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Mustangs Top East Newton For Lone Holiday Classic Win

by Bennett Horne | January 5, 2023 at 8:06 a.m.
BENNETT HORNE/MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS McDonald County's Cross Dowd, shown here driving against Carl Junction Monday night, was named to the all-tournament team of the Neosho Holiday Classic held Dec. 28-30 at Neosho. The senior guard averaged 18.3 points and 4.3 3-pointers over the three games played by the Mustangs in the classic.

NEOSHO -- The McDonald County Mustangs won one of the three games they played in the Neosho Holiday Classic held Dec. 28-30.

The Mustangs capped their three days in the classic with a 54-35 win over East Newton on Friday, Dec. 30. The victory gave the Mustangs seventh place in the classic while lifting their season record to 6-6.

"That was a good win for us for when we get into conference play," said McDonald County coach Brandon Joines. "We needed to know where we stood and that win showed us that."

The Mustangs raced out to a 21-3 lead over East Newton after one quarter of play, only to see the Patriots bounce back with an 11-4 second period to trim the deficit to 25-14 at the intermission. The Mustangs turned the tables with an 11-4 third quarter and polished off the win with an 18-17 fourth quarter.

Sterling Woods poured in 21 points with two 3-pointers to lead the Mustangs. Joshua Pacheco added 14 points. Cross Dowd, who was named to the Holiday Classic's all-tournament team, scored 10 points with two 3s, both coming in the first quarter. Weston Gordon recorded seven points with one 3 while Destyn Dowd contributed two points for the Mustangs, who turned in a 5-for-5 night at the free-throw line.

Marshal Renner led the Patriots with 11 points with Chase Sorrell and Braxton Wolfe contributing nine each and Robert McFarland six.

Sapulpa (Okla.) 72,

McDonald County 66

The Mustangs had three players score in double figures against the Sapulpa (Okla.) Chieftains, but it wasn't enough as McDonald County was defeated, 72-66, on Thursday, Dec. 29.

The game was close until the fourth quarter. McDonald County led 18-17 after the first quarter of play and 35-30 at the intermission. The Chieftains began a second half rally by winning the third quarter, 17-16, before outscoring the Mustangs by a 25-15 count in the fourth.

Cross Dowd finished with 20 points for the Mustangs. Pacheco and Gordon chipped in with 17 and 12 points, respectively. Toby Moore hit for eight points, Woods five and Dalton McClain 4.

Fabian Harris, a 6-2 freshman guard, led the Chieftains with 27 points with Zachery Lewis adding 18.

Huntsville (Ark.) 67,

McDonald County 57

The Mustangs opened the Holiday Classic with a 67-57 loss to the Huntsville (Ark.) Eagles on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

The game was a sign of things to come for McDonald County, which led 20-13 after the first quarter of play and 35-27 at the half before the Eagles trimmed the deficit to a single point (48-47) with a 20-13 third quarter before holding the Mustangs to nine points in the fourth while scoring 20 for the 10-point win.

"Against Huntsville, we led for three quarters and did not show up for the fourth," said Joines. "Against Sapulpa we led for three quarters. And those are both solid teams. But we lead for three quarters in both and just can't finish the game."

But, he added, "That's something we'll figure out. We'll get that down and certain things will turn the other direction and good things will happen."

Cross Dowd hit five 3s against Huntsville on his way to a 24-point night. Moore scored 10 points, Woods 8 and Pacheco 6. Destyn Dowd and Gordon tossed in 4 points each.

Huntsville's Hunter Davidson led his team with 24 points while teammate Troy Lambert scored 22 on the strength of six 3s.

Print Headline: Mustangs Top East Newton For Lone Holiday Classic Win


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