Semifinal night exciting at Holiday Tourney
A trip to the championship games of the 46th Annual Green Forest Holiday Tournament, sponsored by the First National Bank of Green Forest, was on the line last Thursday night for Berryville, Huntsville, Bergman, Valley Springs, and Omaha teams.
When the dust settled, the Berryville Lady Bobcats were set to face the Huntsville Lady Eagles in the girls' final, a rematch from last year, with the Huntsville Eagles facing the Bergman Panthers in the boys' championship game.
Huntsville, playing in the AAAA division this season, got both its teams into the finals with strong performances. The Berryville girls (AAA) stepped up in their game with Bergman (AA), and the Bergman boys handled a scrappy Omaha (A) team to earn their spot.
All teams in the finals were seeded as one of the top four teams by the coaches when the tournament was set, and their selections proved out. The Berryville and Huntsville girls were ranked 1-2 by the coaches, and the Bergman and Huntsville boys were ranked 1-2.
The Berryville Lady Bobcats have won the tournament the last two years. A repeat title this year would be the first time in girls' tournament history that a team has won three consecutive years.
Friday's girls' championship game is a rematch of last year's game, which Berryville won 34-33. Berryville beat Green Forest 53-21 two years ago.
The Green Forest boys have won three consecutive years twice, in 1969-70-71, and again in 1999, 2000, 2001.
SEMIFINALS, DEC. 19
Huntsville girls vs. Valley Springs
14-1, 19-14, 31-19, 50-35
Huntsville's Lady Eagles led from the start and got 19 points from 6-4 Tabitha Christian. Lynsey Thomas chipped in 11 and Jill Walker 10, with the team making 12 of 13 free throws.
For Valley Springs, Tabitha Hudson scored 13 with 3 3's, and Stephanie Wilburn added 9.
Huntsville boys vs. Berryville
18-4, 35-14, 42-27, 65-46
Huntsville used its height and athletic play to stay ahead of the Bobcats from the start and put four players in double figures, with eight scoring.
For Huntsville, Justin Burks had 14, Derek Thomas 13, Orion Fliessbach 11, Caleb Tenberge 11, Tyler Trumbo 7, Dustin Canion 4, Bracken Thompson 3, and Jason Hargis 2.
Huntsville last won the tournament in 1997, defeating Valley Springs 66-48.
For Berryville, Grant Myrick scored 12, Josh Jackson 11, Heath Neal 7, Dustin Jackson 6, Cory Smith 4, and Drew Ray, T.R. Jamar, and Josh Kriesel 2 each. Berryville last won the tournament in 1961.
Berryville girls vs. Bergman
15-15, 29-28, 52-36, 65-46
Berryville used a strong third quarter to break a tight game wide open as they exploded for 23 points. The team seems to be finding its offensive punch, scoring 60 points in a loss to Gentry last Tuesday, swamped Yellville-Summit 62-27 on Monday in the tournament, and hitting the 60-plus mark again against Bergman.
For Berryville, Sheena Spielberg scored 23 with 2 3's, Lindsey Moore had 15, Christina McNeal 13, Danyaile Hagler 7, Stephanie Hicks 3, and Crystal Wilson and Kristy Wharton 2 each.
For Bergman, Emily Nichols scored 24 and Samantha Farmer had 8.
Bergman boys vs. Omaha
12-7, 33-25, 47-37, 67-52
The Bergman Panthers proved too strong for the Eagles as Heath Taylor scored 22 for Bergman, Matt Curtis chipped in 17, and Brandon Jones netted 14. Bergman made 20 of 25 free throws.
For Omaha, Keagan Chaney score 20 with 3 3's, Alex Parker had 13, and Ian Hefley had 10 with 2 3's.