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VIDEO: Basketball: Skirmish sparks Har-Ber to road win

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Photographs by Charlie Kaijo

Springdale Har-Ber’s Austin Garrett (1) shoots a layup as Bentonville High’s Michael Shanks (11) defends Friday at Bentonville High School in Bentonville.

BENTONVILLE -- A third-quarter skirmish provided all the spark Springdale Har-Ber needed Friday night.

The Wildcats opened the second half on a 19-3 run to turn a five-point halftime lead into a 21-point cushion, but it was a 9-2 run and the momentum that fueled the surge.

Har-Ber (14-3, 3-0 7A-West) led 45-32 when Jack Ragsdale snared a teammate's missed free throw and scored on a putback. On Bentonville High's next possession, two players got tied up under the goal and words were exchanged. That led to double technical fouls with 5 minutes, 55 seconds left in the quarter.

The skirmish moved to the scorer's table where Har-Ber coach Scott Bowlin and Bentonville coach Dick Rippee exchanged heated words and had to be separated by assistant coaches.

Har-Ber's Tylor Perry and Austin Garrett scored a combined 12 points over the next two minutes, punctuated by Garrett's tomahawk dunk that gave the Wildcats a 56-35 lead. And Har-Ber needed all of that lead to hang on for a 72-672 win in Tiger Arena.

"I think sometimes getting a little chippy is not a bad thing," Bowlin said. "It's part of the game. Great teams are great competitors. I didn't see a lot of bad stuff. I just saw two teams supporting their coaches."

The Wildcats, winners now of 10 straight games, spread the floor in the fourth quarter to milk the clock, and Bentonville (10-4, 2-1) took advantage coming close to an epic comeback.

Asa Hutchinson and Michael Shanks fueled the late rally with Shanks scoring 12 fourth-quarter points. His 3-pointer from the left corner closed the gap to 65-60 with 1:30 left, and Connor Deffenbaugh drove the lane for a scoop to make it 64-60, but the Wildcats were able to hang on as Perry and Tyler Garrett hit clutch free throws down the stretch.

"That's my fault," Bowlin said of the late-game tactics. "I wanted to let the air out, but what we didn't do at the other end was guard anybody. We'd foul or they'd hit a good shot. I'll take the full responsibility for that debacle that got them within five. We won by 10, but still, that's my fault."

Har-Ber broke away from an early deficit in the second quarter as Perry hit a step-back 3-pointer for a 21-18 Wildcats lead. Ragsdale added a 3-pointer late in the quarter to extend the lead to 35-29 and Har-Ber led 37-32 at halftime.

Springdale Har-Ber 72, Bentonville High 62

Har-Ber 17 20 21 14 -- 72

Bentonville 18 14 7 19 -- 62

Har-Ber (14-3, 3-0): Perry 22, T. Garrett 16, A. Garrett 10, Buchanan 9, Ragsdale 8, Peck 4, Ezell 3.

Bentonville (10-4, 2-1): Hutchinson 21, Shanks 16, Simmons 14, Deffenbaugh 11.

Junior Varsity Boys: Bentonville 55, Springdale Har-Ber 54

Girls

Bentonville High 60, Springdale Har-Ber 33

Avery Hughes was determined to put a scoreless game earlier this week behind her. She did way more than that in the Lady Tigers' blowout home win.

Hughes scored 13 first-quarter points and the Lady Tigers were never threatened in earning their first 7A-West Conference win.

While Hughes and Jaren Hernandez (16 points) were powering the Lady Tigers' offense, it was Bentonville's defense that turned up the heat. Har-Ber (8-9, 0-3) scored just 12 points in the middle quarters.

"I thought Jaren Hernandez and Avery Hughes played very well," said Bentonville coach Tom Halbmaier. "Tonight we just hit shots. I was very pleased with our overall effort."

Bentonville (12-4, 1-2) led 16-11 heading into the second quarter then seized control by outscoring Har-Ber 30-12 over the next two quarters.

Maci Mains led Har-Ber with 11 points.

Bentonville High 60, Springdale Har-Ber 33

Har-Ber 11 7 5 10 -- 33

Bentonville 16 22 8 14 -- 60

Har-Ber (8-9, 0-3): Mains 11, Smith 8, Nelson 5, Taylor 4, Collins 2, Wood 2, Joynor 1.

Bentonville (12-4, 1-2): Highes 25, Hernandez 16, Hawkins 10, Sanders 3, Palasak 2, Dauda 2, Irlenborn 2.

Sports on 01/13/2018

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