Bobcats maintain focus, add 2 more wins

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

With a 17-3 record in early February, some high school basketball teams might already be dreaming about postseason success.

But Berryville coach Brent Compton said his Bobcats are still firmly focused on what’s immediately in front of them.

“We still have work to do to win our side of this league,” Compton said, referring to the 4A-1 East. “I’m just taking it one game at a time. We talk about after every game, our next game’s the most important.”

The Bobcats kept themselves in the driver’s seat of the division race with a pair of victories last week. Berryville won 67-43 on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Gravette, then topped Shiloh Christian 65-59 last Friday night at Bobcat Arena.

Berryville has won six of its past seven games, including four in a row since losing a rescheduled game at Farmington on Jan. 16.

In the victory over Gravette, the Bobcats raced to a 36-17 halftime lead behind the shooting of sophomore Jake Wilson and senior Landon Chester. Wilson had 14 first-half points with Chester adding 12 and junior post Weston Teague scoring eight.

Wilson finished with 24 points and Chester had 21. Each hit five of Berryville’s 12 three-pointers. Teague had 10 points altogether.

“At Gravette we played really well, started fast, really shot the ball well,” Compton said. “Gravette’s defense really played in our favor the way they tried to do things and our kids took advantage of it.”

Friday night’s win over Shiloh Christian was more of a slog for the Bobcats. The Saints held a one-point lead at halftime, but Berryville’s offense found its rhythm starting in the third quarter.

“We started slow,” Compton said. “But the kids got it going in the second half and did what they had to do to win.”

Chester scored 17 of his team-high 21 points in the second half. Teague added 18 points and Wilson scored 10, all in the second half.

The hallmarks of this season’s Berryville squad are a balanced offense that can score inside or outside and a defense that can be counted on for maximum effort. Perhaps just as important is a group of players who understand the game. Compton said that was on display in the victory over Gravette.

“We discussed what was what was going to happen going into the game,” he said. “And the kids obviously have really high basketball IQs and they’re smart kids, period. We thought we were going to have a situation that we could take advantage of and we did.”

Berryville will play at Huntsville on Tuesday before hosting Harrison on Friday at Bobcat Arena.

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