Mansfield boys basketball scores second upset in district tournament
MOUNTAINBURG - Mansfield Tigers pulled off its second upset in the 2A-4 District tournament and advanced to Saturday's finals at No. 3 seed Acorn.
Mansfield, the No. 5 seed, took an early lead to defeat top-seeded Mountainburg, 59-45, on Thursday night. The Tigers topped No. 4 Magazine, 62-55, on Monday.
Both Mansfield teams will be in the district finals Saturday at Acorn. The Lady Tigers tip off at 6 p.m., and the boys game will follow. The Lady Tigers defeated Mountainburg, 67-51, earlier on Thursday.
Last week, the Tigers eyed the play-in game for the fourth seed of the regional tournament.
By the afternoon of Feb. 19, the Arkansas Activities Association pushed all the regional tournaments back a week, leaving room for the regional games rescheduled. Eight days later, Mansfield is playing for the No. 1 seed for the regional tournament.
"This team has been through so much adversity between injuries and quarantine from COVID," Mansfield coach Keith Stovall said. "We just got everybody back, and we started rolling and getting hot at the right time."
Mansfield shot four 3-pointers to take a 16-6 lead in the first quarter. Senior Codi Chick led Mansfield with 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
"We're excited to be playing for that No. 1 seed. Playing Magazine and Mountainburg again allowed us to show what we can do," Chick said. "Acorn has a couple of good players, but we have to come out and play our game: Play good defense and be patient on offense."
"These guys are third time the charm. We beat Magazine and Mountainburg the third time we played them, and maybe we'll get lucky against Acorn," Stovall said.
Mountainburg's Ethan Gregory finished with 24 points.
"Of the five losses we've had this season, this is the first time I felt like we got beat," Mountainburg coach Michael McDonald said. "A good thing about this, and I told the team after the game, 'Sometimes you need a loss like this to help you refocus.' We still want to get 20 wins this season and I still like our chances at the regional tournament.
"Not to take anything away from Mansfield, but they played great, and they brought a lot of energy, and their fans had high energy. We didn't respond to it very well."
Mansfield post player Zayne Dugan finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
"He's pivotal for us," Chick said. "He gets a lot of our boards for us and a lot of putbacks.
"We needed him to step up, and he's done that in the last couple of games. We appreciate him for doing that."
Mansfield shot 12-of-17 down the stretch at the free-throw line.