Lions get defensive

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

BOONEVILLE – Biggersville beat Blue Mountain on Friday night for the for the third time this season, this one for the Division 1-1A championship.
The Lions had to do it defensively this time, beating the Cougars 63-46.
“Defense, that was the difference,” Biggersville coach Cliff Little said. “I was very pleased to hold them down that low.”
Both teams advance to Tuesday’s Class 1A North tournament. Daily Journal No. 3-ranked Biggersville will host Vardaman, while No. 8 Blue Mountain will host Smithville.
It was the lowest scoring of the three games. This one was a sloppy start for both, Biggersville (24-6) jumping ahead before Blue Mountain (27-4) got within a point.
It went back-and-forth in the opening half, Biggersville taking a 25-20 lead on Emmanuel Simmons’ basket. Ismael Ruedas’ two free throws off a technical foul got the Cougars within three but Blue Mountain trailed by six at the half.
“Our heads were not in the game. We were not focused,” said Ruedas, held to eight points.
Emmanuel Simmons had 16 for the Lions, Daniel Simmons 15 and Jaylon Gaines 14 .
Biggersville pulled ahead in the third quarter, taking a 37-29 lead on Darien Barnett’s rebound and assist to Marquis Watson. The Lions went up by 13 on Daniel Simmons’ 3-pointer.
“We played sloppy offensively, tried to force some things,” Little said. “I was proud of our communication and execution defensively.”
Trevario McClinton had 14 for the Cougars.
(G) Falkner 56, Pine Grove 53: Pine Grove jumped out 8-0 but Falkner’s Brianna Williams got hot early with four 3s in the first half. She scored 27 points.
Falkner (16-13) has been on a roll since a 40-point loss to Pine Grove to open the new year, winning 9 of 11. Bryanna Davis had 24 for Pine Grove (24-8).
brandon.speck@journalinc.com