FAYETTEVILLE -- The Battle of the Bulldogs can usually spark the emotions of both Fayetteville and Springdale High, and Friday night was no exception.
With under 15 seconds left in a tight game, an intentional foul under the Fayetteville goal brought players and fans onto the court in a scene that could have gotten violent. After a lot of pushing and shoving and multiple ejections, Springdale claimed a 50-46 win in 6A-West boys basketball action in Bulldog Gym.
Springdale led 49-46 with 12.3 seconds left when Fayetteville missed a shot. In the battle for the rebound, Fayetteville junior Austin Garrett was charged with an intentional foul and was ejected after Springdale's Tavari Eckwood was slung to the floor.
The play brought players off both benches and fans onto the court. It took more than 5 minutes for order to be restored and for officials to sort out ejections for players who entered the court. Springdale was able to hold on at the end giving coach Jeremy Price, who played in quite a few of these rivalry games, perhaps his biggest win as the Red'Dogs' coach.
"I'm proud of my kids to get this win, but I hate what transpired late," Price said. "Nobody wants to see that. It hurts the game. But I'm proud of my kids to night for winning this game."
Fayetteville coach Kyle Adams, also a veteran of the rivalry as a longtime coach, said he was disappointed in how the game ended.
"I thought both teams competed their tails off," Adams said. "It was very edgy at the end. Unfortunately it busted out in a melee. The bottom line is, that's not how we act, and that's not who we are. We got caught up in the moment. That's unfortunate for us and the basketball team. But that all falls on me. They want to protect their teammates, and I get that, but that falls on me; it doesn't fall on them."
Until the late-game fireworks marred the finish, Springdale (11-12, 5-7 6A-West) was the team that was in control. The Red'Dogs built an early 10-point lead and, despite missing a number of free throws, held the upper hand for most of the game. Springdale did not make a field goal in the fourth quarter and was 13 of 23 at the line, which enabled Fayetteville (19-5, 10-2) to come roaring back.
Fayetteville sophomore post Tamaury Releford led the late charge, scoring 17 of his 21 points in the second half. Releford's inside bucket with 2 minutes, 23 seconds left in the game pulled the Purple'Dogs within 40-38.
One of the biggest plays of the game did not result in points, but Springdale's Chops Sanders was able to tip a rebound back to a teammate with 1:31 left and Jujuan Boyd was fouled. His two free throws gave Springdale a 42-38 lead, which proved to be huge.
"Chops made hustle plays all night long," Price said. "He's been a leader for us. A lot of 50-50 balls he's able to get his hands on. He's able to keep things alive, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds. He's really been a major spark plug for our team."
Vincent Mason led Springdale with 19 points and Boyd finished with 13.
Neither coach knew how the multiple-player ejections would affect their teams for next week's games. Both said the would likely have to review film to see what players went onto the court. The five players for each team that were on the court when the benches cleared won't face a suspension.
Fayetteville 4 11 13 18 -- 46
Springdale 12 11 14 13 -- 50
Fayetteville (19-5 10-2): T. Releford 21, Garrett 8, Cooper 7, Barnett 6, I. Releford 4.
Springdale (11-12, 5-7): Mason 19, Boyd 13, Eckwood 5, Sanders 5, Hignite 4, Henry 4.
Springdale Har-Ber 74, Van Buren 44
Springdale Har-Ber made 14 shots from beyond the 3-point arc Tuesday night, including six triples by senior Cole Bishop and four from junior Nick Buchannon.
"I think we're growing up and we're making shots," Wildcats coach Scott Bowlin said. "I think we are hitting our stride, right here at the end. Everybody's playing with a lot of confidence and I think we are doing a really good job defensively."
After the Pointers (5-19, 1-11) jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, including an alley-oop dunk by Brayden Gilmore on a pass from Gary Phillips, Har-Ber (10-12, 6-6) struck right back to tie the score at 8-8 with a pair of 3-pointers from Bishop, who finished with 20 points.
Har-Ber's Lawson Jenkins broke a 13-13 tie from a pair of free throws early in the second quarter, only to see the Pointers bounce back in front 23-18 on a three from Trent Ball with 4:06 left in the first half.
