NASHVILLE - It is still a little bit surreal, but the Arkadelphia Badgers are finished with their 2016-17 basketball season just like that.
On Tuesday night in Nashville at the 7-4A district tournament, the Badgers fell victim to the home Scrappers 55-42. Arkadelphia finished its season 16-12 overall.
“We knew coming in it would be tough with them having the home court advantage,” Arkadelphia head basketball coach Donnie Williams said. “I’ve watched them a little bit and thought that this was their best game they had played. Even their coach said they shot the ball extremely well. I didn’t expect them to shoot it that well, but I thought overall it was a good ball game.”
Nashville took a 5-0 lead before Javonte Brown made a 3-pointer for the Badgers. Preston Crowder scored a minute later to tie the game and Javeon Nelson put back an offensive rebound for a basket to put Arkadelphia in front by two points. Nelson added another basket inside before Nashville scored twice to tie the game at 9-9 buy the end of the first quarter.
The Scrappers stole the ball from the Badgers on the opening possession of the second quarter and put in a layup for the lead. Crowder put in two free throw stop tie the game and put Arkadelphia back in front with a driving bank shot, 13-11. Nashville hit three consecutive 3-pointers to open 20-13 lead before Brown could answer for Arkadelphia with a 3-pointer. The Scrappers put in a field goal and Shemar Dickens made a 3-pointer for the Badgers to cut the lead down to three points, 22-19. Nashville scored the next four points before Dickens completed a three point play for the Badgers. The Scrappers got the final shot of the half to fall with 1.3 seconds to go for a 28-22 lead.
Crowder put in two free throws for Arkadelphia’s first points of the third quarter and Nelson put in a basket to make it 31-26. From that point on, Nashville went on a 13-2 run to break open the game to lead 44-28.
Dillon Scott made a 3-pointer for the Badgers, but Nashville made the next five points to lead 49-31 by the end of the third quarter.
Brown made a 3-pointer, Crowder completed a three point play, Nelson scored inside and Brown made another 3-pointer to close out the fourth quarter for the Badgers.
“Our kids played hard and competed until the end,” Williams said. “It was one of those things somebody was going to have to win and we lost, but it was good, hard-fought game against a pretty good Nashville ball club. The season is over and we wish it could have gone on, but it is what it is.”
Crowder led Arkadelphia with 13 points and six rebounds. Brown had four 3-pointers for 12 points, Nelson finished with eight points and eight rebounds, Dickens had six points and five rebounds, while Scott had a 3-pointer and eight rebounds.