Compton scores 35 in Lady Bobcats’ win
It’s been an up-and-down season for the Berryville Lady Bobcats, and the ups and downs continued over the past several days.
On the court, the Lady Bobcats split a pair of games last week, dropping the conference opener to Shiloh Christian 52-37 on Monday, Jan. 4 in Springdale before bouncing back to beat Clarksville 70-57 in a nonconference game Friday at Bobcat Arena.
Off the court, Berryville coach Daniel Cornelison got some disappointing news Monday morning when Tuesday’s scheduled home game against Huntsville was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns with the Lady Eagles.
“The hardest part of it all … is never knowing if you’re going to play from one minute to the next,” Cornelison said. “We’ve gotten so many calls a day before games, just like today. You prepare and then it’s canceled. You just never know. So it’s a really awful roller coaster ride.”
Senior point guard Lilli Compton, a three-year starter for the Lady Bobcats, reached the top of that roller coaster in the victory over Clarksville when she scored a career-high 35 points. As a sophomore, Compton was primarily a ballhandler and passer for Berryville’s 2019 state runner-up team. She took on more scoring responsibility as a junior last season and this season has become the Lady Bobcats’ most consistent and productive scorer.
Against Clarksville, Compton scored at least eight points in every quarter, with 18 points in the first half and 17 in the second. She made three three-pointers, went 12 of 14 from the free-throw line and converted two three-point plays.
Berryville led 41-24 at halftime.
“When she was a sophomore and even last year, she just wasn’t required to do as much,” Cornelison said. “But it’s always been there. I’ve known for a while that she’s a good player. She can shoot it, and she can play. She definitely makes us better.”
Sophomore guard Hannah Youngblood added 18 points in the win over Clarksville. She scored 11 first-half points and finished with three three-pointers.
“I thought Hannah played her best game of the year, offensively and defensively both,” Cornelison said. “I was real proud of her, proud of her effort. When she plays at that high level, it makes us better, too.”
In the loss to Shiloh Christian, the Lady Bobcats led 14-10 at the end of the first quarter as Compton and junior Faith Kelley each dropped in three-pointers in the first eight minutes. But Shiloh Christian outscored Berryville 34-13 over the next two quarters and went on to the victory.
Compton finished with 14 points and Kelley added 12 for the Lady Bobcats.
“We struggled to score in that game and we just didn’t play very well defensively at times. And when you struggle to score, then you mess up your defensive assignments, it makes for a long night.”
Even with Tuesday’s cancellation, Berryville still faces a challenging week. The Lady Bobcats will play road games on back-to-back nights against two of the state’s top Class 4A teams — Friday night at Harrison and Saturday night at Farmington in a makeup game that originally was scheduled for Dec. 18.
“Our conference is just tough,” Cornelison said. “If you’re not ready to go every night, you’re going to get beat. That’s just the way this conference has been for the 10 years I’ve been in it, and it’s been that way for a lot longer than that.”