Big wins for Bobcats: Berryville beats Harrison, Gentry
By Scott Loftis
It was supposed to be a challenging week for the Berryville Bobcats, with three conference games in four days — starting with a difficult Tuesday night home game against Harrison.
So far, however, so good for the Bobcats.
Berryville made clutch play after clutch play down the stretch to beat Harrison 71-68 at Bobcat Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 14, then won 63-41 at Gentry on Wednesday night.
The Bobcats (14-4, 2-1 4A-1) have won 11 of their past 13 games since Dec. 6.
In the win over Harrison, Berryville outscored the Goblins 11-8 over the final 3:59 to secure the victory. Sophomore guard Kade Davidson scored six points during that stretch, including a beautiful scoop shot that put Berryville ahead 64-60 with 2:58 remaining.
Senior forward Scotland Lucas started the winning run with a basket off a pass from Davidson, then scored Berryville’s final points on a pair of free throws with 5.5 seconds left.
Davidson finished with 24 points, including 18 in the second half, and Lucas scored 22 points off the bench for Berryville.
Lucas, who joined the team in early December after recovering from a knee injury that forced him to miss all of football season, was a force for Berryville on both ends of the court. In addition to his scoring, he grabbed several key rebounds and was a physical factor on defense.
“He really did some good things,” Berryville coach Brent Compton said. “He plays so physical.”
Harrison junior Ethan Edwards, who made six of Harrison’s nine three-point baskets and scored a game-high 27 points, was fouled on the floor on Harrison’s last possession.
With 1.4 seconds left, Edwards missed the front end of a one-and-one. Lucas grabbed the rebound to close out the Berryville victory, setting off a celebration on the court.
“Nobody else was getting that rebound,” Compton said.
It was a sweet victory for Berryville, which lost two games to Harrison last season.
“It’s a big win for our kids,” Compton said. “I’m so proud of them. I think we can still get better.”
At Gentry on Wednesday night, 10 Berryville players scored at least two points. Junior forward J.D. Smith made four three-pointers and scored a team-high 15 points, while sophomore post Weston Teague added 14. Junior guard Landon Chester made three three-pointers and scored 11 points.
Berryville led 30-22 at halftime against a Gentry team that had two starters sidelined with injuries.
“That did help us a little bit,” Compton said.
A good week got even better Thursday afternoon when Berryville was named to host the 4A-North Regional Tournament, which will be played next month at Bobcat Arena.
“It’s a big deal for us and it’s a big deal for the community,” Compton said. “It will bring a lot of people to town.”
Hosting the regional also will give the Berryville players some added incentive to reach the tournament and play in front of their home fans.
“We try to motivate them, but things like that will motivate them even more,” Compton said. “We have great support and it gets even better when we have special events like that.”