Charleston goes low, finishes high in Class 3A state title game


Photographs by Thomas Metthe

Charleston’s Lacey McKenzie (left) and Hattie Newhart hoist the Class 3A girls state championship trophy Friday after defeating Mountain View 67-59 at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs.



HOT SPRINGS -- Hattie Newhart was efficient and Baylee King was clutch. Combined, the two Charleston Lady Tigers were too much for Mountain View.

Newhart connected on 10 of 13 field-goal attempts and King scored 10 of her 17 points in the final 4:51 as the Lady Tigers captured the girls Class 3A state title with a 67-59 victory over the Lady Yellowjackets at the Bank of the Ozarks Arena.

Charleston (23-8) won its first state title since 2009 on the strength of its inside game. The Lady Tigers scored 34 points from inside the lane, going 18 of 31 on two-point attempts.

Newhart finished with 27 points and seven rebounds. She was selected as the tournament's MVP.

"She plays with so much heart, so much emotion and so much energy," Charleston Coach Jason Rucker said. "One of the ways to go out as a senior is to have a night like she had tonight. It was unbelievable."

Newhart scored 11 points in the first quarter and had 17 points three minutes into the second quarter.

"They did a good job. Give credit to them," Mountain View Coach Casey Scribner said. "They got it right to the rim. It was just a good job on their part."

Despite Newhart's inside dominance, Mountain View (30-3) never trailed by more than six points in the first half. Charleston led 35-34 at the half, with freshman Aubrey Isbell scoring 11 points, and junior Kaley Shipman and senior Cheyenne Shelton scoring 9 points each.

The teams exchanged leads four times in the second half before Mountain View attempted to slow the game down. Leading 52-51 with 6:38 remaining, the Lady Yellowjackets took almost two minutes off the clock before a missed free throw led to a 6-0 swing for the Lady Tigers.

"That was a coaching decision, and we've done that all year when we've been up," Scribner said. "We were trying to spread [Charleston] out and get to the rim. It just didn't work out. Of the 30 games we've won, we've done that at some point in the game. We are really confident in doing that."

King was fouled after collecting the rebound on the missed free throw. Her free throws with 4:51 remaining gave Charleston a 52-51 lead, an advantage the Lady Tigers never lost.

"It was crucial because if they would have gotten a three-point lead, it would have been a totally different ballgame," Rucker said of Mountain View's long nonscoring possession. "We would have had to change how we would guard at that point in the game."

Charleston, which had hit only 5 of 11 free-throw attempts through the first three quarters, was 13 of 18 from the line in the fourth quarter. The Lady Tigers' final 11 points came from the line.

"I've been practicing free throws the entire season," King said. "I had to make them. It was the moment to do it."

"I told the girls that if we would just make free throws that we would take control of this game," Rucker said. "We had missed the front end of a 1-and-1 right before the start of the fourth quarter. I told them if we would just use our legs and take our time we would take control. Sure enough we hit some big ones down the stretch."

Shipman finished with 22 points, hitting 8 of 18 shots, including 4 of 6 three-point attempts. Isbell added 17 points and Shelton 11. Mountain View was 21-of-43 shooting and 12 of 19 from the line. Shipman, Isbell and Shelton all collected six rebounds.

Allie Green added 11 points for Charleston, eight of them coming in the first half.

Charleston’s Hattie Newhart (35) attempts to block a shot by Mountain View’s Aubrey Isbell during the second quarter of the Lady Tigers’ victory over ...

Charleston’s Alexis Grandson (left) defends Mountain View’s Aubrey Isbell during Friday’s victory in Hot Springs.





Charleston 5-10 forward Hattie Newhart hit 10 of 13 field-goal attempts and finished with 27 points in leading the Lady Tigers to the Class 3A state title. Newhart, who also hit her lone three-point attempt, grabbed a team-high 7 rebounds and was 6 of 10 from the free-throw line. Newhart scored 23 points in the first three quarters.


There were 10 lead changes in the game, the last coming with 4:51 remaining. … Charleston held the lead for 22:58; Mountain View held the lead for only 5:45 and never led by more than three points. … Charleston scored 34 points from inside the lane and 19 points from the line; Mountain View scored 28 points from the lane and 12 from the line. … Attendance for the 3A girls game was 3,866.

Sports on 03/10/2018

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