CONWAY 63, LAKE HAMILTON 41
PEARCY -- Conway's Lucas Foster, a slight 5-11 senior guard who was nearly invisible in the Wampus Cats' semifinal victory on Friday, was seen, heard and heralded Saturday in the championship game of the Kameron Hale Invitational at Wolf Arena.
Foster scored 18 points -- including all five of his three-point attempts -- to spark the Wampus Cats (10-2) to a 63-41 victory over host Lake Hamilton (10-3).
Foster scored 15 of his points in the second and third quarters when Conway outscored Lake Hamilton 44-23 to take a 54-33 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Foster's performance -- much-appreciated by Conway Coach Brian "Salty" Longing -- was an about-face from his two-point game in Friday's 59-58 victory over Maumelle.
"Lucas is our sharpshooter," Longing said. "He's been up and down. We didn't play him much [Friday] because Maumelle was such a physical team.
"Tonight was a better matchup for him, and he took advantage of it."
Longing said it's what seniors are supposed to do.
"When your number is called," Longing said. "He stepped up tonight and hit shots when we needed them to be hit."
Lake Hamilton Coach Scotty Pennington said he knew Foster was a dangerous shooter.
"We knew he could," Pennington said, "but he hadn't done it."
He did Saturday.
Foster hit all three of his three-point attempts in the first half, but it was his two threes midway in the third quarter, sandwiched around two free throws by Paul Harris, that allowed the Wampus Cats to turn a 41-31 advantage into a 49-31 lead in a span of less than 1 minute.
Foster ended up missing one shot, the second of two free throws with 7:27 to play in the game, in an otherwise 100% efficient effort.
"Well, I'll run him for that," Longing said, with a big smile.
Pennington said the Wolves' effort gave him reason to feel good despite the margin of defeat.
"For us to win, we needed them not to shoot it well, and they shot it really well," Pennington said. "Our kids did everything we asked them to do. We were going to bank on the fact that they weren't going to hit contested threes, and they did."
Conway turned it on midway in the second quarter, much like it did in its victory over Maumelle Friday when it turned a seven-point deficit into a nine-point halftime lead.
The Wampus Cats, who started off 7 of 21 from the field, hit 8 off 11 to close out the first half and 7 of 11 in the third quarter, outscoring the Wolves 38-17 in that 12-minute span.
Conway made eight three-pointers, with seven of them coming in the middle quarters.
"We love the second quarter," Longing said. "Thankfully tonight, we carried it over through the third."
Foster combined with Caleb London (15), Xavier Robinson (14) and Jaylin Wiliams (8) to account for 55 of Conway's points.
"When you shoot well, it makes everything else look good," Longing said.
Lake Hamilton was led by Malique Hill (12) and Adjani Winston (10).
"We battled and we played hard. It just wasn't enough," Pennington said. "When they shoot it like that, they can beat anybody in the state."
Sports on 01/05/2020
Print Headline: Foster near perfect in Wampus Cats' victory