The Wildcats then turned up the heat defensively and outscored Van Buren 14-2 to end the half with a 32-25 lead.
Jenkins had 12 points for Har-Ber. Phillips added 10 for Van Buren.
Har-Ber 13 19 23 19 -- 74
Van Buren 13 12 12 7 -- 44
Har-Ber (10-12, 6-6): Buchannon 22, Bishop 20, Jenkins 12, Bockelman 5, Seawood 3, B. Bowen 3, C. Bowen 2, Howard 2
Van Buren (5-19, 1-11): Gilmore 20, Phillips 10, Brothers 6, Ball 3, Newton 3, Moore 1.
Rogers High 49, Bentonville High 46
Drew Miller converted a three-point play to give the Mounties the lead for good and Rogers made 6-of-6 free throws in the final minutes to hold on for the win.
Bentonville (18-6, 8-3) led by as many as nine in the second half, but Rogers rallied behind Miller, who finished with 13. The junior guard keyed a 9-0 fourth quarter spurt with a steal and three-point play to give Rogers (17-6, 7-4) a 40-39 lead with 3:57 left. But teammate Derek Hobbs then tipped away a lob and Miller drained a 3-pointer on the other end to push the Mounties' lead to 43-39 with 3:09 remaining.
Rogers then made 6-of-6 free throws over the final 1:45 and withstood Connor Deffebaugh's off-balance 3-point attempt to tie it at the buzzer.
Rogers coach Lamont Frazier said Miller has been forced to adjust since he's drawn lots of attention from opponents in the second half of conference play.
"We've had some conversations the last three weeks about him being better at what he does and the fact that people have keyed in on him," Frazier said. "And he's handled it well. At some point instead of just handling it well, he's gotta grow and perform under the pressure.
"I can't say enough about him just because of how he battles every day. He's been injured and never complained. But I'm proud of all of them. Tonight we had the right guy go to the line and that's all you can ask for."
Hobbs also finished with 13 points to share team scoring honors with Miller. Brayden Freeman led all scorers with 18 points for Bentonville, while Michael Shanks added 11.
Rogers made 12 of 13 free throws in the game, including 8-of-9 in the fourth quarter.
Rogers 11 15 9 14 -- 49
Bentonville 13 9 12 12 -- 46
Bentonville (18-6, 8-3): Freeman 18, Shanks 11, Simmons 8, Deffebaugh 6, Smith 3.
Rogers (17-6, 7-4): Miller 13, Hobbs 13, Rhame 9, Voigt 6, Uecker 3, Paschal 3, Sell 2.
Bentonville West 52, Rogers Heritage 33
West held Heritage to just one field goal over the first 10 minutes as the Wolverines kept their hopes of a state tournament berth alive.
Austin Conner scored nine of his 14 points over that 10-minute span to help West (10-15, 4-8) build a 14-2 cushion. Heritage briefly pulled within single digits on a couple of occasions, but Conner put the Wolverines' lead in double digits for good when his two free throws made it 19-8 with 3:49 before halftime.
"I told the kids that might be the best defensive effort we've had in three years," West coach Greg White said. "Coach (Tom) Olsen is one of the smart guys in the league and always finds a way. Our kids just put them in mud. They couldn't move and couldn't find a shot and got frustrated.
"Our offense was really good. The ball moved, and the guys that came off the bench did exactly what we wanted them to do. It was just a solid team win."
Conner was the only Wolverine to finish in double figures as Dawson Bailey and Dillon Bailey added nine apiece. Logan Clines led Heritage with 10.
Heritage 2 11 3 17 -- 33
West 9 20 5 18 -- 52
Heritage (10-14, 5-7): Clines 10, Hill 7, Ingram 5, Paxton 3, Carpenter 3, Rodriguez 3, Buttrey 2.
West (10-15, 4-8): Conner 14, Da. Bailey 9, Di. Bailey 9, Hinson 6, Buccino 5, Hardiman 4, White 3, Swoboda 2.
Sports on 02/16/2019
Print Headline: PREP BASKETBALL Melee mars end of Springdale win