LINCOLN -- It looked as though the Gravette Lions were on their way to win a conference championship when they faced off against the Lincoln Wolves at Lincoln High School during the opening round of the 1-4A Northwest Conference tournament Feb. 13.
But the bottom quickly fell out of the Lions' game plan and they ended the tournament in fourth place, losing to the Pea Ridge Blackhawks, by eight.
The Lions came into the tournament with 18-6-1 overall and 12-4 conference records, which resulted in Gravette taking the number two seed in the tournament behind number one seed, Pea Ridge.
In the Gravette-Lincoln contest, the Lions led by as much as 10 points before the halftime break. But halfway through the third quarter, the Wolves began a run. And, with less than a minute left in the quarter, the Lincoln Wolves took the lead for the first time. The lead changed hands several times in the final quarter before a spark triggered a Gravette run that would give the Lions the victory.
With just under three minutes left in the contest, Dayten Wishon stole the ball from a Lincoln player deep inside Wolves' territory and headed for a slam dunk on the return. As Wishon went up for the shot, Tanner Barnum got a hand on Wishon's hip, causing him to miss the shot and nearly crash into the padded goalpost. The referees immediately called a flagrant foul on Barnum.
A flagrant foul is violent player contact the official believes not to be a legitimate attempt to directly play the ball. It is generally called when a player is in the air during a jump shot or dunk and an opposing player makes contact that could cause serious injury to the shooter. It is like a technical foul in that it gives the team two unopposed shots and possession of the ball.
This was the turning point the Lions needed to get a drive going that resulted in their first victory of the tournament, 57-48.
Gravette's next opponent in the semifinal round was the Berryville Bobcats. The Bobcats built a 17-point lead by halftime. The Lions tried to get a rally going but were unable to recover and were eliminated from the championship round by the Berryville Bobcats, 70-55.
This sent Gravette to the consolation round to play for third place against the Pea Ridge Blackhawks. The Lions started strong in the first quarter, opening a five-point lead going into the beginning of the second, but the Blackhawks fought back and defeated the Gravette Lions for the third time this season, 53-45.
The Gravette Lions will travel to Berryville High School Feb. 21 to face the Pottsville Apaches in the first round of the 4A North regional boys' basketball tournament. Game time will be 5:30 p.m.
Gravette 14 15 9 18 -- 57
Lincoln 7 16 16 9 --48
Gravette: Dayten Wishon-30 (5-3s), Chris Childress-15, Kelton Trembly-7 (1-3), Bailey Soule-2, Brayden Trembly-2.
Lincoln: Brance Sugg-12 (2-3s), Caleb Hale-10, Troy Sugg-10 (2-3s), Sterling Morphis-9 (3-3s).
Three-pointers: Gravette 6, Lincoln 7
Gravette 8 13 17 17 -- 55
Beryville 19 19 11 23 -- 70
Gravette: Kelton Trembly-21, Dayten Wishon-18, Chris Childress-7.
Berryville: Zack Webb-25 (2-3s), Jarrett Ray-23 (4-3s), Ty Allen-13 (2-3s), Scotland Lucas-6, Aaron Cisco-2.
Three-pointers: Berryville 8, Gravette 2
Gravette 17 8 8 10 -- 45
Pea Ridge 12 16 16 15 -- 53
Gravette: Dayten Wishon-23 (2-3s), Chance Austin-6 (2-3s), Kelton Trembly-6, Chris Childress-4, Bailey Soulé-2, Brayden Trembly-2.
Pea Ridge: Landon Allison-12 (3-3s), Mikey Mahoney-12, Nick Coble-10 (2-3s), Kobe Rose-8 (2-3s), Hayden Holtgrewe-6, Will Feemster-3 (1-3), Carson Rhine-2.
Three-pointers: Gravette 4, Pea Ridge 8.
Sports on 02/21/2018
Print Headline: Lions falter in consolation round, finish fourth in tournament