BENTONVILLE -- Lawson Jenkins called what he had to do "just another night in the gym by myself."
It was anything but that Tuesday night.
The Springdale Har-Ber senior hit five free throws in the final 3.1 seconds and gave the Wildcats the unlikely 60-59 victory over Bentonville High during 6A-West Conference action in Tiger Arena.
"I've seen something like that happen, but I've never been in that position myself," Jenkins said. "I've practiced free throws all the time, so it was just another free throw."
Har-Ber (16-3, 7-1) appeared headed for its second straight loss after Thane Spencer's two free throws gave Bentonville (13-7, 4-4) a 58-55 lead with 11.6 seconds remaining. Spencer then grabbed the rebound when Nick Buchanan missed a game-tying 3-point attempt, and Spencer just needed to hit a free throw to make it a two-possession gae and set up a likely Tigers victory.
Everything changed when Bentonville's Colton Simmons was hit with a technical foul in the backcourt as play proceeded to the free-throw line. Spencer then hit one of two free throws to make it a four-point game, but Jenkins hit both of his free throws to make it a 58-57 game.
The Wildcats then had to put the ball in play from midcourt, and Jenkins went for the win as he fired a 3-pointer in front of the Har-Ber bench. The shot didn't go in, but he was fouled with 0.4 seconds remaining and hit all three free throws, even when Bentonville called time to ice him with 0.4 seconds remaining.
"We're kinda used to crazy finishes," Har-Ber coach Tommy Deffebaugh said. "I heard the technical being called, but of course I was looking down the floor. I'm looking down the floor as we're trying to get the ball back, and all of a sudden I turn around and -- Bam! -- the referee said technical. Wow. Something like that just happens.
"When we get that kind of opportunity, and Lawson gets to hit free throws, then we're going to take it. The other players -- I know they're Lawson's teammates and friends -- but I'm telling them to just leave him alone and listen to me. I told them to not hit his hands and not bother him. Just let him stay in his zone and do his rhythm and let him get prepared."
The final turn of events overshadowed the 30-point performance of Bentonville's Brayden Freeman, whose 3-pointer gave the Tigers a 48-47 lead with 5:32 remaining. He later added a free throw to make it a 51-47 game with 3:41 on the clock, then both teams traded points until Buchanan hit two free throws and pulled Har-Ber within 56-55 with 12.9 seconds left.
JaJuan Boyd had 19 points -- 13 in the second quarter -- to lead Har-Ber, which retains its share of the 6A-West lead with the win.
Har-Ber 11 15 18 16 -- 60
Bentonville 7 14 24 14 -- 59
Har-Ber (16-3, 7-1): Boyd 19, Jenkins 18, Buchanan 11, Eckwood 6, Livingston 4, Bockelman 2.
Bentonville (13-7, 4-4): Freeman 30, Spencer 9, Price 6, Simmons 6, Shanks 3, Lee 3, Hicks 2.
Fayetteville 68, Bentonville West 55
Tamaury Releford and Landon Glasper scored 19 points apiece to lead the Purple Bulldogs to the 6A-West win.
Fayetteville (15-6, 7-1 6A-West) led 32-24 at halftime but pushed the lead to 15 after three quarters. Releford scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half.
Dillon Bailey led West (8-10, 3-5) with 19 points.
Rogers 48, Van Buren 33
Rogers used an 8-0 to start the fourth quarter and pull away from Van Buren.
The game was tied 28-28 when Karsen Uecker opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer for the Mounties (17-2, 6-2). Elliot Paschal added a layup, followed by free throws from Will Liddell and Pascal.
Drew Miller scored 13 points to lead the Mounties, who outscored Van Buren 20-5 in the fourth quarter.
Brayden Gilmore scored 12 and Gary Phillips 11 to lead Van Buren (7-13, 1-7). The two combined for 14 points to put Van Buren ahead 19-14 at halftime.
Springdale High 41, Rogers Heritage 40
Jason Kimball's late shot was determined to be a two-pointer and left the War Eagles just short on Tuesday night.
Heritage's Micah Hill misfired on a 3-point attempt late and Kimball hit the follow at the buzzer. Officials conferred and ruled the basket good but only a two-pointer -- giving Springdale the win.
This contest was close the entire way as Springdale (9-11, 2-6 6A-West) led 31-29 after three quarters. The Bulldogs held a 41-38 lead late in the fourth quarter when Kimball swished a deep shot. He was ruled to have a toe on the 3-point line.
Terry Gupton led a balanced Springdale scoring attack with 9 points, and Grant James and Brandon Henry scored 8 points each.
Logan Glenn led Heritage (9-11, 2-6) with 14 points.
Preps Sports on 02/05/2020
Print Headline: Jenkins' late free throws push Har-Ber past Bentonville