The magic number for Bentonville West’s boys remains at one for now.
The Wolverines (11-14, 4-8) will earn their first berth to the Class 7A state tournament with one more win or one more Springdale High loss.
West was within 2.5 seconds of clinching that postseason appearance Friday night as they owned a 46-44 lead over Rogers Heritage and the War Eagles had the ball in backcourt. However, it was enough time for Seth Stanley to catch a pass, take two dribbles and throw up a shot that hit the backboard, the front of the rim and the backboard again before going through the net and giving Heritage a 47-46 win.
So West will try again this week, starting Tuesday night as the Wolverines travel to Rogers High before the Wolverines close out the regular season at home against Bentonville High. Springdale, meanwhile, will close out the regular season Tuesday at Fayetteville and Friday against Rogers.
West hosted Rogers last month and came away with a 56-46 victory, but the game was closer than the final score indicated. The Mounties had pulled within 49-46 on a Jake Benninghoff 3-pointer with 46 seconds left, but Collin Blackburn hit five free throws and Levi Rutherford added a buzzer-beating layup to provide the final margin.
It didn’t go that was with West’s first meeting against Bentonville in Tiger Arena. The Wolverines were within 41-37 on a Cobe Muldrew 3-pointer with 5:08 remaining, but the Tigers pulled away for a 54-41 victory.
Bentonville West’s girls are still alive for a state tournament berth, but the margin of error is marginal and they will also need some help along the way.
The Lady Wolverines (4-20, 2-10) kept those hopes alive with the first home victory in school history, knocking off Rogers Heritage 42-34 and completing a season sweep of the Lady War Eagles. Ashaundri Henry had eight of her team-high 12 points in the fourth quarter.
West will need a victory of at least six points Tuesday at Rogers, then defeat Bentonville by the full 10 points. The Lady Wolverines will also need Bentonville to lose Tuesday against Heritage in order to help clinch a postseason appearance.