Friday, February 01, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Beebe boys dominant in blowing out Forrest City

Leader sports editor

Forrest City entered Badger Arena without star 6-foot-9 junior Trey Thompson, but still no one would have imagined the Badgers would dominate the first-place Forrest City Mustangs the way they did. Beebe controlled every phase of the game, especially in the second half, in cruising to a 60-35 win over what was the league’s only remaining unbeaten team.

“We were just totally out of sync and weren’t getting anything accomplished in the second half,” Forrest City coach Dwight Lofton said. “We went a long stretch there in the third quarter where we didn’t make a basket at all, and you’re not going to accomplish anything like that. Beebe was very intense and played excellent defense, and we just did nothing to answer it.”

Forrest City’s best run was right after the opening tip off. The Mustangs ran out to a 6-0 lead, but Beebe answered with a 14-3 run before Forrest City scored at the buzzer to make it 14-11 heading into the second frame.

The two teams traded baskets for most of the second quarter and the Badgers took a 27-21 lead into intermission. After that is when things began to go wrong for the visiting team.

Forrest City made the first basket of the third quarter at the 7:34 mark. Its next basket was a wild one from well beyond the three-point line by Trey Hutchison that banked in at the buzzer. There were just three made free throws in between. Beebe didn’t run away with it, but was solid enough to push out to a 42-29 lead by the start of the fourth quarter.

Beebe senior Austin Burroughs led the Badgers most of the game, but junior Tanner Chapman took over in the fourth quarter. Chapman scored the first points of the final frame with 6:21 left. Almost all of the next four minutes of play took place at the Badgers’ end of the floor as Forrest City’s frustration began to manifest.

Forrest City turned it over at half court. Chapman was then fouled by Terion Smith, who also drew a technical for angrily protesting the call. Chapman hit three of four free throws for a 47-29 lead. Beebe then held onto possession until the 4:37 mark when Hutchison clotheslined Chapman at midcourt, drawing a flagrant foul.

This time Chapman hit them both, then got open on the inbounds pass for a layup and another foul. With 4:33 left in the game, Beebe led 52-29 and the ball had scarcely been on Forrest City’s end of the court.

The Mustangs finally scored when Hutchison made a pair of free throws. Their first basket of the fourth quarter, and only their third of the second half, came on a Dwain Whitfield layup with 2:59 left in the game that made it 57-33.

“I thought our defensive intensity was great and our offense executed really well late when we got the lead,” Beebe coach Ryan Marshall said. “We shot free throws really well. Chapman stepped up big at the line tonight.”

Chapman finished with 21 points. He scored 15 in the fourth quarter with 11 of those coming on 13 free-throw attempts. Burroughs finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

“He’s the guy teams and coaches around this league talk about trying to stop when they talk about Beebe,” Marshall said of Burroughs. “He’s making a name for himself as one of the best players in the conference.”

Hutchison and Gervove Barton led Forrest City with seven points each.