Photographs by Andy Shupe
Springdale Har-Ber boys basketball coach Scott Bowlin directs his team against Webb City, Mo., in a game earlier this season. Har-Ber has won nine straight games heading into a 7A-West Conference showdown tonight at Bentonville High.
Friday, January 12, 2018
One down, one to go
Bentonville West at Springdale High
Rogers High at Fayetteville
Springdale Har-Ber at Bentonville High
Van Buren at Rogers Heritage
Bryant at LR Central
Cabot at Conway
FS Northside at Mount St. Mary
North Little Rock at FS Southside
Farmington at Clarksville
Greenwood at Harrison
Siloam Springs at Alma
Batesville at Vilonia
Greenbrier at Searcy
Morrilton at Mountain Home
Forrest City at Blytheville
Jonesboro at Paragould
Marion at Valley View
Nettleton at Greene Co. Tech
West Memphis at Wynne
Jacksonville at LR Parkview
LR Hall at LR Christian
Pulaski Academy at LR Fair
Sylvan Hills at Maumelle
Mills at LR McClellan
Pine Bluff at Benton
White Hall at Sheridan
Hope at El Dorado
Hot Springs Lakeside at Magnolia
Lake Hamilton at Camden Fairview
Texarkana at De Queen
Elkins at Prairie Grove
Gentry at Lincoln
Haas Hall at Greenland
Shiloh Christian at Gravette
West Fork at Pea Ridge
Huntsville at Berryville
Yellville-Summit at Valley Springs
Harrisburg at Gosnell
Jonesboro Westside at Osceola
Rivercrest at Brookland
Riverside at Manila
Charleston at Paris
Ozark at Booneville
Mansfield at Cedarville
Subiaco at Waldron
Dover at Atkins
Lamar at Pottsville
Perryville at Dardanelle
Two Rivers at Clinton
Cedar Ridge at Bald Knob
Harding Academy at Tuckerman
Heber Springs at SS Batesville
Mountain View at Rose Bud
Newport at Riverview
Centerpoint at Bismarck
Glen Rose at Gurdon
Harmony Grove at Fountain Lake
Jessieville at Arkadelphia
Baptist Prep at Episcopal
eStem at Bauxite
LISA Academy at Central Ark. Christian
Lonoke at Joe T. Robinson
Barton at Dollarway
Dumas at Helena-West Helena
KIPP Delta at Stuttgart
Marianna at DeWitt
Ashdown at Horatio
Cossatot River at Prescott
Fouke at Nashville
Genoa Central at Mena
Crossett at Drew Central
Hamburg at Junction City
Monticello at Lake Village
Smackover at McGehee
Warren at Fordyce
Decatur at Omaha
Kingston at Alpena
St. Joe at Jasper
Calico Rock at Flippin
Izard County at Cotter
Mammoth Spring at Salem
Viola at Norfork
Hillcrest at Rector
Marmaduke at Crowley’s Ridge
Maynard at Ridgefield Christian
County Line at Hartford
Lavaca at Hackett
Mulberry at Union Christian
Oark at Magazine
Scranton at Hector
Western Yell Co. at Danville
Bigelow at Guy-Perkins
Conway Christian at Mount Vernon-Enola
Nemo Vista at Wonderview
Quitman at Sacred Heart
St. Joseph at South Side Bee Branch
Concord at West Side Greers Ferry
Pangburn at Midland
Rural Special at Timbo
Brinkley at Bradford
McCrory at Des Arc
Palestine-Wheatley at White Co. Central
Armorel at Buffalo Island
Bay at East Poinsett County
Acorn at Umpire
Kirby at Mount Ida
Cutter Morning Star at Ouachita
Magnet Cove at Poyen
Carlisle at Abundant Life
Clarendon at LISA North
Marvell at Jacksonville Lighthouse
Blevins at Mineral Springs
Spring Hill at Foreman
Bradley at Parkers Chapel
Emerson at Lafayette County
Strong at Nevada
Bearden at Woodlawn
Hermitage at Dermott
Rison at Hampton
Beebe at Russellville
Eureka Springs at Western Grove
Johnson Co. Westside at Bergman
Mayflower at Malvern
Mountain Pine at Maumelle Charter
St. Paul at Deer
7A-West Conference Statistics
Conference games only
T.Garrett, Springdale Har-Ber^2^46^23.0
Perry, Springdale Har-Ber^2^43^21.5
Stanley, Rogers Heritage^2^39^19.5
Kindrix, Van Buren^2^31^15.5
Fitch, Springdale High^2^27^13.5
Scales, Springdale High^2^25^12.5
Miller, Rogers High^2^25^12.5
Hornsby, Bentonville West^2^23^11.5
J.West, Van Buren^2^22^11.0
Dake, Rogers High^2^22^11.0
Collier Blackburn, Bentonville West^2^21^10.5
Paschall, Rogers High^2^20^10.0
M. Davis, Springdale High^2^63^31.5
Kinney, Van Buren^2^36^18.0
Loyd, Rogers High^2^33^16.5
Mains, Springdale Har-Ber^2^30^15.0
Shannon, Springdale Har-Ber^2^19^9.5
Smith, Springdale Har-Ber^2^19^9.5
Collins, Springdale Har-Ber^2^17^8.5
Menke, Rogers Heritage^2^17^8.5
Sandoval, Van Buren^2^16^8.0
Seiler, Rogers Heritage^2^16^8.0
Kash, Bentonville West^2^16^8.0
Vogel, Springdale High^2^14^7.0
Figenskau, Rogers High^2^14^7.0
Springdale Har-Ber survived the first of an important two-game road test Tuesday with a 55-49 victory at Springdale High.
