Lady Bobcats win nailbiter over Tigers ---- Face AAA's top team at state
Sheena Spielberg's free throw with 11 seconds left in the Lady Bobcats' game with Prairie Grove at the Class AAA Regional in Ozark on Monday sewed up third place for Coach Mitch Myrick's hard-working team as they held on to win, 29-28.
Great team defense was what it took to down Class AAA's 10th-ranked team for the second time this season, as the Lady Bobcats (19-12) made just 1 of 5 at the line.
A point-for-point battle in the fourth came down to Spielberg's trip to the foul line, where she missed the first shot, but made the second.
On the inbounds, Prairie Grove's Kristen Tester went the length of the floor and missed a layup on the other end with two seconds remaining, and Berryville's Lindsey Moore came up with the rebound.
A jump ball was called as the final buzzer went off, but Berryville had the possession arrow, and it was a one-point win for the Lady Bobcats.
Coach Myrick reported that Christina McNeal and Sheena Spielberg were selected to the All Regional tournament team. Their pictures will appear in a later issue after district honors are also announced.
CLASS AAA STATE
The Lady Bobcats face Class AAA's top-ranked team, the Star City Lady Bulldogs, also ranked No. 9 in all classifications, this Friday at 4 p.m. at Prescott High School in southern Arkansas.
Star City sports a 30-1 record and is the second-place team from Region 4.
"They are very quick and have two good post players, six-foot and 5-10" Coach Myrick said. "We've got to be ready, because Star City has the whole package. Like most tournaments, if we get by the first game, we'll be alright."
Berryville vs. Prairie Grove
Monday, March 3
10-2, 19-13, 24-19, 29-28
Lady Bobcats Sheena Spielberg, Christina McNeal, and LaTisha Smith went to work on Prairie Grove's 6-3 Dana Idlet right from the start and pushed her away from her favorite spots near the lane.
Even though the fouls mounted, they kept it up and held Idlet to just four points for the game. Smith proved to be a force inside on defense.
On offense, Lady Bobcat Danyaile Hagler found her shooting touch and swished two threes the first quarter to put Berryville up 10-2 after one.
Hagler ripped another three in the second to make it 15-4 as the Lady Tigers kept sagging off to clog the inside, and Berryville led 19-10 with a minute until halftime.
But Lady Tiger guard Kristen Tester stole the halftime show and gave her team momentum when she banked a long three in to beat the buzzer, and it was 19-13 at the break.
Counting that three, Prairie Grove went on a 7-0 run in the second half to pull to within four with 3:01 to play in the third as the game got rough.
Lady Bobcat Christina McNeal took an elbow to the eye and had to leave to have a small gash closed, bringing Kristy Wharton into the game, and while McNeal was gone Hagler swished another three, her fourth, to make it 24-17, Berryville.
McNeal returned for the fourth quarter, but Tester found her shot and scored 8 points in the fourth, including two threes, to keep Prairie Grove close.
Berryville's Moore hit a jumper for two at the 3:41 mark to make it 28-25, then Berryville held the ball to run the clock, and Prairie Grove had to foul.
The Lady Tigers had just three team fouls, so hacked four times before Stephanie Hicks finally got to the free throw line. Hicks missed the shot, and Tester tied the game at 28-all with a three on the other end.
Berryville held the ball the final 1:32, with Spielberg driving for a jumper and getting fouled with 11.1 seconds left to play.
She made the one the team needed, and Berryville moved on to the state tournament as the No. 3 seed.
Scoring- BV- Hagler- 12, 4 3's; 6's- McNeal, Moore; Spielberg- 5. PG- Tester- 15, 2 3's; Idlet- 4.