Badgers stopped by Billies.
NASHVILLE — The Arkadelphia Badgers put up a tough fight against the top 4A team in the state, but the team was not able to advance to the next round as the Monticello Billies won, 63-62.
The Badgers got off to a strong start, putting up seven unanswered points in the first 2:30 of the game before Monticello came back to cut the Badgers’ lead to three, 16-13.
The second quarter saw the Billies make up lost ground, taking as much as a six-point lead over the Badgers, but Arkadelphia was able to hold on to knot the score at 34 by the halftime buzzer.
The two teams traded the lead several times in the third quarter, but Monticello ended up on top by two, 49-47.
The Badgers battled hard in the final eight minutes, and with 1:14 left in the game, Jakahari Howell went to the line, tying the score at 57.
Monticello was able to score two back-to-back baskets, and with 31.5 seconds to go, Keon Lewis was fouled and made both shots for a two-point deficit, 61-59.
The Badgers were able to recover a missed shot, and Lewis was fouled again. His shot went in, and he made the free throw to give the Badgers a 62-61 lead.
The Billies drove the ball down the court, making the two-point basket to take the lead, and the Badgers were able to return to the other end of the court with little effort.
A shot with eight seconds left on the clock bounced off the rim, and Monticello got the rebound to earn the win.
Lewis led the Badgers with 18 points on the night. Kris Oliver had 16 points and four assists. Jeff Blake put up 14 points with 10 rebounds for a double-double. Bryant Robinson scored six, Jakahari Howell added five and Nathan Carter rounded out the scoring with three.
The Badgers shot for 68 percent from the free throw line. They hit 47 percent of their shots from the field and were 28 percent efficient from beyond the arc.
“Stuff just went wrong at the wrong times,” said head coach Donald Williams. That’s just the way it goes sometimes though. They had that
1-3-1 defense, and we tried to assimilate it, but they were so quick. They had some height on them, too.”
The Badgers ended their season with a record of 19-7, and they were 12-2 in 7-4A action.