Now, it's on to Bentonville High (10-3, 2-0), which is tied with Har-Ber (13-3, 2-0) and Rogers Heritage (13-2, 2-0) for first place in the 7A-West. Bentonville set up tonight's showdown with a 56-52 overtime victory over Van Buren on Tuesday. Bentonville is No. 6 and Har-Ber No. 7 in the Democrat-Gazette's boys overall Top 10 poll.
"That's life in the 7A-West," Har-Ber coach Scott Bowlin said his team's challenging week.
Har-Ber had to fight off Springdale High (9-6, 0-2) after the Wildcats grabbed a 16-6 lead after one quarter. The game was still in doubt until late in the fourth quarter when senior Tyler Garrett drew a charging call against Springdale center Carl Fitch, who fouled out. Har-Ber made 15 of 22 free throws and held on for its ninth straight victory after Springdale missed three consecutive 3-point attempts in the final seconds.
"I've got to give (coach) Jeremy (Price) and those kids over there a lot of credit," Bowlin said. "They threw everything at us and had us on the ropes for a while. But good teams find ways to win."
Tylor Perry added 16 points to help carry the scoring load for Har-Ber. Center Josh Ezell contributed a rebound basket late and Austin Garrett helped slow Trentez Scales, a standout sophomore guard who finished with 11 points.
"Austin's a sophomore and he did a really good job," Bowlin said. "He contained (Scales), especially the last three or four minutes."
-- Rick Fires • @NWARick
Depth key for Lady Bulldogs
It's hard for Greenwood's opponents to focus on any one player because it has so many different options.
Lady Bulldogs coach Clay Reeves said eight different players have led the team in scoring through their first 17 games.
"We have a great team philosophy," Reeves said. "Some nights it's our post players and some nights the points come from the guards.
Class 6A Greenwood (10-7) has won three straight this month, after going .500 through a rigorous nonconference schedule. The latest win came against Farmington, which is considered one of the better teams in Class 5A.
The Lady Bulldogs also have a young team in addition to being athletic and deep. Kaila Cartwright is the lone senior on the roster, which includes five freshmen who all see action.
Junior Kyiah Julian leads the team in scoring, averaging between 12 and 13 points per game, while half a dozen others average between six and eight points per game. Freshman Kinley Fisher starts at the point.
Cartwright is a versatile player in addition to being a good leader, Reeves said.
"As a 10th-grader, we played her more in the post, but last year more as a guard," Reeves said. "This year she's more of a forward. We feel like we can count on her. She's got the most experience and she's played in all different situations."
Despite the youth, Reeves believes this team has what it takes to peak in the postseason.
"I feel like we've got the players and the team to compete for a state championship," Reeves said.
-- Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB
Lady War Eagles need to finish
Rogers Heritage coach Scott Moore has been pleased with his team's energy and intensity, particularly on the defensive end. But the Lady War Eagles still came up just short in both of their first two 7A-West Conference games.
Moore focused on improving the team's defense in the offseason and that's been a strong point as Springdale High only scored 45 points and Rogers High managed just 36.
But Heritage (5-9, 0-2 7A-West) also needs to focus on putting the ball in the basket, Moore said.
"They are going and doing the hard work, running the plays and setting the screens," Moore said. "They just need to reward themselves by putting the ball in the hole. We have missed 40 shots in the paint in the last two ballgames. We have been down one with two minutes to go in each game.
"Defensively, we've executed our game plan perfectly in last two games. We've been really pleased with how the girls have bought into our philosophy and they're really starting to gel as a team."
Heritage has a solid inside-outside combination as senior post player Brooke Menke leads the team averaging 10.5 points per game. Sophomore guard Pam Seiler, who had 31 in a win earlier this season, averages just a shade under 10 per game.
-- Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB
Lady Bobcats are rolling
The Berryville girls are off to a scorching 17-1 start, but coach Daniel Cornelison said he knew back in the summer this season had a chance to be special.
The Lady Bobcats have been close to bringing a state championship to Carroll County the past two seasons, losing in the Class 4A state semifinals twice. A trio of juniors have been mainstays since their freshman season, and their growth and maturity has the team playing its best basketball, Cornelison said.
