The last four games of the regular season have become a matter of survival for Bentonville West’s boys.
The Wolverines (11-12, 4-6 7A-West) snapped out of a three-game tailspin Friday night by grinding out a 37-28 victory at Springdale High and improved their chances of going to the Class 7A state tournament in their inaugural season. West scored 17 points in the fourth quarter — nine by Gabe Hornsby — after being limited to just 20 points over the first three quarters of play.
The victory not only gives West a one-game lead over Springdale in the 7A-West standings, but the nine-point margin also gave the Wolverines a tie-breaker advantage over the Red’Dogs. Springdale won the first meeting, 39-38, after a last-second shot by the Red’Dogs and a last-second layup attempt by Cobe Muldrew that rimmed out at the buzzer sounded.
West is currently tied with Fayetteville for fifth place in the 7A-West standings, but the Wolverines would get the No. 6 seed in the Class 7A state tournament. That’s because they trail the Purple’Dogs by just one point in tie-breaker points, and it means West would play either Cabot or Fort Smith Northside in a first-round game.
The Wolverines, however, have their work cut out for them this week if they want to improve in the standings.
West returns to action Tuesday night at league-leading Springdale Har-Ber, which routed the Wolverines last month. The Wolverines then return home Friday and will celebrate their first Colors Day against Rogers Heritage, which defeated West in its first meeting.
West’s girls will try to hold off being eliminated from tournament play this week against Har-Ber and Heritage.
Their next loss will send the Lady Wolverines (3-19, 1-9) out of the postseason picture, and it starts Tuesday a much-improved Har-Ber team that enjoyed wins last week over Springdale and Bentonville.
West then goes for the season sweep Friday against Heritage, which suffered a 60-53 loss to the Lady Wolverines on its home floor.