On Friday, January 8th Mansfield traveled to Magazine in an epic showdown of 2A basketball. With both teams loaded with skilled players and a chip on their shoulder, everyone knew that this one would come down to the wire. As both teams battled for supremacy for four straight quarters it was Magazine who came out on top with a 55-48 victory.
The game started off slow if you are an offensive person with the first quarter ending at a close 14-12 score putting the Tigers on top but only temporarily. Mansfield’s Codi Chick played the Tigers bandit as he made steals and swats from the Rattlers offensive attempts. The Rattlers had Cameron Raggio in their back pocket though as he dominated the boards with short shots and offensive rebounds. The two superstars flip flopped back and forth in the first quarter. But that’s when disaster struck for the Tigers. Starter and precision player Tyler Escalante went down with an ankle injury leaving the Tigers a man down for the game.
Going into the second quarter both defenses continued to dominate the pace of the game. The Tigers JoJo Bailey heated up as the quarter went on, out jumping the Rattlers on rebounds while Bri Sanderson played solid going one on one with Magazines great one, Raggio. The Rattlers began to spread the wealth though by utilizing Brady Watson and Ashton Droemer to score when Raggio was unavailable. Going into the half, both teams remained even in nearly every category except the score where Magazine led the Tigers 24-20.
After halftime, things began to heat up on the hardwood. Mansfields Ethan Pettus opened up with smooth shots inside and outside the perimeter pushing the Tigers into a short lead early. Austin Quinalty and Clint Stovall paired up and drove the Rattlers crazy as they smothered the Rattlers keeping them from striking. The Rattlers noticed this tag-team attack quickly though and went back to work pulling away with their largest lead of the night at the end of the 3rd quarter 38-31. With the Tigers in foul trouble and the Rattlers on fire, all that was left was the final buzzer in the 4th quarter giving Magazine an ever-important 55-48 victory over their conference opponents.
Cameron “The Man” Raggio lived up to the hype scoring 19 points on a tough Tigers defense. Brady Watson and Ashton Dromer combined for 9 points each which when combined with Raggio, equal over half the points in the game (37). Haden Littleton played big scoring 6 points while Ethan Staton (4), Jackon Oliver (3), Austin “KABOOM” Krigbaum (3), and Tatum Scott (2) rounded out the Rattlers hot scoreboard. The victory puts the Sr Rattlers at a 3-6 overall record and gave them their first conference win with a 1-3 record.
Although the Sr Tigers dropped the ball against Magazine, it wasn’t due to a lack of effort. Hot Shot Codi Chick knocked down 15 points for the Tigers followed by Ethan Pettus who put up 11 points on the Rattlers. JoJo Bailey was able to swipe up 8 points with his quick ankle-breaking footwork. Tyler Escalante had 4 points before leaving the game with an injury. His teammates played quite well though as Austin Quinalty and Clint Stovall matched his points output with 4 points each. Bri Sanderson hung up 2 points in the game but was most effective on defense. The loss landed Mansfield with a 6-8 overall record and a 2-3 conference record.
This game set a standard and issued a warning for all 2A opponents who will face both the Tigers and Rattlers. Neither will go down without a fight. Both programs are moving up as they build what looks to be powerhouse programs in the near future. If you missed this round of Scales and Stripes, be sure to be in attendance on February, 2nd when they collide in Mansfield for another exciting showdown.