Little went right for Springdale Har-Ber Friday, and Fayetteville continued surging as the state tournament approaches, knocking off the conference-leading Wildcats 71-53 to cap the next to last week of conference action.
Har-Ber got 15 points from Ryan Taylor and 14 from Tyler Garrett, but Har-Ber shot just 28 percent (14/50) in the loss. Four Purple’Dogs reached double figures as they won their fourth straight game and clinched a spot in the state tournament.
Har-Ber still sits at 10-2 in league play and holds the tiebreaker over Bentonville. The Wildcats need two wins to claim the league’s top seed in the playoffs unless the Tigers drop a game to Rogers Heritage or Bentonville West.
The Lady Wildcats were playing with momentum heading into Fayetteville Friday, but the Lady Purple’Dogs, again, proved they’re in a league of their own. Fayetteville moved to 25-2 overall and remained perfect in 7A-West play at 12-0. Har-Ber’s girls are holding steady in fifth place in the conference entering the final week.
Here is what’s happening at Springdale Har-Ber this week:
Despite Friday’s setback to rival Fayetteville, Har-Ber remains in control of its seeding for March. Scott Bowlin’s club hosts Van Buren Tuesday and travels Friday to Rogers Heritage, who beat Bentonville West on the road last week behind Seth Stanley’s buzzer-beater.
Fayetteville was able to limit sophomore guard Tylor Perry in its win. Perry shot 1 of 8 and finished with five points in an all-around frustrating night for Har-Ber. But, Har-Ber has to turn the page and its attention to the Pointers, who handed the Cats their only other conference loss on the road.
Tyler Garrett is playing his best basketball of the season in his last five games, averaging a shade under 16 points per game. Ryan Taylor has also been in double figures in four of his last five outings. Should Perry bounce back, which is likely, Har-Ber remains a state contender.
Heritage, thanks to Stanley’s heroics, sits at 7-5 in conference entering this week. Har-Ber won the teams’ first meeting, 52-38, behind Zane King’s 16 points, Garrett’s nine and Matt Kaunitz’s nine on three 3-pointers.
Jamie Green’s club welcomes in Van Buren, solidly second in the 7A-West, Tuesday night before traveling to Heritage for a winnable game. Har-Ber is 3-1 since the return of guard Maci Mains, who gives the Lady Wildcats a spark.
Har-Ber scored just 31 points in a 16-point loss to the Lady Pointers on the road in the first half of league play. Van Buren will be an obvious challenge Tuesday. The Lady Pointers lead the conference in scoring defense and own a top three scoring offense as well led by Belmont-bound Jamilyn Kinney.
A win would do wonders for Har-Ber, who sits two games behind Springdale and Rogers.
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