Berryville stumbles down stretch in 1-4A loss
BERRYVILLE -- Berryville coach Brent Compton is well aware that the Bobcats could be at or near the top of the 1-4A Conference standings with a break here or there. As it stands, the Cats are on the bottom looking up and needing to win a few games before the conference tournament rolls around in mid-February.
The latest letdown, a 58-57 loss to Gravette Tuesday night at Bobcat Arena, was possibly the most deflating of the previous three losses. The losses were by a combined five points. And the seven league losses have been by an average of five points.
'"It tells you we are competing hard,'" Compton said. '"We are right there. We have lost our seven games by an average of five points. We just need to catch a break. And we haven't had that the entire season.'"
Compton said the Cats were mentally prepared to go toe-to-toe with the top team in the league on Tuesday.
'"I really felt like our kids were ready to play as far as their mindset,'" he said. '"They were eager and ready and felt like they could win. And it was a back and forth game. Neither team got a bigger lead than six or seven.'"
The score was tied at 12 after the opening frame with Gravette leading by one at the half, 30-29. Berryville grabbed the early lead in the second half on back-to-back buckets and maintained the lead until the waning moments of the game.
'"We scored the first two buckets to take the lead after the half and didn't trail again until the last minute or so,'" Compton said. '"We were up two and we fouled them on a three-point shot. We made a mistake, left our feet and fouled (Terrence Pierce). He made all three shots to give them the lead.'"
Berryville reclaimed the lead with 50 seconds left but committed another foul on the defensive end of the floor to send the Lions to the free-throw line. Gravette made both attempts and Berryville got the ball back for the final possession but couldn't get a shot off and turned the ball over as time expired.
'"We are out of timeouts,'" Compton recalled. '"We went to the other end and turned the ball over. We didn't get a shot off trying to make a play. But I like that situation. It was a broken floor and everybody is scrambling trying to make a play. I like that scenario anyway. We just came up short.'"
Much like the rest of the season, leading to a 6-12 overall record and 2-7 in conference play.
With five conference games left, including tonight's homecoming affair against Lincoln, Compton said the Cats need to erase the past and look forward to the future.
'"We have to have a short-term memory,'" he said. '"We have another good team coming in here Friday. Our kids need to realize we are one play away from making a run at this thing. If we can stay mentally strong there is no telling what will happen. I am not losing faith in them.'"
Josh Morrell finished with 10 points, Justin Turner added eight, Seth Helmlinger chipped in four and Garrett Stone had two.
Pierce led Gravette with 32.