Haydon Billingsley

The Cougars' Haydon Billingsley goes up for a transition layup against the Red Raiders.

SPRINGVILLE– The South Pontotoc Cougars dropped a tough division matchup last Friday night, losing 70-45 to the Shannon Red Raiders. Stroud Mills led the Cougars with 16 points. Alex Collins scored 12 points, Jayden Hooker scored 8 points and Will Reeves added 7 points for South Pontotoc.

“I like how hard they are playing for thirty-two minutes for the most part every night,” said South Pontotoc coach Shane Murphree. “Tonight I thought we gave them too many second shots, and we have to box out better when we are mismatched in the post.”

Shannon raced out to a 12-0 lead to start the game. Stroud Mills scored four points, and Alex Collins added five points in the first quarter for South, but the Red Raiders could not be contained on their way to building a 23-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Mills scored to open the second quarter and hit two free throws moments later to cut the lead down to 11. Shannon was too hard to handle though, and the Red Raiders closed out the first half on an 8-0 run to lead 40-20 at halftime.

South Pontotoc (4-13, 0-3) put together their best quarter of the game offensively in the third quarter. Alex Collins scored five points, Jayden Hooker hit a 3-pointer and Mills added three more points for South. However, their defensive struggles continued, and Shannon ran away with the game in the fourth quarter.

“We had too many live ball turnovers; we ran into pressure and would throw the ball away too much,” said coach Murphree. “But they are still working hard for me, and I’m proud of that.”

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