Bobcats split 2 games, win conference opener
Just about every high school basketball team, even a really good one, goes through a lull at some point during the season.
The Berryville Bobcats might be in the middle of such a lull right now, but coach Brent Compton believes his team can grow from the experience.
Fighting illness and injury, the Bobcats suffered their second loss of the season Friday night, falling to Crane, Mo., 46-42 at Bobcat Arena.
“We’re trying to get through some injuries and some things,” Compton said. “We might not be playing as well as what we were. It just seems like, you know, some of the things are catching up to us kids getting sick and hurt and all those things. We’re hoping to get all that stuff behind us and start getting back to playing how we’d like to play.”
Compton also gave plenty of credit to Crane, especially the Pirates’ defense.
“Crane was was the single best defensive team that we’ve played at this point and that we will play,” he said. “They were extremely physical. They guarded us full court and just really put a lot of pressure on us. It was a good game for our kids to play. I can’t imagine anybody playing us that hard on defense for the rest of the season. Even though we lost, I would like to think that game will make us better. And that was the intent.”
Crane’s defense was especially stingy in the second quarter, when the Pirates held Berryville to two points and turned a 13-8 deficit at the end of the first quarter into a 20-15 halftime lead.
Berryville (11-2) trailed by six at the end of the third quarter.
Sophomore Nate Allen led the Bobcats with 11 points and junior center Weston Teague added 10.
Of course, if Berryville was going to win one of two games last week, the Bobcats would have wanted it to be the conference opener on Tuesday against Shiloh Christian in Springdale. Berryville got the victory with a fourth-quarter rally, outscoring the Saints 20-12 over the final eight minutes.
“That’s a big win, on the road, in the league,” Compton said. “Great way to start. Those (conference road victories) are very hard to come by. Everybody plays well at home and if you can go over and steal one, that’s a bonus.”
Berryville made eight free throws in the fourth quarter and senior swingman J.D. Smith scored five of his eight points. Allen, Teague and senior Landon Chester each finished with 11 points for the Bobcats.
Berryville will play three conference games this week. The Bobcats will host Huntsville on Tuesday at Bobcat Arena, then will play at Harrison on Friday. On Saturday, Berryville will travel to Farmington to make up a game that originally was scheduled for Dec. 18.
The Huntsville game will tip off at 6 p.m. and there will be no girls game. On Saturday, the girls game at Farmington will begin at 5 p.m. with the boys game to follow.