Springdale Har-Ber boys
The 7A-West is as wide open as its been in quite some time. And as of now, Springdale Har-Ber looks to be a serious preseason contender for the conference crown.
Bowlin’s club finished under .500 last season in the loaded 7A-West as the Wildcats earned the league’s five seed in the state tournament. They then fell 56-53 to West Memphis in the opening round in Cabot.
The conference isn’t nearly as loaded this winter, though, as Fayetteville and Bentonville stars Payton Willis and Malik Monk have moved on to Vanderbilt and Kentucky, respectively.
Har-Ber returns one of the league’s top guards in Tyler Garrett, a 6-2 junior with interest from Little Rock, Lamar and others, and a number of weapons.
“He’s going to explode this year,” Bowlin said of Garrett.
Guards Tylor Perry and Braeden Williams will see time alongside Garrett. Bowlin is also high on his shooters, and believes they will be able to open up the offense.
The Wildcats will also have plenty of size – perhaps the most in the league. Har-Ber will floor a pair of 6-foot-6 power forwards in seniors Alec Boudreaux and Zane King, who runs the floor well and has an abundance of athleticism. But it doesn’t stop there.
Garrett’s younger brother, Austin, is a 6-foot-4 freshman who, according to assistant coach Kyle Pennington, can be the best player in the gym at times. Sophomore E’Kyious Sanders stands 6-foot-4 and has plenty of potential as well.
Har-Ber officially opens its season tonight against Monticello in the BearKat Classic in Brookland.
Springdale Har-Ber girls
Har-Ber coach Jaime Green has spent some time coaching in the college ranks, but is excited to get going in first year with the Lady Wildcats.
Green was hired in May to take over for Sandy Wright, who retired following last season. The first-year head coach inherits some talent and hopes her club can play its way into one of the top spots in the 7A-West.
Karrington Whaley, a 6-foot-1 Henderson State commit, leads Har-Ber on the interior. Green says she’s a big fan of Whaley’s size, rebounding and scoring ability. Twins Juella and Juliza Brown will also add size for Har-Ber at 6-foot-1.
Manning the point guard spot is junior guard Annabel Weber. Green loves her “motor,” and will depend on Weber to not only run the offense but score as well. Senior guard Dachelle Terry, a Fort Smith Northside transfer, provides a scrappy style and has a soft touch on her left-handed shot.
Green’s club will hold its home opener Nov. 29 against a talented Little Rock Central.
— Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie