Berryville gets 1st-round win, advances to regionals

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Berryville's Scotland Lucas drives to the goal in a game against Valley Springs earlier this season.
Charles Chappell / www.PhotoShelter.com/CCImages

The Berryville Bobcats got a 57-44 victory over the Huntsville Eagles in Wednesday's first round of the 4A-1 district tournament in Lincoln. The 13-point victory will put Berryville in the regional tournament.

"I really thought our kids came ready to play," Berryville coach Brent Compton said. "Playing Huntsville for the fourth time, we were familiar with them, but it's obviously a stressful game. You have to win to get in and I thought our kids showed up and played with composure. They really gave great effort and did a nice job of taking care of business."

The first quarter was very fast-paced as both teams raced up and down the court. Scotland Lucas scored seven points and Jarrett Ray added a three-pointer, but Zach Webb got his second foul with 1:12 remaining in the first quarter.

"Zach is an important part to what we do and he gets us going," Compton said. "But when he got in foul trouble, I was so proud of the way the kids played. We played good. Aaron Cisco came in and stepped up and really played well. We didn't miss a beat and that hadn't been the case throughout the year when Zach has went out. Our kids were determined and focused. It didn't matter who we put in there, they did a nice job."

The game was tied at 14-14 at the end of the first quarter, but the Bobcats opened the second quarter on a 15-3 run. Lucas accounted for seven of those points and finished with 21. Cisco made a three-pointer at the buzzer and Berryville led 32-23 at halftime.

Compton is proud of the way Lucas played.

"Scot is so talented," Compton said. "He is a sophomore. The year has been up and down for him. That's expected with a sophomore, but I will tell you when you show up and play like he did last night when it counts the most, it really goes to show what kind of player he is."

Kyler Kendrick and Ty Allen each made a three-pointer midway through the third quarter and Berryville extended its lead to 44-30. The Bobcats led 46-34 going into the fourth quarter.

Berryville went 2 of 10 from the free throw line in the second half and Compton hopes to see an improvement in that area moving forward.

"We have been really good so I don't know what was going on last night," Compton said. "It may have been the pressure of that game. After that first-round win, the pressure is off and now we are just playing for seeding. Most times our kids do a great job of getting up there and knocking their foul shots down so hopefully it's just a one-time thing and we can move on from it."

To go with Lucas' 21 points, Ray had 13 and Webb had eight. Compton knows Friday's semifinal game with Gravette will be challenging.

"Gravette is an excellent basketball team," Compton said. "They have a lot of size. They are long and are really tall. They are very athletic. They play above the rim. It's tough to find a weakness. I don't know how deep their bench is. You have to be aggressive and try to get them in foul trouble to get to their bench. They have kids who can shoot and they have kids who can get up and dunk it. It's going to be an interesting matchup."

Berryville (21-7) will tip off against Gravette at 8:30 p.m.

Hunstville is coached by Jim Stafford and Wednesday might have been his last game on the sidelines.

"I hated to see Wednesday be his last game," Compton said. "He has had such a great career and I have so much respect for him. He is an icon and a Hall of Famer."

Berryville 54, Shiloh Christian 20

The Berryville Lady Bobcats made things interesting in the first quarter of Tuesday's 4A-1 first-round district tournament game in Lincoln, but the Lady Bobcats kicked things up a notch after that and went on to defeat the Lady Saints by 34 points.

"For whatever reason we were a little sluggish to start, but from the second quarter on we played pretty well and played at the tempo we needed to play at," Berryville coach Daniel Cornelison said.

Berryville led 6-0 three minutes into the game, but the Lady Saints ended the quarter on a 9-4 run. Cornelison said it's important that the Lady Bobcats start strong from the beginning from here on out.

"We have to come ready to play for every single second from here forward," Cornelison said. "It starts in practice. We will do it in practice. I expect them to work hard. They do work hard. I don't know if we overlooked them or what, but we needed something to get us going. For whatever reason, us up one at the end of the first got us going."

Berryville went on a 22-4 run in the second quarter and led 32-13 at halftime. Baylea Smith started the quarter by making a three-pointer and scoring on a steal.

"We had worked on trying to speed them up," Cornelison said. "I wanted to see how the game would start. If we really had to do that we would. We went to it in the second quarter and really got after them. We got them to a speed they weren't comfortable playing at. Once we got the tempo where we wanted it, they weren't capable of handling it. And it put us in an offensive rhythm."

Berryville extended its lead to 45-14 going into the third quarter. Five players scored for Berryville in the third quarter alone.

"We have several kids that can put the ball in the basket," Cornelison said. "They are unselfish. They look for their teammate. And we try to get the best shot that is available, it doesn't matter who takes it."

Lexy Anderson finished the game with 16 points, while Kelcee Hopper and Smith each had nine.

Berryville (27-1) will play the winner of Prairie Grove and Lincoln on Friday in the semifinals of the district tournament in Lincoln.

"We were just tickled to get that first game out of the way," Cornelison said. "That is the one that gets you to the regional tournament, which is where we need to be. From this point forward, we are just playing for seeding. I expect us to come out and play more relaxed. There were a lot of nerves in that first game. It will be a tough matchup whoever we play. Prairie Grove will play you real tough and Lincoln, it's right there on their home floor."

Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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