"They have grown up together," the coach said of the trio of Bailey Smith, Hannah Morrell, and Kelcee Hopper. "They all played significant minutes as freshmen. We had a great summer last summer and you could see the light bulb start to come on for them."
Smith leads the team in scoring at 13 per game with Hopper close behind at 11. The 6-foot-1 Morrell is scoring at about 9 points per game to go along with 8 rebounds.
Berryville's only loss came to Pocahontas in the Lady Bobcats' holiday tournament. Cornelison said the loss served as a wakeup call to his team.
"It was a stinging loss, but tip your hat to Pocahontas," he said. "Our kids felt like they should have won the game and they came back to practice the next day dedicated not to let that happen again."
Berryville earned a big road win last Friday at Valley Springs and faces another tough road test today at Huntsville.
-- Chip Souza • @NWAChip
Hanney's young team surging
Blake Hanney said his hiring at Valley Springs was "a bang-bang decision" last spring. That could also be another way to describe his team's 20-5 start to the season.
The Tigers employ an up-tempo attack fueled by a swarming full-court press. The result has been nothing short of a success as Valley Springs is 5-0 in league play after Tuesday's win against Green Forest.
"We like to shoot the ball," Hanney said. "When we get the ball, we're gone. We try to score in transition first, then if we have to, we'll run some half-court, but we'd prefer to get it and go."
Hanney was hired last spring to replace longtime coach Johnny Taylor. Hanney previously coached at Salem, but played at NorthArk CC, where former coach Jerry Thomason headed the search committee at Valley Springs.
"The job came open on Wednesday, I interviewed on Monday and they offered me the job on Tuesday at 4 p.m.," Hanney said. "At 4:01, I accepted it."
Hanney said the program has had to change the culture and buy into what he's teaching, especially on the defensive end.
Lawson Jenkins, a 6-foot-6 sophomore and the son of highly successful Valley Springs women's coach Kim Jenkins, has been a key player for the Tigers. Jenkins is averaging 21 points per game and has scored 30 or more points six times with a high of 36 last week in an 83-81 overtime win against Berryville.
Juniors Dalton Audeoud and Ethan Flud are also averaging double figures, and senior Ethan Garvin has been a lock-down defender, Hanney said.
The Tigers host Yellville-Summit today
-- Chip Souza • @NWAChip
Tigers enjoy labors of OT
Bentonville's boys have had to put in a little extra work to enjoy a 2-0 start in 7A-West Conference play.
The Tigers (9-3 overall) have won both games in overtime, including Tuesday's 56-52 decision at Van Buren following a 78-76 home win over Fayetteville. Bentonville had to come back from a nine-point deficit against Van Buren, then held the Pointers scoreless until the final seconds before Asa Hutchinson's two free throws with 5.6 seconds left sealed the win.
"You're just proud of your guys' resiliency to fight back in both games," Bentonville coach Dick Rippee said. "We're down in the second half, and were able to come back and get it tied before making some plays in overtime.
"Really, it's about getting stops when you get down the stretch. Defensively, I felt like we were not only getting good pressure on the shots but also tagging our guys and getting rebounds and take it the other way. The second half, we guarded really well."
It doesn't get any easier for Bentonville tonight as the Tigers host Springdale Har-Ber, which is also 2-0 in the league following a 55-49 win over Springdale High. The two teams split the 7A-West title last year, even though Har-Ber swept both games against Bentonville.
Rippee said the Wildcats should provide a "good measuring stick" for his team, just as earlier games have done.
"It's going to be a fun game," Rippee said. "Hopefully we will get a good crowd to see two teams hook it up and compete.
"They probably have the best guard tandem in our league in Tylor Perry and the older Garrett, and they do so much for their team. We're trying to figure out how to defend them, but I know our team is looking forward to it and I know they probably are, too."
-- Henry Apple • @NWAHenry
Elks vastly improved
Elkins is 13-3 overall and one of the most improved teams in the area after finishing under .500 last season. There are several factors for the surge, including balanced offensive production with four players averaging at least 10 points per game.
Paxton Barnett leads the Elks with 18 points per game. He's followed by Ethan Hipps (15 ppg), Chad Graham (14 ppg), and Quinn McClain (10 ppg), the standout quarterback for the Elkins football team.
"The guys have bought in with our emphasis on defense and in sharing the basketball," Elkins coach Jared Porter said. "We've got five guys who can score consistently and they have amazing team chemistry."
Elkins needs to display every bit of that chemistry to secure a road win tonight at Prairie Grove (8-9), which has won three of its last four. The Tigers are led by Will Pridmore and D.J. Pearson, who pile up points with aggressive moves to the basket. The two combined for 43 points in a win at Shiloh Christian and Pridmore scored 13 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter of a 43-40 victory over Pea Ridge at home on Tuesday.
"We can't let their two guards go crazy on us," Porter said. "At the same time, we have to limit their strength inside and not get beat on the boards."
-- Rick Fires • @NWARick
Sports on 01/12/2018
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