Bobcats barrel into Tiger land -- Senior boys get victory, Lady Bobcats lose
The Berryville Bobcat senior high basketball teams barreled into Valley Springs last Friday for their first games of the new season.
Coach Matt Carter's Lady Bobcats faced a 10-0 Lady Tiger squad and played well in a 29-37 loss. Coach Tracy Jones' senior boys played physical and ran off with a 57-35 victory to set the tone for their season.
Berryville vs. Valley Springs
19-4, 31-13, 40-24, 57-35
The Bobcats (1-0) were shooting it well and playing tough defense, with T.R. Jamar swishing one of his five threes on the night to start. Teammate Drew Ray fired in a three of his own, and Berryville barreled off to a 16-0 start before the Tigers made their first basket.
Josh Kriesel hit a three just before the first quarter ended, and Berryville led 19-4 and never looked back.
"Our halfcourt defense was better than our press," Coach Jones said. "We got 16 steals on the night, and most were in half court. I also thought we played very physical. We shot the ball better, but were just 5 of 16 on free throws and had 12 turnovers. That was disappointing."
Jones said the team played solid defense and rebounded a lot better, two key areas for this season. The Bobcats had nine offensive rebounds, and 15 defensive rebounds, and shot 47 percent from the floor.
"T.R. was all over the floor, and rebounded from the weakside. He's stepping up and should be a player for us this year. Josh (Kriesel) and Cory (Smith) had great games, and Heath Neal stepped up.
"Overall, we are a lot more physical this year. Taylor Deweese did well. He's a big body that is going to help us out."
Jones said he played a lot of people, and that the team's depth looked good, with players off the bench doing a good job.
Scoring- BV- Jamar- 17, 5 3's; Smith- 11, 7R; Ray- 7, 6A, 5S; Deweese- 6, 5R; Neal- 6, 4A; J. Kriesel- 5, 5S, 3A, 3R; 2's- Joey Curtis, Brent Moore; Andy Kriesel- 1, 3S, 3R. VS- Clint Hayes- 23.
9-9, 15-15, 20-24, 29-37
Playing your first game of the season against a 10-0 team isn't a coaches first choice, but when you do, defense has to be a key.
"I thought we played pretty good," Coach Carter said. "Both teams played good man defense, but we missed 16 layups and had 21 turnovers. If we eliminated just half of those, we could win."
The team also didn't get to the free throw line often, making just 4 of 8, while Valley made 11 of 18.
"The difference was free throws," Carter said. "We didn't match them, and (Valley's) Ragland scored 15 inside."
Carter said 6-1 sophomore post Emily Bell hit the boards well, with the team getting 18 defensive rebounds, and six offensive rebounds. They had just six steals as a team.
"I thought one person stood out, Mahalie Armstrong," Carter said. "She ran the floor, blocked out, and did a good job."
Senior guard Danyaile Hagler and sophomore forward Hailey Blanchard both hit threes in the fourth quarter to pull Berryville to 31-26, but Valley hit 6 of 8 free throws in the final three minutes to keep the win and 11-0 record.
Scoring- BV- Hagler- 11, 2 3's, 3/4 Fts; Bell- 6, 10R; Armstrong- 5; Stephanie Hicks- 4; Blanchard- 3. VS- Ragland- 15, 10 R.