37th Annual Yellow Sucker Game
I went to my first "yellow sucker" game tonight in Van Buren, MO. I thought I might see a bunch of country boys with trucks, boats, and gigs coming from the Current River down the street from the gym. I expected live wells full of suckers and fish cookers and was looking forward to the fresh fish, fried potatoes, and hush puppies - even brought my Cavendar's with me. Sadly, I was disappointed when there were no fish. While I didn't quite get the meal I was hoping for, the basketball was everything I had heard it would be and more.
I walked in the gym only to find all of Carter County in attendance. Both towns showed up with intensity to fight for the nostalgic yellow sucker. The fans were invested and the teams played with fire. This was a battle you can only find between the East Carter Redbirds and the Van Buren Bulldogs. As the game played out, the first quarter was an absolute war and ended with Van Buren having a one-point lead: 11-10. The Bulldogs were able to outscore the Redbirds in the second quarter by 3, to make the score at the half a tight 25-21. Van Buren was hot from behind the arc to start the third quarter and managed, at one time, to stretch the lead to 12. The Redbirds wouldn't go down that easy. Preston Golden hit a three to start a run for East Carter. Back and forth we went from there. Van Buren was able to maintain a small lead the rest of the way to close the game with a 59-50 victory, keeping the yellow sucker in the western part of the county for at least one more year.
Van Buren was led in scoring by Jacob Brown with 16 points, Haden Barnes with 15 points, and Hayden Hills with 12 points.
East Carter was led in scoring by Levi Boyer with 13 points and Preston Golden with 12 points.