Pictured is Tiger Codi Chick and Rattler Cameron “Raging” Raggio
Mansfield and Magazine are two old school programs who haven’t played against each other in conference in years. But when Mansfield dropped from 3A to the 2A-4, both teams set aim at each other from the get-go. It was Magazine this season who pulled off a sweep of the Tigers with a 42-39 victory on Tuesday, February 2nd but it wasn’t without a fight from Mansfield.
You could go into deep play by play detail as to how the Tigers and Rattlers tore into each other with sweep scores and dominating defenses, but here’s all you need to know about how even the teams were in the first half. It can be simplified in two sentences. At the end of the first quarter, the score was a narrow 11-10 Mansfield lead over the Rattlers. At halftime, the score was a 20-20 tied ball game. Yeah, it was that kind of immovable object versus indestructible force battle.
With the fans on both sides of the court exploding with excitement and anxiety, Mansfield and Magazine came out of halftime with new game plans to win. The Tigers sped the game up offensively, but so did the Rattlers. The Rattlers stiffened up their defense, but the Tigers did the same. The Rattlers were able to find a tiny chink in Mansfield’s defensive armor and the 3rd quarter was closed with a slim 30-27 lead Mansfield. The fourth quarter remained the same ol song and dance for both programs up until the winding minutes of the game. As the game drew to an end, Mansfield was running out of time as Magazine maintained their small lead. To stop the clock, the Tigers were forced to foul sending the Rattlers to the free-throw line. Luckily for Magazine, they were able to sink their shot which wound up being the defining factor leading to a 42-39 victory over Mansfield.
“I felt like our guys competed well,” expressed Magazine Coach Justin Mackey. “There were two different occasions where we were down 8 in the game and we just kept grinding and stuck to our game plan. Our guys hit some clutch shots down the stretch and really buckled down on defense forcing stops through the 4th quarter.” Magazine’s Cameron Raggio led with 14 points followed by Ashton Droemer with 13, Brady Watson with 8, Haden Littleton with 5, and Jackson Oliver 2. Mansfield’s Ethan Pettus took the lead for the Tigers with 12 points trailed by Codi Chick with 10, Zayne Dugan with 6, JoJo Bailey with 5, Tyler Escalante with 4, and Bri Sanderson 2.
As intense as the game was for both sets of teams and fans, one can’t help but wonder if this could be the beginning of a solid rivalry in the future. The Tigers are deep in talent for years to come as are the Rattlers. The two schools might even consider making a Snakes and Stripes basketball trophy for the game in the future. The season isn’t over for either team though as the Tigers travel to battle Mountainburg on Friday, February 5, and Magazine heads to JC Westside to take a strike at the Rebels. “We are holding onto the 4 seed and will lock it up with a win at Westside tonight. I’m super proud of my guys. They have fully committed to the program and each other and those decisions are leading to improvement on the court,” concluded Coach Mackey.