In Round 1 of the 2A West Regional Tournament being hosted by Magazine, the #1 seeded Mansfield Tigers took on the #4 seeded Cotter Warriors on Wednesday afternoon. The Tigers bolted into the first quarter igniting the scoreboard with one point after another and sending the Warriors into a tizzy leading the way going into the second quarter up 18-8. Once Cotter was able to catch their breath and stop the room from spinning, they kicked it into gear and were able to somewhat catch up to the Tigers going into halftime 28-22 Mansfield.
Both teams seemed to hit a wall in the third quarter as things were slowed down a bit but the Tigers firmly kept control 35-30 going into the fourth. But Mansfield’s fatigue bug didn’t last long as they went lights out with a strong finish earning a 53-35 win and a bid to State for the first time since 2012. “It was a great win for our basketball team and boys athletic program,” exclaimed Coach Keith Stovall. “Our boys did a fantastic job executing the game plan. We won the old-fashioned way with no threes! Credit to Cotter for doing a great job on running us off the line, but the guys adjusted well and found the paint to be friendly.”
“Low point production in the 2nd and 3rd quarter hurt a bit. We used extreme patience in our offense those quarters to allow our guys to get some rest, which allowed us to finish with a strong 4th quarter. We had a few mental lapses on defense that allowed Cotter some 3s and drives to the rim but we will get them ironed out.” Codi Chick led the Tigers with 15 points followed closely by Jo Jo Bailey with 14. “Jo Jo stepped up big offensively yesterday.” Tyler Escalante added 8, Zayne Dugan 7, Clint Stovall 4, Ethan Pettus 3, and Bri Sanderson had 2. “I LOVE to see the balance in scoring. It makes it difficult to key in on just one player.”
“We still have to finish business in Regionals but for today, we will take time for the guys to get rest and get ready for Friday.” The Mansfield Tigers will play the winner of the Alpena vs Mountainburg game on Friday at 1 pm. “We really appreciate the fan support. We should have 298 tickets for Friday’s game. I would love to see the bleachers filled with red. Also, let’s make sure we support Coach Bryan and the Lady Tigers today at 4 pm!”
Photos courtesy of Skylynn Harris