BENTONVILLE -- Tom Olsen said there were 11 Rogers Heritage boys basketball players in the gym early Monday morning, doing what they could to prepare for Tuesday's game against Bentonville.
The extra work paid dividends for the War Eagles, who snapped a two-game losing skid in impressive fashion as they claimed a 50-36 victory over the cold-shooting Tigers during 7A-West Conference action in Tiger Arena.
"This is a real credit to our kids," Olsen said. "I can't tell you what a joy it is to coach these guys. When you have leadership like we have and have kids that are that committed, good things are going to happen and they did."
Heritage (14-4, 3-2) used its deliberate offensive pace to befuddle Bentonville (11-5, 3-2), and the War Eagles never trailed. What made it interesting was the fact Heritage's leading scorer, Seth Stanley, didn't score in the entire first quarter and had only four points through three quarters.
His first points came on a bucket with 2 minutes, 47 seconds before halftime, and it sparked an 8-0 Heritage spurt to close out the first half. His two free throws with 1.1 seconds left made it a 22-12 game at halftime, then the War Eagles started the second half by running almost 3 1/2 minutes off the clock before Dawson Peek scored.
"It was a credit to him because we figured we had to play that way," Olsen said. "He would have to pass up a few shots to give his teammates some looks, then came back to him at the end of the game.
"We talked at halftime and we had the ball coming out at the second half. The way the first half went, we thought if we could get a bucket after a long possession that it could set the tone. We ran off that time, and that was probably the play of the game."
Bentonville managed to pull with 26-19 to end the third quarter, then opened the fourth quarter with Josh Smith's 3-pointer to pull within four. Heritage, however, scored the next nine points for a 35-22 lead after Stanley's three-point play with 4:46 remaining, and the Tigers couldn't get closer than eight again.
Stanley and Peek had 12 points apiece and Logan Clines 10 for the War Eagles. Michael Shanks had nine and Asa Hutchinson eight for Bentonville, which hit only 13 field goals.
ROGERS HERITAGE 50, BENTONVILLE 36
Heritage 9 13 4 24 -- 50
Bentonville 4 8 7 17 -- 36
Heritage (14-4, 3-2): Stanley 12, Peek 12, Clines 10, Breedlove 9, Olsen 7.
Bentonville (11-5, 3-2): Shanks 9, Hutchinson 8, Simmons 5, Baggett 4, Smith 3, Deffebaugh 3, Freeman 2, Casey 2.
Bentonville 51, Rogers Heritage 36
Bentonville had only 28 points with 2 minutes left in the third quarter, then Avery Hughes went to work.
The junior guard scored 12 of her 16 points over the final 9:38 as the Lady Tigers almost doubled their score and posted their third straight conference victory.
"It took our girls three quarters to figure out what we needed to do," Bentonville coach Tom Halbmaier said. "Heritage played really hard, and they were by far the more aggressive team. They hit some timely shots and did a very good job of getting us out of our zone defense.
"Once we got settled down and quit trying to force the issue and throwing the ball away, I think we started relaxing and seeing the floor a little better."
Heritage (5-12, 0-5) opened the second half with a 12-2 run and took a 27-26 lead on Danielle Dickerson's bucket with 4:42 left in the third quarter. The Lady War Eagles had a 29-28 lead before Hughes scored six straight points, then Emily Sanders' layup just before the third quarter ended gave Bentonville (14-4, 3-2) a 36-29 cushion.
Maryam Dauda started the fourth quarter with a three-point play to cap an 11-0 run and gave the Lady Tigers their first double-digit lead, and it never dropped below seven points again.
Avery Hughes scored 12 of her 16 points over the final 9 minutes, 38 seconds as Bentonville almost doubled their score during that time span to knock off Heritage.
Dauda added 11 points and nine blocked shots for Bentonville, while Sydney Kinnamon led Heritage with 12.
BENTONVILLE 51, ROGERS HERITAGE 36
Heritage 8 7 14 7 -- 36
Bentonville 14 10 12 15 -- 51
Heritage (5-12, 0-5): Kinnamon 12, Dickerson 7, Seiler 4, Richardson 4, Combs 3, Rohrbough 2, Beutler 2, Menke 2.
Bentonville (14-4, 3-2): Hughes 16, Dauda 11, Hawkins 9, Sanders 6, Palasak 5, Hernandez 2, Irlenborn 2.
Preps Basketball on 01/24/2018
Print Headline: Basketball: Heritage's deliberate play befuddles cold-shooting Bentonville