FORREST CITY -- Peyton Daniels saved his best for last Saturday night in Forrest City.
The junior scored a game-high 39 points, including 24 in the second half, to lift Tri-Cities, Ga., to a 90-89 victory over North Little Rock to win the Rumble on the Ridge at Mustang Arena.
"We talk to our kids all the time about being special, and he's certainly a special player," Tri-Cities Coach Omari Forts said. "As a junior, he's got a lot of work to do in terms of just growing as an overall point guard, but he's one of the best scorers, if not the best scorer, I've ever coached."
Daniels' praise was well-earned after the way he capped his three-day run.
The 6-2 point guard, who holds offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Mississippi, scored 21 points in the first round and 22 in the semifinals. In the final Saturday, he was 12-of-19 shooting and knocked down 9 three-pointers. His 39 points are tied for the most in the championship game during the tournament's 23-year history.
Senior forward Demetrius Rives had 16 points for Tri-Cities (5-0), which didn't trail until late in the third quarter. Even so, Daniels responded quickly in the fourth to allow the Bulldogs to re-establish control.
Senior guard Spencer Simes scored 20 points and freshman guard Bryson Warren ended with 15 for North Little Rock (3-1). Junior guard D.J. Smith had 13 points.
Tri-Cities scored the game's first seven points before North Little Rock Coach Johnny Rice called a timeout a minute in. The Charging Wildcats regrouped, but numerous missed shots from inside the lane kept them from making a serious push in the first half.
"They came out and punched us in the mouth at the beginning," Rice said. "We fought back but started missing some short ones. We didn't really shoot great at all, but we competed and had a chance."
North Little Rock was down 31-21 at the 4:26 mark of the second quarter, but a three-pointer from Warren ignited a 13-6 spurt to help the Charging Wildcats climb within 37-34 by halftime. North Little Rock grabbed its first lead, 59-57, on a three-point play by senior center Laityn Sheppard with 2:13 left in the third quarter, and still held a 67-64 cushion early in the final period. But a three-pointer from Daniels started a 16-4 run that put the Bulldogs ahead to stay.
"North Little Rock is a state-championship level team, and we knew they'd make a run," Forts said. "They're very good, but we look forward to those challenges. [Saturday], we were just fortunate enough to get out of here with a win."
KENWOOD (TENN.) 50
Bryant shot 24 of 38 (63%) from the floor and had three players score at least 10 points in rolling to a fifth-place finish.
Senior guard Treylon Payne scored 18 points and grabbed 6 rebounds for Bryant (3-1), which led 40-20 at halftime and never trailed. Senior guard A.J. Jenkins and junior guard Camren Hunter each had 12 points.
Senior forward James Williams finished with 22 points for Kenwood (3-3), which hit 20 of its 38 shots (52.6%) but turned the ball over 15 times.
ISCHOOL (TEXAS) 65, FORREST CITY 56
Senior forward Jacob Randall scored 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as iSchool (Texas) staved off a late Forrest City run to win the seventh-place game.
Guard Jalyn Richardson had 11 points for the Cougars (2-2), which hit 13 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Senior forward Ta'Darius Dale scored a game-high 25 points for Forrest City (0-5), which was within 59-54 with less than three minutes left. Senior forward Chad Mathis finished with 11.
Sports on 12/01/2019
Print Headline: Daniels scores 39 to nip NLR