BOKCHITO – Preston Rice erupted for 24 points as the Colbert Leopards pulled away from Rock Creek 50-44 on Monday.
The Mustangs took control early by a score of 8-3on plays like a crisp pass from David Dill to Leo Roper for the finish. But the Leopards nearly tied the game before the first buzzer could sound, and they were ahead as much as nine when Charles Adams took a steal to the bucket.
But Dill closed the gap to 26-20 in favor of Colbert as he hit a baseline three just before halftime. The second quarter was a mess for Rock Creek, as Colbert outscored them 16-8.
Defensive lapses and foul trouble helped Colbert build a double digit lead in the third before Dill and Bronson Burns combined for 11 points (seven of those on free throws).
The Mustangs spent the first four minutes of the fourth quarter tying the game, and the rest of the quarter losing their momentum. Roper weaved to the bucket to cut the lead to 40-35, then Hammond knocked down a three to answer Rice’s three-point play.
Toby McIntyre hit a pair of free throws to narrow the gap to four, then Hammond cleaned up a Mustang miss on his way to seven points in the fourth.
McIntyre stole a Colbert pass and made the layup to tie the game at 44 with three and a half minutes to go. A Rock Creek basket was taken away by a foul away from the play, then two turnovers plagued the Mustangs even as they got stops on the other end.
Colbert hit their free throws down the stretch to salt the game away. They scored 14 of their 24 second half points from the line.
After Rice, Colbert got eight from James Hair, seven from Caleb Shoemake, four from Kason Krob and Trevor Cole, and three from Charles Adams. Bronson Burns and David Dill led Rock Creek with 13 each, Cameron Hammond scored nine, Leo Roper added five and Toby McIntyre finished with four.
Rock Creek Invitational Championship (Saturday): Coleman 46 Calera 43
Calera held a 25-18 halftime lead and was up 35-27 before a 19-8 Coleman run sealed the tournament trophy for the Wildcats.
Lucas Hamilton scored 15 for Coleman (9-2), Hunter Evans gathered nine, Jesse Hicks scored seven, James Hicks and Colton Stephens had six each, and Cooper Stephens finished with three.
Braxton Barton led the Bulldogs with 12 and Connor Hamilton had 10. Tanner Davis added six, while Preston Barkley and Tyler Black scored five each. Riggin Rogers had three and C. Mulkey finished with two.