Carroll County Rivalry: Bobcats' shots drop from deep to top Tigers
By Scott Loftis
Friday’s game between Carroll County rivals Berryville and Green Forest at Bobcat Arena was a tight affair until midway through the second quarter.
After that, however, it was all Berryville.
The Bobcats made 12 three-pointers and took advantage of a long Green Forest scoring drought to beat the Tigers 69-45.
Six players made at least one three-pointer for Berryville, led by four from senior guard Rayden Peden. Peden’s 16 points led four Berryville players in double figures.
“I thought our kids played really hard,” Berryville coach Brent Compton said. “It was a good win for us.”
Berryville’s three-point barrage began early. The Bobcats’ first 12 points came from long range, including three deep shots from Peden. The longest of those, at the 4:00 mark of the first quarter, gave Berryville a 12-9 lead.
“He was dialed in, for sure,” Compton said. “You could see it on his face.”
Green Forest’s Rhett Powell, who led the Tigers with 21 points, hit a baseline jumper to make it 12-11. Berryville (8-9) scored the next seven points, however, on two free throws and an inside basket by junior Kelton Davidson, sandwiched around a three-pointer by junior guard Chris Lehr.
“We started a little bit slow on defense, but our offense made up for it,” Compton said.
Davidson added another basket from close range for the Bobcats’ final points of the first quarter, then scored off an offensive rebound to start the second quarter.
Davidson finished with 10 points and his rebounding was a key for the Bobcats.
“He has shown some flashes,” Compton said. “We have high hopes for him as the season goes on.”
Berryville led 24-17 after a putback by senior forward Kyler Kendrick, but Green Forest (1-12) got three consecutive baskets off steals — the first two by sophomore guard Reiley Gordon and the third by Powell — to cut the lead to 24-23.
From there, however, the Tigers went ice-cold. They scored just two more points in the first half, on two free throws by Powell with 1:33 remaining, and made just one more shot from the field until early in the fourth quarter. Green Forest went more than a full quarter of game time without a field goal.
The Bobcats, meanwhile, got red-hot. Berryville scored 15 points in the final 4:01 of the second quarter, including three more three-pointers. Peden hit the last one, another shot from around 25 feet, with three seconds left to give the Bobcats a 39-25 halftime lead.
Green Forest scored just four points in the third quarter, while Berryville kept firing away. The Bobcats got three-pointers from Kendrick and sophomore guard Landon Chester in the final 37 seconds and led 51-29 at the end of the quarter.
Compton said his team got better as the game went on.
“The emotion of the game early was part of it,” he said. “Both teams came out and played really hard.”
Berryville travels to Harrison on Tuesday for a 4A-1 conference game. Green Forest will host Clinton on Tuesday in 3A-1 East conference play.