Wednesday, February 09, 2011

SPORTS >> Beebe junior beats buzzer with big play, Badgers win

Leader sportswriter

Beebe cannot be accused of putting on a boring show at home.

The Badgers pulled off yet another thrilling 5A-East Conference finish on their court with a 50-48 victory over Blytheville on Saturday.

Junior forward Dayton Scott scored the winning basket just before the buzzer on a putback dunk following a miss in the lane by Austin Benton. It capped a rally that brought the Badgers (16-3, 6-1) back from a seven-point deficit with less than two minutes left.

The victory put the Badgers a game ahead of Forrest City for the conference lead.

The Chickasaws (13-6, 6-2) appeared to be in control late with a 48-41 lead before Beebe rallied in the final 1:20. The Badgers benefited from having all their timeouts saved, and they utilized them to stage a 9-0 run to the finish.

“I thought we played ex-tremely well for the first half especially,” Badgers coach Ryan Marshall said. “Their pressure kind of got us a little; we were uneasy at times. Being down seven there with a little more than two minutes to go, we got us a timeout.

“We executed on some stuff, and obviously we made some big shots.”

Beebe sent KeAndre Diamond to the free-throw line with 56 seconds left and Blytheville holding a 48-46 lead.

Diamond missed the first free throw and Braden Jones pulled down the rebound for Beebe. That led to a pull-up jumper in the lane by Devonte Young to tie the game, and Jimmy Aldridge committed a charging foul on Blytheville’s final possession to set the stageor Benton and Scott with five seconds left.

“Great ballgame — we didn’t shoot it very well early,” Chickasaws coach David Hixson said. “Second half, shot it better. We got a little momentum when we changed defenses. We had our chances, we just didn’t execute when we had to.

“They hit some big-time shots when their backs were to the wall.”

The normally prolific Chicks struggled from the outside in the first half, going 0 for 6 from the three-point line.

Cavester Stone finally found his touch to start the fourth quarter, hitting a pair of three-pointers that helped Blytheville claim a 42-39 lead.

Stone and Kyle Walker then took advantage of two straight Chickasaw steals to score in transition and extend the lead to 48-41 with 2:04 left.

“We dug ourselves a hole; we felt pretty comfortable being down four at the half,” Hixson said.

“We felt like shots would fall; it did there in the second half. Again, we just didn’t finish. They did a great job of making plays, got a good crowd behind them, and they did the things good teams do in order to win big ballgames.”

Young carried the Badgers in the first half with 11 of his game-high 22 points, including a three-point basket with 2:59 left in the first quarter to give Beebe a 9-4 lead.

He made another three-pointer with 4:45 left in the half to make it 17-6.

Young also came through with a number of defensive rebounds, and he had nine total along with three steals.

“I felt like we got a little fatigued on some of their guards,” Marshall said.

“We didn’t play a lot of kids tonight, and we spent a lot of energy. At their place, we gave up lay-up after lay-up, so we worked on containing. If they were going to beat us, we just said they would beat us with the three.”

Scott was quiet in the first half and scored only two of his 10 total points. But Beebe’s best leaper and rebounder came through with the game on the line with his winning follow-up.

“It’s a lesson we learned,” Marshall said.

“We talked about never relaxing against a group like that that’s just loaded athletically. Before the half, we gave up a big two points there at the buzzer.

“He didn’t relax on that last shot, he just stayed with it and finished.”

Aldridge and Stone led the way for Blytheville with 12 points each. Post player Greg Mikillion had six rebounds for the Chickasaws.

Beebe junior guard Brandon Fuller scored 12 points and had five rebounds.