Photographs by Special to NWA Democrat-Gazette/DAVID BEACH
Garrett Wilmot (right) of Bentonville West drives to the basket as Springdale High’s Marquis Donahoo defends Friday at Wolverine Arena in Bentonville.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
CENTERTON -- One team's misery at the free-throw line was another team's saving grace Friday night.
Bentonville West senior Boston Barron was a perfect 8-of-8 at the free-throw line in overtime to help the Wolverines down Springdale High 54-45 in 7A-West action in Wolverine Arena.
Springdale (13-9, 4-5) 9 13 10 10 3 -- 45
West (14-8, 4-5): 11 11 7 13 12 -- 54
Springdale (13-10, 4-6): Boyd 10, Mason 8, Scales 7, Donahoo 7, Jibke 6, Coulter 3, Fitch 2, Eckwood 2.
West (15-8, 5-5): Barron 16, Collin Blackburn 8, Hornsby 7, Wilmot 7, Bailey 6, Larsen 5, Rutherford 4, Collier Blackburn 1.
Springdale lost its second straight close game and had a chance to win this one in regulation but missed the front end of a one-and-one with two seconds left, sending the game into overtime, during which West (15-8, 5-5) outscored the Bulldogs 12-3.
"The kids found a way to win a big game; they ground it out in a must-win game," West coach Greg White said. "You hate to say that about a game in February, but a big win for our kids."
The Bulldogs (13-10, 4-6) led for most of the game though never by a wide margin. Springdale led 32-29 after three quarters on a 3-pointer from Nick Coulter with 1 minute, 40 seconds left, then took leads of 38-31 and 40-34 in the fourth quarter, the last on a drive by Jujuan Boyd with under five minutes left.
West refused to go away as the senior-dominated Wolverines kept scrapping back. Garrett Wilmot forced a steal and took it the length of the court for a layup to set off a 6-0 run, capped by a pair of Collin Blackburn free throws with 2:33 left that tied the score at 40-40.
With the game tied at 42-42, Springdale ran the clock down to under 10 seconds before calling a timeout. Boyd drove the lane and was fouled with 2.0 left but missed the front end of the one-and-one, and West missed a desperation shot at the buzzer to force overtime.
The Wolverines hit the boards hard in overtime, and Barron scored off an offensive rebound to give West a 44-42 lead, and the Wolverines never trailed again. Collin Blackburn nailed a corner 3-pointer for a 47-42 lead, and Barron did the rest at the free-throw line.
"Boston Barron made big plays for us late," White said. "Our leading scorer (Collier Blackburn) is out there, and he's got the flu, and he's gutting it out. He's got just one point, but the rest of the team stepped up, and that's what we're trying to build here."
Girls: Springdale High 68, Bentonville West 55
The Lady Bulldogs hit 19 free throws in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win.
Springdale 16 9 16 27 -- 68
Bentonville West 9 11 14 21 -- 55
Springdale (16-7, 7-3): Davis 23, Minchew 16, Vogel 14, Thaly Sysavanh 8, Thatianna Sysavanh 6.
West (8-14, 1-9): Wilson 13, Kash 12, Crowson 8, Henry 6, Reid 6, Wood 4, Mongomery 4, Clifton 2.
Springdale (16-7, 7-3 7A-West) kept pace in the West with Bentonville for the coveted No. 2 seed in the upcoming state tournament. Those two teams meet Tuesday night in Bulldog Gym.
Ashlyn Minchew scored six of her 16 points in the fourth quarter including 6 of 6 at the free-throw line. Minchew's three-point play with under four minutes left gave the Lady Bulldogs a 52-43 lead.
"Down the stretch, I thought with about three-and-a-half minutes left, we were really solid at the free-throw line," Springdale coach Heather Hunsucker said.
Ana Kash knocked down a deep 3-pointer with 2:25 left to pull West (8-14, 1-9) within 56-50, but Springdale was able to lock it down with clutch free throws down the stretch.
Springdale attempted 9 3-point shots in the first quarter, drawing the ire of Hunsucker who implored her team to attack the basket. The Lady Bulldogs did that in the second half.
"We had a come-to-Jesus meeting," Hunsucker said. "We talked about that. When we go inside to out, we shoot a much better percentage and I just thought we weren't doing that."
Marquesha Davis led Springdale with 23 points and Sarah Vogel added 14 with four 3-pointers. Shania Wilson led West with 13 points.
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