A little more consistency with the basketball would have gone a long way for the McDonald County boys during Saturday’s 11th place game against Morrilton (Ark.) at the Neosho Holiday Classic at Neosho High School.
Instead, it was another up-and-down performance for the Mustangs, who managed only three points in the second quarter and fell to the Devil Dogs, 42-34.
In a game that saw the Devil Dogs edge the Mustangs 32-31 in the first, third and fourth quarters combined, it was the lack of production in the second quarter — and Morrilton’s ability to put the game away down the stretch — that made the difference.
“We’ve still got to learn how to put four quarters together of Mustang basketball to be successful,” McDonald County coach Trent Barratt said.
Both Montrell Hood and LaQuanta Canady gave the Mustangs annoying fits. Hood buried a pair of 3-pointers in the first half, scoring 10 of his 12 points in the half, while Canady crashed the boards and, along with Hood, led the team with 12 points.
McDonald County big man Drey Fickle found himself paired up against Canady for most of the game, and picked up two fouls in the first two minutes of the game. Despite being in foul trouble, Fickle managed to lead the Mustangs with nine points. Pablo Alvarez followed Fickle with eight points while Josh Serr pumped in seven, Tyler Sherwood and Tyrell Let four apiece and Jake Wood two.
“Offensively and defensively we have to execute at a higher level,” Barratt said. “And we’ve got to keep working so that we’re peaking at the right time at the end of the season.”
Rashad Criswell pitched in two points for the Devil Dogs while Marcel Swinton added five, Mickey Donald two, Kirk Crafton seven and Clay Crowell two.