FAYETTEVILLE -- The Fayetteville Bulldogs had three starters score double-digits, but it was two bench players who proved the difference in Tuesday's nonconference win over Conway in Bulldog Arena.
Alonzo Releford knocked in the go-ahead jumper with 13 seconds left in the game and Sully Witte drew a charge that negated a potential game-winning layup from Conway's Terry Clardy to lead the Bulldogs to the 63-62 win in the first game of the season.
Fayetteville 63, Conway 62
Fayetteville: T. Releford 19, Cooper 16, Barnett 14, I. Releford 6, A. Releford 6, Smith 2
Conway: London 20, Milton 16, Clardy 9, Williams 8, Henderson 6, Kaiser 2, Thompson 1
"It's about as much depth as we've had in a long time," Fayetteville boys basketball coach Kyle Adams said. "I think back to the Manuale Watkins group -- they were about 9-10 guys deep, and I think this group can be that way, too."
Releford scored six points, including the shot at the end of the game, but his brother, Tamaury, proved to be the biggest challenge for Conway, which struggled to match up with the 6-foot-7 sophomore center.
He had 19 points, including his team's first six points of the fourth quarter that jump-started the Bulldogs' big run.
"He's a load around the rim," Adams said.
Tamaury even recorded a couple of assists, kicking out the ball to shooters in the corner, when the defense collapsed on him. Conway coach Brian "Salty" Longing thought this action was the difference in the game.
"They took advantage of their personnel," Longing said. "They spread the floor, they went high-low with the big Releford kid, and when we pinched, they kicked it out to their shooters. That's a great offense."
Conway had stormed its way back to the lead at the half behind a strong second quarter that netted it 17 of its 62 points in the game.
The Wampus Cats went 6 of 7 from the free-throw line in the quarter, driven by Caleb London's four consecutive makes from the line that put Conway ahead before the half ended.
London scored 20 points to pace the Wampus Cats' offense while his teammate Kylen Milton dropped 16.
Yet it was Clardy who kept Conway in the game late. The senior scored five of his points in the last minute of the game and almost scored the game-winner before he was called for the charge. Clardy had been taken out earlier in the game, and the fourth quarter was the first action he had since early in the third quarter.
"He struggled at times tonight, but when he came back in the fourth quarter, I thought he played a lot more inside himself and played more of his game," Longing said.
Fayetteville's Collin Cooper scored 16 and went 5 of 6 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, while Conner Barnett hit three 3-pointers on his way to 14 points.
The Bulldogs next face Fort Smith Northside at home next Tuesday while Conway will travel to Memphis, Tenn., for the Rumble on the Ridge tournament where it'll face hometown Southwind in the first round next Thursday.
Springdale Har-Ber 78, Clarksville 60
The Wildcats opened the season with three players scoring in double figures.
Jacob Howard led Har-Ber (1-0) with 14 points. Lawson Jenkins added 12 and Cole Bowen 10.
Trace Thomas scored a game-high 25 points for Clarksville (0-2) and Bob Hurley added 23.
Rogers High 70, Tahlequah, Okla. 42
The Mounties opened the second half with a 15-1 run to pull away for the benefit game win Tuesday.
Rogers led 31-22 at halftime but used the fast start in the third quarter to take control and lead 46-23.
Drew Miller poured in a game-high 16 points, including eight in the first quarter to key a 10-0 Rogers run. Derek Hobbs added 13, Will Liddell 10 and Van Rhame nine.
Huntsville 42, Prairie Grove 29
Beau Welchel scored 15 points to lead the Eagles to a win in their season opener and the debut of new coach Grant Myrick.
Kent Mayes added 12 for Huntsville (1-0).
Eureka Springs 60, St. Paul 26
Slade Clark poured in 22 points to lead the Highlanders to a big win.
Garrett Cross added 18 for Eureka Springs (8-2).
Eureka Springs will host Pea Ridge on Thursday.
Western Grove 73, Bruno-Pyatt 38
The Warriors rolled to a 25-2 lead after one quarter and cruised to the win.
