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Fort Smith
Friday, April 19, 2024

Sr Tigers End Regular Season Play With A BANG


Pictured is Ethan Pettus

It’s been five long games since the Sr Tigers were victorious. Losses to Magazine, Lavaca, Mountainburg, County Line, and Acorn, have taken their toll on the Tigers as of late. Looking to regain their hardwood heroics, Mansfield traveled to JC Westside on Tuesday, February 9 to take on the Rebels who, coincidentally, were the last opponents that the Tigers beat before their string of misfortune. Mansfield’s Sr High isn’t a bunch of gamblers, but they definitely have the Rebels number as they let out a victory roar with a 58-45 win.

JoJo Bailey

The Tigers matched the weather outside at the beginning of the game as cold feet and slick backboards were their foes in the first quarter. Mansfield found themselves in a familiar spot as the first quarter ended with JC Westside leading 16-13. The Rebels crowd was enthusiastic which fed their players energy while unknowingly feeding the Tigers also. The Tigers decided that they had been poked for the last time and that’s when they dug their claws into the court and fought back. JC Westside’s defense was still stout and held their own against the Tigers, but Mansfield’s defense stepped up too, holding the Rebels to only 4 points in the second quarter. When the halftime buzzer sounded, the score was a 22-20 slim lead in the Tiger’s favor.

Tyler Escalante

Programs are judged by how well they are able to play and finish a full four quarters. The Tigers have been in a lot of close games that fell short this season. But in this particular game, Mansfield played not with frustration or half-butting. No, they played as if they were proud to wear that red and white jersey and would do anything to defend those colors. The Tigers stretched out their lead in the third quarter with pure determination to a 33-24 score. That 9 point lead would dwindle a little then pick back up in the fourth as both teams swapped leading on the scoreboard in the fourth. JC Westside became the frustrated team this time as they began to foul the cool as a cucumber Tigers to stop the clock. Smart tactic…..if you don’t have shooters. Arby’s may have the meats, but Mansfield has the shooters. The Tigers single shot their way to a 58-45 victory from the free-throw line to end their losing streak with style.

#23 Zayne Dugan

Tyler Escalante led the Tigers with 20 points followed by Codi Chick with 18, Ethan Pettus with 11, JoJo Bailey with 5, and Zayne Dugan with 4. There’s no doubt that it’s been a rough season for the Mansfield Sr Tigers. The Tigers barely played any games with a full roster this year. The injury bug nipped at their heels while COVID protocols took some jabs on the team too. Their season isn’t over yet though. They plan to still wreak havoc in their upcoming District Tournament and do everything in the power to earn a Regional Tournament bid. But the Tigers will go into the District Tournament with just a seeding. They have a legacy already set in stone for future generations to follow. It won’t be how they fair in Districts or Regionals. It won’t be their record nor their star-studded team. No, it will be the legacy proving to all that “Mansfield Tigers Never Give Up”.

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