CENTERTON -- The message board inside Wolverine Arena read "win ugly," and Friday's game between Bentonville High and Bentonville West definitely fell in that category.
Bentonville 14 12 17 29 -- 72
West 8 13 13 23 -- 57
Bentonville (12-5, 4-2): Shanks 19, Baggett 16, Hutchinson 14, Simmons 8, Deffebaugh 7, Casey 5, Smith 3.
West (14-5, 4-2): Hornsby 16, Barron 12, Collier Blackburn 11, Larsen 8, Collin Blackburn 5, Bailey 5.
It was the visiting team, however, that came away with the victory as Bentonville jumped out to an early 14-4 lead and went on claim a 72-57 decision in a 7A-West Conference game where both teams were called for a combined 61 fouls.
"It was a difficult game to play in," Bentonville coach Dick Rippee said. "It's a rivalry crowd, and you have a great crowd, great atmosphere. Both teams were amped up and excited to play -- maybe a little too excited.
"But I thought our guys held their composure really well. We just had to battle through some foul problems and some adversity."
Bentonville (12-5, 4-2) never trailed after Asa Hutchinson followed a Gabe Hornsby bucket with 10 unanswered points to start the game. The Tigers then limited West (14-5, 4-2) to just three field goals in the first half, but they just owned a 26-21 halftime cushion.
That's because Bentonville was whistled for 21 fouls in the first half, and it caused the Tigers to go to their bench a lot. It allowed the Wolverines to hit 15 of 20 free throws, including four by Boston Barron in the final minute after Josh Smith's 3-pointer gave Bentonville a 26-17 lead.
"The bottom line is coaches and players have to make adjustments," Rippee said. "I don't think we made very good adjustments in the first half. In the second half, I thought we adjusted better and settled down. We were fouling them plenty, but it was a physical game.
"I think our team has been labeled as a soft team, and our guys kind of took exception to that. Maybe not physically, but mentally, we were tough."
West was within 29-25 after a Ben Larsen bucket early in the second half and trailed 50-45 after a Collier Blackburn 3-pointer with 4:34 remaining. Bentonville, however, responded with a 10-2 run and extended its lead to 60-47 after Tony Casey's two free throws with 2:22 left, and the Tigers' lead didn't drop below double digits again.
Michael Shanks scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half, while Cadarius Baggett added 16 and Hutchinson 14 for Bentonville, whose win coupled with Rogers Heritage's win over Springdale Har-Ber and Fayetteville's win over Van Buren now causes a five-way tie for first place in the league standings. Hornsby led West with 16, followed by Barron with 12 -- including 10-of-12 free-throw shooting -- and Blackburn with 11.
Girls: Bentonville High 67, Bentonville West 46
Bentonville (15-4, 4-2): Dauda 18, Hughes 17, Hawkins 13, Hernandez 7, Sanders 5, Skidmore 3, Palasak 2, Irlenborn 2.
West (8-10, 1-5): Richardson 12, Kash 11, Mahone 9, Wood 7, Kultgen 4, Curtis 2, Reid 1.
Maryam Dauda scored 18 points and became Bentonville's career leader in blocked shots as the Lady Tigers rolled to a win over a short-handed West team in Wolverine Arena.
The 6-foot-4 freshman recorded her 97th blocked shot midway through the first quarter and surpassed Julia Garrard, who had 96 over two seasons. She also hit her first career 3-point with 1 minute before halftime.
"She's a very good freshman basketball player," Bentonville coach Tom Halbmaier said. "She's in an ideal situation with her teammates. They want her to grow and get better. She just has that great support that's surrounding her.
"She keeps getting better and better, and I put no limitations on her. She shoots that 3-pointer off the dribble. Since she hit it, I may let her take another one."
Bentonville (15-4, 4-2) never trailed after an 17-2 run gave the Lady Tigers a 19-9 lead to end the first quarter. West (8-10, 1-5), which was without post Shania Wilson because of disciplinary reasons and without guard Ashaundi Henry because of illness, pulled within 28-21 before Dauda's 3-pointer, but the Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Wolverines 24-8 in the third quarter to blow it open and eventually forced the running clock when Millie Skidmore's three-point play made it 65-35 with 6:40 remaining.
Avery Hughes added 17 points and Fess Hawkins 13 for Bentonville, which now moves into a three-way tie for second place in the league standings after Rogers defeated Springdale. Imani Richardson had 12 for West while Anna Kash added 11.
Preps Basketball on 01/27/2018
Print Headline: Basketball: Tigers 'win ugly' on Wolverines' home floor