HOT SPRINGS -- The same formula Episcopal Collegiate has used to win games all season allowed it to reclaim its throne atop Class 3A on Saturday night.Gallery: Episcopal vs Tuckerman Championship Basketball
The Wildcats got balanced scoring from its starting backcourt and a solid effort from senior forward Gavin Hawkins to coast past Tuckerman 61-47 in the state championship game at Bank of the Ozarks Arena.
Senior guard Kamron Brasfield and freshman guards Treylon Payne and Khalen Robinson each scored 18 points for Episcopal (28-7), while Hawkins added 7 points and 11 rebounds.
The Wildcats won back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015 but were ousted in the second round by Cedar Ridge last season.
The Wildcats, who never trailed, stayed one step ahead of the Bulldogs for most of the game.
Episcopal closed the first quarter on a 9-2 run, with Robinson's three-point play giving the Wildcats a 13-4 lead. Tuckerman scored the first two baskets of the second quarter, but Payne's 15-footer started a 15-1 spurt that busted the game open. Brasfield had the final six points in the run, including an off-balanced three-pointer just after he picked up his third steal of the half, to give the Wildcats a 28-10 lead.
Episcopal eventually led 28-14 at the half.
The Bulldogs were just 6-of-26 shooting in the first half and went just 1 of 12 from beyond the three-point line.
Bomani Roberson, who had 21 points, banked in a floater from just inside the foul line to pull Tuckerman within 33-26 with 2:28 remaining in the third quarter.
The Wildcats responded with eight points in a row, the final six coming on back-to-back three-pointers from Payne and Robinson to push the lead back to 15.
Because of daylight saving time, deadlines were earlier than usual for today’s editions. See Monday’s editions for complete game coverage of the Class 3A boys championship game.
Sports on 03/12/2017
Print Headline: Balanced Episcopal breezes