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Wolverines beat Bulldogs in OT

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 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.”

ROGERS HERITAGE 59, VAN BUREN 48

Rogers Heritage coach Tom Olsen admitted his team could have folded early. After missing their first nine shots of the night and allowing the Pointers easy shots in the lane, the War Eagles fell behind big. The game turned on the War Eagles ability to hit from deep. After a bucket by Seth Stanley trimmed the Pointers’ lead to seven, Heritage connected from behind the arc on three consecutive possessions. Stanley scored 17 points for Heritage. Dawson Peek scored 19, and Bryce Breedlove put in 14KJ. Stewart led Van Buren with 20 points, and Jordan West scored 13.

FAYETTEVILLE 76, ROGERS HIGH 41

Fayetteville eased past Rogers after jumping to a 16-1 lead in the first quarter. Jon Conley scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half to lead Fayetteville (15-7, 8-2). The game marked the return of Fayetteville coach Kyle Adams, who missed Wednesday’s victory over Bentonville West because he was sick. Darius Bowers, Collin Cooper and Frank Morgan added 12 points each for the Bulldogs, who led 41-26 at halftime and 63-37 after three quarters. Drew Miller scored 14 points for Rogers (7-16, 0-10), which got to within 18-14 in the second quarter. Fayetteville began to pull away again behind the play of 6-foot-7 center Tamaury Releford, who came off the bench and scored six points in the second quarter.

SPRINGDALE HAR-BER 69, BENTONVILLE HIGH 67

When Har-Ber’s Cole Bishop hit a 3-pointer to give his team the lead with less than three minutes to go in the game, his coach Scott Bowlin knew that was the turning point for the Wildcats. Har-Ber (19-5, 8-2), who trailed Bentonville (14-7, 6-4) for a majority of the game, used a second-half resurgence to battle back for a big home win. The Wildcats went into halftime behind by nine points but outscored Bentonville 41-30 in the second half, including a big 23-point third quarter that changed the momentum of the game in Har-Ber’s favor. Tyler Garrett finished the game with a team-high 18 points for Har-Ber. Tylor Perry was the go-to option for the Wildcats in the first half. The junior scored all 17 of his points in the half, including being the only one to score for Har-Ber in the second quarter. Bentonville’s Colton Simmons, along with Asa Hutchinson, led the Tigers with 18 points, including four threes that kept his team in the game in the third quarter. Cadarius Baggett finished with 12 points.

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