Zack Bolin led four Western Grove players in double figures with 17 points, while Hunter Baker added 14. Luke Lane and Gage Freeman chipped in 10 each for the Warriors (7-2).
Omaha 62, St. Joe 20
Omaha held St. Joe to two points in the second quarter and scoreless throughout the third quarter as the Eagles rolled to an easy road victory.
Trey Stone had 14 points to lead Omaha, which led 40-9 at halftime and 50-9 through three quarters, while Connor Hampton and Trevon McClellan each added 11.
Greenland 57, Haas Hall-Fayetteville 45
Greenland outscored Haas Hall 22-7 in the first quarter and kept the Mastiffs out of reach to claim a nonconference victory.
Carter Gobel had 27 points and Calvin Cheevers 11 for Greenland, which led 32-20 at halftime and 45-29 after three quarters. Parker Owen led Haas Hall with 11.
Deer 59, Flippin 44
Deer went on a 19-8 run in the fourth quarter to pull away from Flippin and claim a victory in the Arvest Invitational at Flippin.
Deer led 28-19 at halftime, but Flippin outscored the Antlers 27-12 in the third quarter and pulled within 40-36 before Deer pull away.
Johnny Smith had 26 points to pace Deer while Caden Young added 20.
Bentonville High 65, Gravette 30
Bentonville scored the first 11 points and went on to post a win over Gravette in the season opener for both teams in Tiger Arena.
Gravette (0-1), which had to open its season a day later than expected after Arkansas Arts Academy dropped its girls program, did pull within 15-10 on four free throws by Kaylan Chilton late in the first quarter. Bentonville, however, scored the next 10 points and extended its lead into double digits for good.
Avery Hughes had 15 points and Maryam Dauda 12 for the Lady Tigers, who led 32-19 at halftime and 48-24 after three quarters. Chilton led Gravette with 10.
Rogers High 48, Tahlequah, Okla. 43
The Lady Mounties used a 12-4 spurt to begin the second quarter to grab the lead and held off a late charge to pick up the win in a benefit game Tuesday.
Sophomore Nadyah Cates led Rogers with 12 points, three steals and three assists, while London Hatch added nine point, three assists and two steals. Alli Stayathome led all scorers with 16 points, including two late 3-pointers to set the final score, for Tahlequah.
The Lady Mounties trailed 12-11 after a quarter but led 28-21 at halftime and by as many as 11 in the second half.
Berryville 57, Rogers Heritage 35
Berryville outscored the Lady War Eagles 27-7 in the third quarter to pull away for the win.
Hannah Morell poured in a game-high 31 points, including 24 in the final two quarters, to help Berryville turn a 16-15 halftime deficit into a big win. She was also 11 of 12 from the free-throw line.
Pam Seiler led Heritage (0-1) with 13 points, including four 3-pointers.
Clarksville 58, Springdale Har-Ber 57
Emmaline Rieder had 16 points to lead a trio of Clarksville players in double figures as the Lady Panthers slipped past Har-Ber and ruined coach Kimberly Wilson's debut with the Lady Wildcats.
Autumn Miller added 15 and Kerri Cowell 10 for Clarksville (2-0), which led 35-23 at halftime and 42-36 after three quarters. The Lady Panthers had a 58-54 lead with 5 seconds left before Har-Ber hit a late 3-pointers to make it closer.
Eureka Springs 57, St. Paul 21
Megan Holloway scored a game-high 24 points to power the Lady Highlanders.
Shelby Little added 11 and Gracie Lester 10 for Eureka Springs (6-6).
Greenland 70, Haas Hall-Fayetteville 28
Fiona Wilson and Destiny Jackson combined for 50 points as Greenland cruised to a nonconference victory.
Wilson finished with 32 and Jackson 18 for the Lady Pirates (3-1), who had a 42-13 halftime lead. Kate Terminella led Haas Hall with 12.
Sports on 11/14/2018
Print Headline: PREP BASKETBALL Reserves spark Fayetteville in opener