Blue Mountain Cougars take first step

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

BOONEVILLE – The way Blue Mountain coach David Mason sees it. that’s one down and hopefully a bunch more to go.
Mason’s Cougars won their 26th game Monday night, beating Pine Grove 78-44 in the opening round of the Division 1-1A Tournament at Booneville High School.
Blue Mountain’s immediate goal is to win the division tourney championship. The ultimate goal is the same as everybody’s this time of year – reach Jackson.
“We were starting out 0-0 tonight,” Mason said. “The record (26-3) is great. Winning the Tippah County Tournament was great, but we have bigger goals in mind.
Blue Mountain advanced toThursday’s 4 p.m. semifinals, where it will play today’s Thrasher-Falkner winner. A win there and the Cougars are hoping for a rematch against Biggersville.
The Lions (21-6), the tournament’s top seed, play a 5:30 Thursday semifinal againstWheeler or Jumpertown.
Biggersville has handed Blue Mountain two of its three losses – 87-83 and 63-61.
“We don’t mention the other team (Biggersville),” Mason said.“We’re focused
on the task at hand. That was step one tonight.”
Blue Mountain’s big guns – guards Ismael Ruedas and Jacob Girley – scored 17 points apiece.
Girley scored all of his in the first half with nine of them coming on 3-pointers. He helped fuel a 15-0
run in the second quarter that broke open the game. Ruedas scored 15 of his points in the first half. He had two layups in the scoring surge and capped the half with a 3-pointer to give the Cougars a 50-21 lead.
Pine Grove got 14 points from Jordan Staggs and 10 from Kane Tigrett.
(G) PINE GROVE 62, BLUE
MOUNTAIN 34: Bryana Davis scored 24 points and Anna Fryar added 11 to lead the Lady Panthers (24-7).
Pine Grove plays tonight’s Biggersville- Jumpertown winner at 8:30 p.m. in Thursday’s semifinals.
gene.phelps@journalinc.com