stovall would add two free-throws to net the 33-24 lead to end the 3rd quarter.
The Rebels would start the 4th quarter with a basket from Beavers and a free throw from Holman. Pettus would make two free throws to get the lead back to eight. But four free-throws over the next few minutes would get the Rebels within four points, 35-31. With 3:25 to go in the game, Beavers would cut the lead to two. Zayne Dugan would score the Tigers only field goal of the fourth quarter on a putback shot. With 2:24 to go in the game, the Tigers clung to a four point lead, 37-33. Gregory would get a turnover for the Rebels and cut the Tiger lead to two with 1:09 remaining. The Tigers would score the rest of their points from the free-throw line. With the score 40-37, Yarbrough would score a reverse lay-up for Westside. Ethan Pettus would add a free-throw for the Tigers and net the final score of 41-39. Westside had a chance at the buzzer but Beavers attempt missed off the front of the rim.
“I thought our guys played extremely hard tonight. They made the last run but we made just enough free-throws down the stretch to escape with a win. We overcame an off-shooting night and turnovers with a solid defensive effort. We have to come back and get ready for Acorn on Tuesday.” said Coach Brown.
Mansfield: Z. Dugan (10), E. Pettus (9), C. Stovall (8), P. Martin (5), T. Escalante (4), Z. Hayslip (2), B. Byers (2), D. Elmore (1)
Westside: A. Yarbrough (8), H. Holman (8), D. Beavers (7), C. Hurst (5), M. Lingar (5), D. Gregory (4), G. Hickey (2)
The Tigers will take on the Acorn Tigers on Tuesday at home. The Jr Girls, Sr. Girls and Sr. Boys will play with a 5:00 p.m. tip.