JH Basketball: County squads win first-round contests

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<p>photo by TWILA KING</p><p>Van Buren’s Jonny Harms shoots during the junior high tournament game on Thursday at the Van Buren Freshman Academy. Harms scored eight points as the Pointers defeated Rogers Heritage 43-33.</p>
<p>photo by GEORGE “CLAY” MITCHELL</p><p>Alma’s Kailey Fagan goes in for the layup against Bentonville Black at the Van Buren Freshman Academy on Thursday. Fagan led Alma with 11 points and the Airedalettes won 53-18.</p>
<p>photo by TWILA KING</p><p>Van Buren’s Londan Barlow gets tangled up with Meredith Lakis (Rogers Heritage) during the junior high tournament on Thursday at the Van Buren Freshman Academy.</p>
<p>photo by GEORGE “CLAY” MITCHELL</p><p>Alma’s Noah Dotson gets ready to make a play against Bentonville Black and the Airdales won 39-27 on Thursday at the junior high tournament at the Van Buren Freshman Academy.</p>

Alma and Van Buren ran away with wins Thursday night to open up the Junior High Tournament hosted at the Freshman Academy.

Both Van Buren teams and the Airedales outscored their opponents by a combined 53-11, while the Lady Airedales utilized a strong third quarter performance to pull away and secure the win.

All four county teams advanced to Friday’s semifinals. The championship games are slated to start at 3 p.m. with the girls’ game. The third-place games begin at 12:30 p.m.

Van Buren 42, Rogers Heritage 16 (Girls’)

Jamilyn Kinney scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the first quarter as the Lady Pointers posted a 15-4 lead.

Heritage’s Meredith Lakis hit a bucket with 2:52 remaining in the first quarter as the War Eagles trailed 7-4. Heritage went scoreless over the next 7:59 and Van Buren was up 28-6 at halftime.

The Lady Pointers had a 39-10 advantage after three quarters of play.

Londan Barlow added seven points and six rebounds for Van Buren while Bailey Griffiths came off the bench and sank a pair of treys in the second half to finish with six.

Van Buren’s Taylar Sutton led the game with seven rebounds.

Van Buren 43, Rogers Heritage 33 (Boys’)

The Pointers capitalized on a pair of early turnovers and took an early 15-0 before Heritage could get on track and on the board.

Seven different players contributed to the scoring for Van Buren with Thomas Logan coming off the bench to lead the Pointers with 11 points. Beau Beckner added nine points and four rebounds while Jonny Harms tossed in eight points.

War Eagle Regan Babyar led all scorers with 13 points.

Van Buren led 18-5 after first quarter and took its biggest lead, 43-25 after a shot by Devin Moore with 4:23 remaining in the game.

Alma 39, Bentonville Black 27 (Boys’)

The Airedales hit four treys and scored 15 points off of five turnovers in the first quarter to build a 20-2 lead.

Isaac Posey was 3 of 3 from behind the arc in the opening quarter for Alma and finished with 12 points. Drake Pendergraft was 7 of 8 at the line in the second half and added 10 for the Airedales. Noah Dotson added three rebound and three steals with seven points.

Alma went scoreless in the second quarter, but Bentonville added just four points to trail 20-6 at halftime. The Tigers managed to cut into the lead some more in the third quarter, 26-16.

The Airedales had just one field goal in the fourth quarter and shot 11 of 14 from the line to sustain its lead.

Alma 53, Bentonville Black 18 (Girls’)

Bentonville’s Alexis Johnson sank a pair of free throws early in second half as her squad trailed 28-17, then the Lady Tigers were silent.

Alma launched into a 25-0 run that lasted until late in the fourth quarter.

Nine different Lady Airedales contributed to the scoring with Kailey Fagan leading the game with 11. Tatum Willhite added 10 while Madi Tolder and Bailey Jones finished with eight and seven points respectively.

Bentonville kept it close in the first half, trailing by five in the first quarter, 12-7, and pulled within three, 12-9, to start the second quarter.

But a small 10-0 run powered by a pair of treys from Willhite gave Alma a 22-9 lead with 1:58 remaining in the first half. The Lady Airedales scored five points off of turnovers during that run.

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