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.
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 and shot 75 total free throws.
BENTONVILLE HIGH 71, BENTONVILLE WEST 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 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.
Rogers Heritage 73, Springdale Har-Ber 63
The War Eagles (15-4, 4-2) grabbed the lead in the second quarter and was able to hold off Har-Ber to claim a share of first place with a big win Friday night.
Senior Seth Stanley led four Heritage players in double figures with 23 points to go with 11 rebounds. Sophomore Logan Clines added 17, while Ty Olsen chipped in 15 and Bryce Breedlove 10 for the War Eagles, who led 48-38 after three quarters.
Heritage scored the final eight points of the third quarter punctuated by Breedlove's 3-pointer at the buzzer. That run came after Tylor Perry's 3-point pulled Har-Ber (15-5, 4-2) within two. Heritage also made 11 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Tyler Garrett led all scorers with 25 points for Har-Ber, while Perry chipped in 23. Har-Ber led 13-12 after one quarter and scored to open the second quarter, but Heritage responded with an 11-0 run and never trailed again.
Fayetteville 59, Van Buren 58
Fayetteville got a big shot from Collin Cooper to extend the lead late in the fourth quarter, then the Bulldogs held on after that down the stretch at Clair Bates Arena.
Cooper hit a 3-pointer that pushed Fayetteville's advantage to 56-54 with about 1:40 left in the game.
Van Buren had an opportunity to tie the game with a 3-point basket but missed with just seconds left on the clock. Fayetteville (11-7, 4-2 7A-West) then missed the front end of a one-and-one to give Van Buren another shot, but the Pointers were then fouled, cutting the lead to one in the final seconds.
Cooper finished with a team-high 25 points to lead Fayetteville. R.J. Johnson added 12, while Jon Conley had 11 for the Bulldogs. Van Buren was led by Jordan West scoring a game-high 28, including a team-high 12 points in the second quarter.
Springdale 69, Rogers High 43
Springdale High followed its big road win at Fayetteville with a home win against Rogers.
Jajuan Boyd scored 16 points to lead a balance scoring attack for Springdale (12-7, 3-3), which led 16-7 after one quarter and 32-20 at halftime. Trentez Scales added 15 points and Carl Fitch 14 for the Bulldogs.
Drew Miller scored 13 points to lead Rogers (7-12, 0-6).
Preps Basketball on 01/27/2018
Print Headline: Tigers 'win ugly' against Wolverines