SPRINGDALE — Tyler Garrett dribbled up the court and glanced out of the corner of his eye as a familiar face was speeding down the right side toward the basket.
As the senior guard neared the lane, he saw Austin Garrett point up.
It was a familiar scene, one that has played out probably thousands of times for the Garrett brothers. And just like the games of Nerf basketball in their bedroom, Tyler lofted a perfect pass high above the rim, and Austin finished it with an emphatic one-handed dunk.
That play in the third quarter might get lost in the box score of a 74-42 Har-Ber blowout of Rogers Heritage, but for these brothers, it was a special moment that they both know is rapidly coming to an end.
“We just connect,” said Austin, a sophomore who scored eight points Friday night in the regular season finale at Wildcat Arena. “I just saw the ball and went up and got it.”
Twice earlier Tylor Perry tried to hit Austin Garrett on similar plays that failed to finish.
“It took me,” said Tyler Garrett. “It’s a little brotherly love involved in it.”
Har-Ber (22-6, 11-3) was dominant from the opening tip and took an eight-point lead in the first quarter as Tyler Garrett scored eight of his game-high 14 points. The rout continued in the second quarter as Perry knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and the Wildcats outscored Heritage (17-10, 6-8) 20-12 to take a 38-20 halftime lead.
The Wildcats will get the No. 2 seed in this week’s Class 7A state tournament as Fayetteville locked down the No. 1 seed. Both teams earned first-round byes in the state tournament. Heritage will be the No. 6 seed from the conference.
Har-Ber coach Scott Bowlin said his team is playing its best basketball right now heading into the post-season.
“I thought we played pretty well at Van Buren Tuesday and they’re just playing right now,” Bowlin said. “They’re sharing the ball and they’ve sort of figured it out that it doesn’t matter who scores as long as they play together. I thought we played good defense tonight.”
The Wildcats were able to hold Heritage senior Seth Stanley to just 12 points, no small feat against one of the league’s best players.
Har-Ber had 11 players score points in the game as the lopsided score led to some playing time for the Wildcats’ reserves.
Perry finished with 13 points and Nick Buchanan, who gave the Wildcats a big spark off the bench, scored 12.
“We are clicking and we just have to sort of keep that in a bottle,” Bowlin said. “So hopefully next Thursday night we put it right back out there with them.”
BENTONVILLE WEST 53,
BENTONVILLE HIGH 51
Collier Blackburn’s only points couldn’t have come at a better time. The senior hit a four-point play with 1:29 remaining to put West ahead, and the Wolverines held on to knock off Bentonville in Tiger Arena.
Bentonville (16-9, 8-6) had a 51-46 after Connor Deffebaugh’s free throw with 1:50 remaining, but Gabe Hornsby’s two free throws pulled West within three before Blackburn hit his shot and was fouled. Blackburn sank the free throw to give the Wolverines (18-9, 8-6) their first lead since early in the first quarter.
Boston Barron then hit a free throw with 2.9 seconds remaining to close out the scoring.
Hornsby finished with 20 points and Barron added 10 for West, which becomes the fourth seed in the Class 7A State Tournament. Michael Shanks led Bentonville with 16, followed by Cadarius Baggett with 15 and Asa Hutcinson with 10.
SPRINGDALE HIGH 61,
ROGERS HIGH 54
The Red Bulldogs used a 14-0 second-quarter run to take control and held off a late rally for the 7A-West Conference road win Friday.
Jajuan Boyd led Springdale (16-11, 7-7 7A-West) with 17 points, including 15 in the first half. Carl Fitch added 14 for the Red’Dogs, who led 37-20 at halftime.
Springdale will be the No. 5 seed from the 7A-West in next week’s Class 7A state tournament.
Sophomore Elliott Paschal led all scorers with 23 points for Rogers (7-20, 0-14), which never led after the first quarter.
FAYETTEVILLE 71, VAN BUREN 64
Collin Cooper scored 22 points, including a rare four-point play, to lead Fayetteville past Van Buren.
The win earned Fayetteville (18-8, 11-3) a share of the conference championship and the No. 1 seed for the state tournament in North Little Rock. The Bulldogs will not play until Friday. Van Buren led 62-61 when Cooper was fouled while making a long
3-pointer with 1 minute, 51 seconds left in the game. He then made the free throw to give Fayetteville the lead for good. Jon Conley followed with four consecutive free throws to secure the victory for Fayetteville, which will play at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in North Little Rock.
Jordan West finished with 28 points in an outstanding performance for Van Buren (14-13, 5-9).
FULL GAME REPORTS ON THESE 7A-WEST GAMES CAN BE FOUND AT NWADG.COM .
Chip Souza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter@NWAChip.