Arkansas High impressive despite heart-breaking setbacks to Hot Springs

Arkansas High
Arkansas High drops heart-breaker to Hot Springs at Razorback Gym, 67-66.


Hot Springs improved to 7-0 in 6A South play Tuesday at Razorback Gym when Santiaris Thomas scored at the final buzzer to give the Trojans a 67-66 win over Arkansas High.

Thomas scored 14 of his game-high 26 points in the first half when Hot Springs built a 43-33 cushion at intermission. That lead disappeared in the final two quarters with the Razorbacks’ 6-5 Ajon Gray dominating play inside, while DaJordan Mask ruled outside. The Hogs actually led 62-55 late in the game.

Arkansas High
Arkansas High coach Sam Weaver gets tough with his players during a timeout Tuesday at Razorback Gym.

Arknasas High (8-5, 3-4) was led by Mask’s 19 points. Fabion Phillips scored 16, while Gray contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds, all in the second half.

“We had to play a different style because we got in early foul trouble,” Arkansas High coach Sam Weaver said. “We don’t normally sit back in a zone, that’s not what we do. Gray really stepped up big for us in the final half and I’m proud of him. We missed a free throw there at the end that hurt. We stress every day how important free throw shooting is. It will win the close games.

“After trailing by 12, and coming back to lead by seven, shows what kind of potential we have. Potential is a dangerous thing. If it’s developed, it’s a great thing. If it doesn’t develop, you end up in situations like tonight. We have the potential to do some really great things. We’ve got to be a little bit more disciplined than we are.”

Arkansas High girls fall despite making eight treys

The Lady Backs (6-10, 2-5) fell into a hole early that they couldn’t quite climb out of against Hot Springs (15-3, 7-0). The Lady Trojans built a 13-point advantage in the first quarter, leading 46-24 at halftime. Arkansas High started the final half smoking hot with four treys, three from Tierra Holliman. The Lady Backs outscored Hot Springs in the final half with Blair Bledsoe pouring in 16 points, including four 3-pointers.

Arkansas High
Blair Bledsoe led Arkansas High with 16 points Tuesday against Hot Springs.

Ariana Guinn led the Lady Trojans with 28 points. She scored 11 in the first quarter, finishing with four 3-pointers.

“I was so excited about our shooting in the game,” Arkansas High coach Venture Watson said. “The girls were on fire in the third quarter. It was probably one of our best shooting performances of the year. I hope the girls gained some confidence in tonight’s game. Hot Springs’ press hurt us. We just had too many turnovers.”

Mount Pleasant’s boys remained unbeaten (4-0) in District 16-5A Tuesday with a 70-65 win over Texas High. The Tigers slip to 1-2 in district. C.J. Kelley scored 22 points for THS, while Elias Thurman came off the bench to add 19.

In other girls’ action, Texas High dealt Mount Pleasant its first league setback, 77-42. Kerrighan Dunn led the winners with 20 points, while Antonia Porter scored 19 and Amiyah Rone added 10.

Pleasant Grove and Liberty-Eylau remain unbeaten in District 7-4A. The Lady Hawks routed Atlanta, 73-48. Sha’Nequa Henry poured in 33 points and Madeline Haak added 20. Taylor Crabtree tallied 17 in leading Liberty-Eylau past North Lamar, 45-33.

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