BENTONVILLE — A 21-11 fourth-quarter run would suggest Fayetteville’s girls put their offense together and pulled away from Bentonville High.
Fayetteville........................ 1-0 9-3 Springdale High...............1-0 10-4 Van Buren.........................1-0 10-4 Rogers High.....................1-0 8-6 Bentonville High...............0-1 11-3 Bentonville West..............0-1 7-6 Springdale Har-Ber..........0-1 8-7 Rogers Heritage...............0-1 5-9
Fayetteville 69, Bentonville High 50 Springdale High 45, Rogers Heritage 35 Van Buren 51, Bentonville West 27 Rogers High 49, Springdale Har-Ber 47
Rogers Heritage at Rogers High Bentonville High at Van Buren Fayetteville at Bentonville West Springdale Har-Ber at Springdale High
FAYETTEVILLE 69, BENTONVILLE HIGH 50
Fayetteville....... 17 17 14 21 — 69 Bentonville ....... 12 16 11 11 — 50 Fayetteville (9-3, 1-0): Goforth 27, Franklin 15, Beck 14, Webb 3, Unruh 3, Bailey 3, Breathitt 2, Bobbitt 2. Bentonville (11-3, 0-1): Hawkins 16, Hughes 13, Dauda 12, Hernandez 6, Skidmore 3.
Lady Bulldogs coach Vic Rimmer, however, pointed to his team’s improved defensive play over the final 8 minutes as the main reason Fayetteville enjoyed a 69-50 victory during the 7A-West Conference opener for both teams Friday night in Tiger Arena.
“I told them at halftime I thought we were in a pretty good rhythm offensively,” Rimmer said. “I thought we were making good decisions. Defensively is where we won this game. That’s how the lead got to where it was.
“Our disadvantage was their two post kids. I felt good with Jasmine Franklin’s matchup, but the other matchup was kind of odd. We switched that back and forth and did a good job of keeping them out of rhythm, and Sasha Goforth was excellent guarding on the perimeter.”
Fayetteville (9-3, 1-0) led throughout the game, but only had a 48-39 cushion entering the fourth quarter. The Lady Bulldogs then held Bentonville (11-3, 0-1) to just five points over the first 6 minutes to pull away.
Goforth, who finished with a game-high 27 points, opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to put Fayetteville’s lead back in double digits for good, then the Lady Bulldogs followed Maryam Dauda’s bucket with nine unanswered points for a 60-41 lead with 3 minutes, 25 seconds left. Franklin then capped the run with six straight points to give Fayetteville its biggest lead, 66-44, with 1:56 to play.
“The offense just went stagnant over a good 4 to 5 minutes,” Bentonville coach Tom Halbmaier said. “We had some careless turnovers and created some high-percentage shots for Fayetteville. We’ve just got to do a better job of taking care of the basketball and finding more scorers.”
Franklin had 13 of her 15 points in the second half, and Coriah Beck added 14 for Fayetteville. Fess Hawkins led Bentonville with 16, while Avery Hughes added 13 and Dauda 12.
VAN BUREN 51, BENTONVILLE WEST 27
Senior guard Jamilyn Kinney provided just the spark Van Buren needed Friday night at Clair Bates Arena. Kinney helped guide an 8-0 run just before the break to help build a lead and Van Buren didn’t look back after that in the 7A-West opener. West was able to cut Van Buren’s advantage to 20-17 late in the second quarter with a basket from senior Ashaundi Henry, but Kinney took over after that. Kinney hit a 3-point basket off an inbounds, hit another after a defender lost a shoe and then found junior Kayleigh Evans inside with a pass during the scoring stretch. The quick stretch of points led by Kinney allowed Van Buren (10-4, 1-0 7A-West) to take a 28-17 lead heading into the break. Ira Sandoval led the way for Van Buren scoring a game-high 13 points with all coming in the second half. Kinney added 12, while Evans had 11 for the Lady Pointers. Anna Kash finished with a team-high nine points for West (7-7, 0-1).
ROGERS HIGH 49, SPRINGDALE HAR-BER 47
The Lady Mounties overcame a 10-point halftime deficit by outscoring Har-Ber 21-5 in the third quarter, then holding on at the end. Rogers (8-6, 1-0) got a game-high 21 points from Madison Loyd, including three 3-pointers in the third quarter, the last giving the Lady Mounties their first lead since the opening quarter. Loyd also hit three clutch free throws down the stretch. Har-Ber (8-7, 0-1) got 17 points from Savanna Collins and 12 from Maci Mains. The Lady Wildcats had a chance to tie or take the lead at the buzzer, but Krislyn Smith’s 3-point attempt fell short.
SPRINGDALE HIGH 45, ROGERS HERITAGE 35
The Lady Red Bulldogs (11-4, 1-0 7A-West) scored the final nine points of the game, all by senior Marquesha Davis, to pull away from the Lady War Eagles. Davis, a 6-foot senior, came up with a huge steal and three-point play with 1 minute, 11 seconds left to give Springdale a 41-35 lead. She finished with 30 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four blocked shots. Pam Seiler led Heritage (5-9, 0-1) with 11 points, all in the second half. The sophomore’s 3-pointer pulled Heritage within 36-35 with under three minutes left.