(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
NEW MADRID -- Rebounding from a 35-point loss to West Memphis on Friday, the New Madrid County Central Eagles wrapped up the Riverbend Classic with a solid win over the Pine Bluff, Ark. Zebras.
Building a nine-point lead going into the half, the Eagles were able to hold that lead through the final two quarters to take down the Zebras 49-38 for their first win of the season.
"Tonight was New Madrid County Central style basketball where we're defending, we're guarding and taking charges," Eagles head coach Travis Day said. "If the balls on the floor, we have guys diving for it. That's what we hang our hat on and we finally saw that tonight."
Taking charge early, NMCC opened up the game going on a 10-4 run led by G'Darius Stevenson whose scored six of those points, including going 4-for-4 from the free throw line to help the Eagles build a 23-14 lead at the half.
With an eight-point lead as the third quarter wound down, NMCC was able to put themselves into a comfortable position entering the fourth when they went on a six-point run to end the quarter.
Though the Zebras fought back to within seven midway through the fourth, a 3-pointer from Keith Holmes started an Eagle eight-point run going into the final two minutes that helped seal the win.
"The thing that I enjoyed was the effort was there tonight," said Day. "We played hard from beginning to end and when you play hard you give yourself a chance."
Leading the Eagles, Stevenson went 7-of-8 from the free throw line as part of his game-high 17 points. Holmes was second on the team with 11 points, including three 3-pointers.
NMCC (49) -- Lamonte Nelson 7, Keith Holmes 11, Jamareia Jones 2, Collin Ivie 5, G'Darius Stevenson 17, Earl Grissom 2, JaShawn McDaniel 5. FG 18, FT 8-11, F 14. (3-pointers -- Lamonte Nelson 1, Keith Holmes 3, Collin Ivie 1. Fouled out: none).
PINE BLUFF (38) -- Rickey Clements 3, Charles West 2, Amari Fulton 2, Joe Love 7, Darrion Kee 10, Jay Love 2, Justin Earnest 12. FG 16, FT 4-7, F 15. (3-pointers: Rickey Clements 1, Joe Love 1. Fouled out: Joe Love).