The Booneville Bearcats lost the opener of the Bill Frye Classic in Mansfield today, 85-50 to Pocola, Okla.
With the exception of a 2-2 tie after a pair of Evan Escobedo free throws, the Indians led throughout.
Escobedo would lead the Bearcats with 17 points with 11 of those points coming from the free throw line – he missed only once.
A nifty up-and-under layup by Raiden Ferguson made it 5-4 but it was quickly 15-6.
Escobedo’s third two free throw set made it 15-8 halfway through the opening quarter. Pocola would go on to score 29 points in the quarter and led 29-15.
By halftime the Bearcats were in a 47-23 hole.
The Indians pushed the lead to 29 in the waning seconds of the third quarter but a pair of Escobedo free throws cut it back to 67-40.
It would be the two minute mark before the Indians could reach the 30-point lead and after a Tobias Brown basket, they proceeded to score the final seven points of the game.
Escobedo was the only Bearcat in double figures. C.J. Johnson and Raiden Ferguson both scored eight.
Escobedo and Mason Goers (shown) both had four rebounds.
The loss sends the Bearcats into the consolation side of the bracket and an 11 a.m. game Wednesday against the loser of today’s Waldron versus Vian, Okla., game.
The Lady Bearcats did not play in the opening round.
They had been scheduled to face New School but New School pulled out of the tournament just before the Christmas break. With the resulting bye the Lady Bearcats will face the winner of the Vian, Okla., versus Waldron girls game that will be played later today.