GENOA, Ark. – Pleasant Grove (3-6) started play in the Genoa Central Basketball Classic with two technical fouls for dunking in the pre-game warmup session.
Gurdon took advantage for an early 4-0 lead, but wasn’t so happy after the Hawks’ ensuing nine dunks that sparked Pleasant Grove past the Go-Devils, 78-30.
Five of those dunks were performed by T’Vondrick Henry, who scored 10 of his 16 points on those five slammers in the first half. Landon and Layton Jackson combined for 13 points and three rim blasters, while 6-5 Marcus Burris contributed six points, one on a dunk.
Head coach Dwight McCowan played everyone in uniform, with 12 scoring. The Hawks added eight players (Sergio Rodriguez, Landon Jackson, KJ Hicks, Antonio Watkins, Marcus Burris, Dylan Hopkins, Torey Phillips and Zac Hughes) to their roster for this game with football ending with a state championship. Pleasant Grove had only six players for its first eight games.
The only Hawk to score in double digits besides Henry was Phillips, who poured in all 11 of his points in the first half. Brett Carmony had three treys in the first two quarters for all nine of his points.
“This group played together this summer, and they played well,” said McCowan. “Henry has gotten a lot bigger and stronger. He’s our best ball-handler. The addition of the football players is huge. We were scoring more than 60 points a game with just six players. We’ve got three kids (Carmony, Kason Wright, Tre Stuart) who can really shoot the ball. There job is a lot easier now with the ‘bigs’ on the roster. Now we’ve also got the energy to play defense.”
Hawks face Foreman at Genoa Central
Pleasant Grove plays Foreman at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, in the semifinals. The Gators advanced with a 77-66 win over Fouke. Saturday’s other semi-final features host Genoa Central against Horatio at 8:30 p.m. The Dragons raced past Bloomburg, 82-23, while Horatio rallied from an 11-point deficit to beat Redwater in overtime, 67-59.
Eight Genoa players converted 3-pointers in its victory. Drew Mason scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half. Hunter Cigainero added 16 points, while Jacob Brown contributed 13 points. Rylan Parker tallied 12 points for the Wildcats.
Isaac Carver scored 12 of his team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Gators past Fouke. Quincy Robinson scored 16, and Robbie Smith added 14. Garrison Coker led the Panthers with 17 points, while Kanon Garrett scored 16. Fouke had six players combined for 11 treys.
Horatio’s comeback against Redwater was sparked by Luke Bright. He scored 18 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and overtime period. Dalton Robertson led the Dragons with 22 points.
Lady Outlaws survive Maumelle rally
Arguably, the most exciting game on Friday was Dierks’ 66-61 victory over the Maumelle girls. The Lady Outlaws led by 19 points early in the fourth quarter, but three minutes later they trailed. Kennedi Borkins ignited a 15-0 run with three treys.
After a second timeout by Dierks, the Outlaws regained their composure, winning the game in the final seconds on free throws by Emily Gordon, Halle Mounts and Emma Strasner. Taylor Pounds exploded for 38 points to lead Dierks to its second win of the year.
Genoa Central gym cold site for girls
Both Fouke and Arkansas High’s girls had trouble hitting shots, particularly at the free throw line. The Panthers only led 29-26 at intermission, with Taylor Hardin scoring 15 of her game-high 25 points. Mallory Oliver finished with 16 points. Jamiya Montgomery led the Lady Backs with 15 points, with Staijah Taylor adding 14.
Makayla Mayfield scored 31 of Gurdon’s 49 points in the Go-Devils’ win. Mariya Walker poured in 13 points for the Lady Gators. Kenzie Coway contributed 10 points, with three treys.
Horatio’s girls broke open a close game in the second quarter to build a 26-8 lead at halftime. Tristan Short led the Lions with 14 points. Teresa Chavez scored 12, and Laiken Emerson added 10. Jordan McDonald had 12 points for Genoa Central.
Dierks’ girls play Horatio Saturday at 7 p.m. The Lady Lions outlasted Genoa Central, 53-38. Gurdon and Fouke clash in the other semifinal at 4 p.m. Gurdon beat Foreman, 49-38, while the Lady Panthers beat Arkansas High, 56-42.