Moments after the Little Rock Hall Warriors' 64-46 victory over the Sylvan Hills Bears at Bears' Den in Sherwood on Friday night, Sylvan Hills Coach Kevin Davis was able to isolate the turning point of the game.
Behind senior forwards Greg Johnson, Jared Smith and Kevon Cooper, Hall took command early in the fourth quarter. Johnson's layup gave Hall (9-5, 2-0 5A-Central) a 47-32 lead with 5:43 left in the game.
Sylvan Hills (11-4, 0-2) closed within 10 points over the following minute, but Hall led 53-41 after Smith hit two free throws with 3:46 left.
On Sylvan Hills' next possession, freshman forward Javion King drove through the lane in a crowd of players for an apparent layup. An official near the spot blew his whistle and home-court partisans suspected a three-point play opportunity and a chance to pull with nine points, but the call was on King for charging.
Davis did not dispute the ruling, and Hall scored on its next possession with a slam dunk by Cooper to take a 55-41 lead with 3:18 left.
"Charge or block," Davis said. "It's always going to be a close call. You never know until you have a chance to look at it several times. This time it went against us. That would've been a big basket for us, but that call kind of took the wind out of the sails of the entire building."
Johnson and Smith led Hall with 14 points, and Cooper scored 12. Sylvan Hills was led by sophomore guard Jalen Ricks' 12 points. Freshman forward Jalen Nettles scored 11.
Hall dictated a slow pace until late in the third quarter. It led 33-16 at halftime and 35-25 midway through the third before an eight-point run led by the trio of seniors gave Hall a 43-25 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the game.
"We were just trying to take them out of their game any way we could," Coleman said.
Sports on 01/12/2019
Print Headline: Charging call diverts momentum to LR Hall