Cats conclude season in district tourney
FARMINGTON -- As season of almosts and what-ifs came to an end for Berryville Wednesday night in the second round of the 1-4A Conference Tournament with a 74-67 loss to Gravette, ending the careers of seven seniors, including leading scorers Austin Carr and Josh Morrell.
Carr finished with a flurry, scoring 35 points in his final affair and Morrell added 12 against third-seeded Gravette, which advanced to Friday's semifinals against No. 2 Farmington.
Berryville concluded the season 11-15 overall and 4-10 in the league.
"We didn't go out and lay an egg," Berryville coach Brent Compton said. "I felt like our kids competed at the highest level we could. That was maybe our best game of the year. It stinks to get beat. But if you are going to get beat at least we can walk off the floor as coaches and players feeling like we gave 100 percent."
The Bobcats reached the second round after beating Ozark 28-20 on Tuesday. Berryville outlasted the stall game of the Hillbillies in the third straight game of sit and wait.
"Our last two game were stall games," Compton said. "This was the first time we had been up and down the court. We played really well. We had a walk-through for the game because we didn't have time to practice after playing the night before. And the guys just came out and played their hearts out."
Ozark led early before Carr hit a deep 3-pointer to close out the first period, putting the Cats up 9-7. Compton said the momentum turned to Berryville at that point.
"Honestly I thought that was the difference in the game," Compton said. "It gave us a lead and put us in a different situation as far as them holding it. When you are ahead it's not a big deal if they hold it."
And the Cats held the lead for much of the remainder of the game. Ozark tied the score at 15 in the second quarter. But Berryville led 17-10 at the half and never trailed after that.
The Cats got off to a good start against Gravette. After losing to the Lions twice in the regular season, Berryville grabbed a 15-13 lead in the opening period and took a 33-26 advantage into the half at intermission. But the Cats had no answer for Gravette's Terence Pierce, who scored 35 of his game-leading 44 points in the second half.
"He just got in a zone in the second half and we couldn't stop him," Compton said. "We held him to nine in the first half. But I wondered if we could hold him down like that in the second half. He's just such a good player. He's legit. We rotated four or five guys on him all night. Garrett (Stone) was on him most. He's our best defender. But we threw everything we had at him."
Compton will lose seven seniors, including Carr, Morrell, Cody Powell, Ethan Chapin, Justin Turner, Cameron Fancher and JJ Wood.