Rural Special hosted its first regular season games Oct. 25, inviting Mammoth Spring Bears for two senior-high match-ups.
The Lady Rebels were downed by the defending state champs, 53-37. Rayleigh Turner scored 10 points for the home team, while Rieley Sutterfield added 9, Aubrey Linville 7 and Kendall Kocher 6.
The senior boy game came down to the wire with the Rebels unable to convert a last-second shot opportunity, falling 49-47.
Seniors Cole Linville and junior Kasen Stevens combined for 15 of the team’s first-quarter 17 points and helped achieve a 10-point lead. The Rebels still lead at halftime, after Brayden Watts hit two three-pointers and a two-point basket, Nikho Christensen added a trey and Linville added another basket.
The Bears had narrowed the gap to four points by the end of the third quarter, and tied the score at 41 before two minutes had elapsed from the final period. The visitors eased a shot over the rim to take the lead, but that was quickly negated by a Linville basket.
The score remained tied until Stevens hit two freethrows with 3:30 left to play. Both team committed turnovers, and the Bears worked patiently for a shot following a timeout. As they made a move to the basket, however, Jacob Morris drew a charging foul to prevent the scoring attempt. Stevens put back a rebound at the other end to lead 47-43.
The Bears committed another turnover, but then stole the ball and converted the opportunity to get back within two with 1:28 on the clock. Mammoth Spring stole the ball and missed a trey attempt, but the rebound was good for a tied game at 47 all. Rural Special was called for a walk with about 30 seconds left to play, and the Bears worked it inside for a shot to take the lead at time ticked down.
Following a timeout with 6 seconds on the clock, Rural Special floated a pass to Stevens under the goal but his tip-in attempt bounced off the rim.
Stevens was leading scorer with 15 points, while Watts had 13, and Linville 12.
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