NORTH LITTLE ROCK -- The basketball version of the "Battle of the Bulldogs" ended in a stalemate Thursday night, but it was Fayetteville's boys who cherished the win that mattered the most.
Fayetteville outscored Springdale High 15-5 over the final 6 minutes of the third quarter and advanced to the Class 7A State Tournament semifinals with a 52-44 decision in Charging Wildcats Arena.
FAYETTEVILLE 52, SPRINGDALE HIGH 44
Springdale (17-12): Scales 16, Fitch 14, Jibke 5, Mason 5, Boyd 2, Donahoo 2.
Fayetteville (19-8): Cooper 19, Conley 8, Johnson 8, Bowers 6, Morgan 6, Schach 4, Releford 1.
Class 7A State Tournament
Game 1 W5 Springdale High 51, C4 Bryant 38
Game 2 W3 Bentonville 46, C6 Cabot 37
Game 3 W4 Bentonville West 72, C5 Fort Smith Southside 62
Game 4 W6 Rogers Heritage 46, C3 Conway 43
Game 5 W1 Fayetteville 52, Springdale 44
Game 6 C2 FS Northside 69, Bentonville 42
Game 7 C1 North Little Rock vs. Bentonville West, 5:30 p.m.
Game 8 W2 Springdale Har-Ber vs. Rogers Heritage, 8:30 p.m.
Game 9 Fayetteville vs. FS Northside, 1:30 p.m.
Game 10 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 7:30 p.m.
at Bank of the Ozarks Arena, Hot Springs
Game 11 Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, date and time TBA
Collin Cooper had 11 of his team-high 19 points in the third quarter, including the 3-pointer that gave the Purple'Dogs (19-8) the lead for good.
"Coop gets a couple of 3s to give us some separation, and it also gave us a little more confidence," Fayetteville coach Kyle Adams said. "He's our guy, and you've known that all year long. He can step up and make 3s, and he can put it on the floor inside. He's also a great free throw shooter"
Cooper snapped a 21-21 tie with his first 3-pointer of the second half, only to have Springdale's Trentez Scales nail one and tie the game just 18 seconds later. Cooper, however, answered with another one beyond the arc with 5 minutes, 48 seconds left in the third quarter and gave Fayetteville the lead for good.
It began a strong of 10 straight Purple'Dog points, and Cooper capped the run when he was fouled while shooting another 3, and his three free throws made it a 34-24 game with 2:54 left in the third quarter. Springdale (17-12) never recovered as the Red'Dogs couldn't get any closer than five points late in the game.
"Fayetteville had the kids that made plays," Springdale coach Jeremy Price said. "They caused a lot of problems for us with their defense. They played at a different speed and did a little bit more than we did.
"We had too many wasted possessions. Some of them weren't exactly bad shots, but some of them were. Their horse hit some big shots, and we couldn't put the ball in the hole or draw the foul."
Cooper was the only player in double figures for Fayetteville, which defeated Springdale in the Bulldog Classic but lost both 7A-West Conference games to the Red'Dogs. Scales finished with 16 for Springdale, while Fitch had 12 of his 14 in the second half.
"This was a big win for us in a lot of respects," Adams said. "They are a bad matchup for us, and we struggle with the speed of their guards and Carl Fitch inside. It's just a tough matchup.
"I think the difference was (assistant) coach (Brad) Stamps put (Quinn) Schach on Carl, and we haven't had that before. Quinn just battled his rear end off inside, and Carl's a good player. He will get his points, but our team, defensively, was pretty good."
Fort Smith Northside 69, Bentonville High 42
Bentonville was in good shape as long as Isaiah Joe wasn't scoring, but Northside's standout soon took over.
The Tigers (17-10), fueled by Asa Hutchinson's 10 early points, had a 13-8 lead before Joe scored Northside's next eight points, including a 3-pointer that gave the Grizzlies (20-9) a 16-15 lead at the end of the first quarter. He added 13 more in the second quarter as the Grizzlies outscored Bentonville 26-8 for a comfortable 42-23 cushion.
Joe sat out the entire fourth quarter and still finished with 32 for Northside, which advances to Saturday's 1:30 p.m. semifinal game, while Javion Releford added 13. Hutchinson finished with a team-high 16 for Bentonville.
Rogers Heritage 46, Conway 43
Heritage closed out the first half with 13 unanswered points to take the lead for good, then held off Conway's late charge as the sixth-seeded War Eagles advanced.
Dawson Peek's buzzer-beater gave Heritage (18-8) an 18-12 halftime lead, then Ty Olsen started the second half with a 3-pointer for a 21-12 cushion. Conway (17-10) pulled within three points five times in the fourth quarter, the last when Terry Clardy's bucket made it 46-43 with 4.8 seconds left.
The Wampus Cats had a chance to tie after Seth Stanley missed two free throws with 3.10 seconds left but couldn't get a shot off in time.
Stanley finished with 27 points and was the only player in double figures for Heritage, which advanced to an 8:30 p.m. quarterfinal against Springdale Har-Ber. Kylen Milton led Conway with 18.
Preps Basketball on 03/02/2018
Print Headline: Purple'Dogs even series, advance to semifinals