CENTERTON -- It was a simple tip by Joel Garner to end the third quarter Friday night, but it was the spark Rogers High's boys needed.
The freshman's bucket as the buzzer sounded put the Mounties ahead to stay, then they pulled away in the fourth quarter and claimed a 53-41 victory over Bentonville West during 6A-West Conference basketball action in Wolverine Arena.
"What made it more impressive is that it was a freshman that did it," Rogers coach Lamont Frazier said. "This was actually his second game. It was big for him as far as confidence and getting him ready to play.
"It was also big for our team because it gave us something that we've been struggling to do. We've been stuck in a grind and go stretches when we don't score."
After West (6-10, 0-3) missed two free throws with 7.8 seconds left in the third quarter, Derek Hobbs drove to the basket from the left side but missed his shot. Garner, however, was in perfect position to tip the ball in as time expired to give Rogers (12-3, 2-1) a 30-28 cushion.
The Mounties then started the fourth quarter with a Mason Sell bucket, followed by back-to-back 3-pointers by Elliot Paschal and Drew Miller to extend the lead to a 38-28 cushion with 6 minutes remaining. Rogers' lead grew as much as 14 points as Joseph Park's bucket inside made it 47-33 with 2:53 remaining, and West couldn't get it below 10 again.
"At that point in time for us, it became a matter of how can we manage the game and how can we grow in that situation," Frazier said. "I felt like at that point we had relaxed a bit, and we were uptight most of the night. It felt like at that point we relaxed."
Paschal scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and was the only player in double figures, while Miller was next in line for Rogers. Jonas Higson had nine points for West, which stumbled to its sixth consecutive loss.
ROGERS HIGH 53, BENTONVILLE WEST 41
Rogers 12 9 9 23 -- 53
West 14 4 10 13 -- 41
Rogers (12-3, 2-1): Paschal 16, Miller 9, Voigt 6, Hobbs 6, Park 4, Liddell 3, Rhame 3, Sell 2, Garner 2, Uecker 2.
West (0-3): Higson 9, Da. Bailey 7, Di. Bailey 6, Conner 6, Swoboda 5, Ruffner 4, Buccino 2, Honeycutt 1, Costantini 1.
Fayetteville 64, Van Buren 38
Fayetteville jumped to an 11-0 lead and went on to defeat Van Buren Friday.
Collin Cooper opened the game with seven consecutive points before freshman Isaiah Releford lobbed a pass to Austin Garrett, who finished the play with a one-handed dunk to thrill the crowd and prompt a Van Buren timeout.
Garrett added another fast break dunk to help Fayetteville (12-3, 3-0) to a 14-2 lead after one quarter.
Van Buren got to within 16-12 after a 3-pointer from Logan Brothers. But Fayetteville regained control to push its leads to 26-16 at halftime and 49-26 after three quarters.
Cooper finished with 21 for Fayetteville, which plays at Bentonville in a showdown of league leaders on Tuesday.
Connor Barnett added 11 for Fayetteville while Brothers scored 13 points to lead Van Buren (4-11, 0-3).
"We talk a lot about taking it one game at a time and this was a tribute to our kids being focused," Fayetteville coach Kyle Adams said. "It's hard not to look forward but I thought our kids did a tremendous job, starting with defense first."
Van Buren 2 12 10 14 -- 38
Fayetteville 14 10 23 17 -- 64
Van Buren (4-11, 0-3): Brothers 13, Newton 9, Gilmore 7, Worsham 3, Gilmore 4, G. Phillips 2.
Fayetteville (12-3, 3-0): Cooper 21, Barnett 11, I. Releford 8, Garrett 6, T. Releford 6, Askew 5, Kinsey 3, Bowers 2, A. Releford 2.
Bentonville High 65, Rogers Heritage 29
Josh Smith came off the bench and poured in a game-high 21 points on seven 3-pointers to help the Tigers roll to the big 6A-West Conference road win on Friday.
Bentonville (13-3, 3-0 6A-West) got going early thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from Colton Simmons, but the 6-foot-5 junior came up with a slight back injury. Tigers coach Dick Rippee said he made the decision for Simmons to sit out the remainder of the game for precautionary reasons.
Smith picked up right where he left off though. The 6-4 senior hit three straight 3-pointers to put the Tigers in control, leading 30-9 with 3 minutes, 55 seconds left in the first half and they never looked back.
Rippee said his players were unselfish in finding the open man.
"I thought our guys did a good job spacing and making the extra pass," Rippee said. "And obviously had some guys step in and make some shots. Colton Simmons injured his back, tried to go and couldn't go. It's nice when you can bring a guy off the bench that can hit six or seven threes in the game.
"Josh Smith was fantastic off the bench for us tonight. We're making some shots from the outside and that opens some other things for other players."
Michael Shanks was also in double figures with 14 for the Tigers, who have now won six in a row. Logan Clines led Heritage (5-10, 0-3) with 11 points.
Bentonville 16 24 14 11 -- 65
Heritage 4 14 3 8 -- 29
Bentonville (13-3, 3-0): Smith 21, Shanks 14, Freeman 7, Simmons 6, Pankay 4, Deffebaugh 4, Roehl 3, Chambers 2, Bell 2, Spencer 2.
Rogers Heritage (5-10, 0-3): Clines 11, Paxton 7, Hill 3, Kimball 3, Glenn 2, Furuseth 2, Ingram 1.
Springdale High 39, Springdale Har-Ber 36
The Bulldogs made clutch shots down the stretch to pull out a home win in front of a packed house over their crosstown rivals.
Connor Sikes knocked down a 3-point shot with 57 seconds left, then John Paul Hignite drained a pair of clutch free throws with 10 seconds left for Springdale (9-5, 3-0 6A-West).
"That was huge. Connor Sikes stepped up and made a big play with ice-water in his veins," said Springdale coach Jeremy Price. "We were in foul trouble and those guys really stepped up for us tonight."
Har-Ber trailed big early, but junior guard Nick Buchanan led the Wildcats (5-8, 1-2) on a second -half surge. Buchanan scored 14 of his game-high 18 points in the second half. Lawson Jenkins scored on an offensive rebound to give the Wildcats a 36-34 lead with 1:32 left, but Sikes had the answer with a 3-pointer from the right wing to finish with 10 points, and Hignite sealed it at the line.
Vincent Mason led Springdale with 14 points before fouling out and Jujuan Boyd, who also fouled out, scored 9 points.
Har-Ber 3 9 15 9 -- 36
Springdale 11 7 8 13 -- 39
Har-Ber (5-8, 1-2): Buchanan 18, Jenkins 7, Gibson 4, McRae 3, Seawood 1, Pieroni 2.
Springdale (9-5, 3-0): Mason 14, Sikes 10, Boyd 9, Eckwood 4, Hignite 2.
Preps Sports on 01/12/2019
Print Headline: BOYS BASKETBALL: Freshman boosts Rogers past West