AMITY, Ark. – Two weeks ago Prescott’s boys gave Ashdown (22-1) a big scare on their home court.
There was no repeat Saturday night at Centerpoint High School with the Panthers roaring out to an early 14-1 lead on its way to a 52-36 win for the 3A-7 District championship.
“We played well early, the defense was well early,” said Ashdown coach James Smith. “Then we kind of got lazy defensively, and had to go to a zone. We’re not a zone team. We should have eased out to a 20-point lead instead of ten.
“Prescott did not play as well when we beat them by one point at their place. That was because we played a lot better defense. We shot 21 percent from the floor at Prescott, but better tonight. We showed a lot of energy early. However, we’ve got to control the game a little bit better.”
Ashdown led 23-14 at halftime. Less than a minute into the third quarter a technical foul was called on the Panthers. Seconds later the Curley Wolves only trailed by five points.
Hunter stalled Prescott’s comeback
The Panthers answered on back-to-back conventional three-point plays by Kaiden Hunter and Lamar Wilkerson. Hunter came up with a steal, and another three-point play to put Ashdown on top, 32-18.
Prescott conceded in the final minute, allowing Hunter to dribble the final 39 seconds off the clock.
Six-foot postman James Smith outplayed his taller opposition to lead Ashdown with 14 points. Hunter was the only other Panther in double digits with 12 points.
Trey Rucker led the Wolves with 9 points.
Ashdown’s next test will be Rison in the regional tournament at Prescott next week. Prescott will be the second seed, with Centeroint the third, and Smackover the fourth.