Will represent 2A-4 as 4-seed.
The Magazine Rattlers punched their ticket to the Class 2A regional tournament they are hosting this week last Wednesday night with a 48-36 win over Mountainburg in the four-five seed game of the District 2A-4 West tournament held at Johnson County Westside High School in Coal Hill.
Held to two third quarter points by Lavaca on Thursday, the Rattlers were sent to the third place game with a 42-26 loss to the Golden Arrows.
Saturday afternoon the Rattlers (15-12) slipped to the four seed with a 43-30 loss to Eureka Springs, the two seed who had been beaten by Hackett. As the four seed from the 2A4 West the Rattlers will face the 2A4 East champion Quitman at 5:30 today at Diamondback Arena.
Rattlers 48 Mountainburg 36
The lead changed hands three times in the opening quarter, the last time on a Matt Smith basket that gave fourth-seeded Magazine a 10-9 edge at the quarter break. Magazine led the rest of the way.
The Dragons, seeded fifth, managed only six second quarter points while Randon Baumgartner was scoring nine to help the Rattlers pull out to a 23-15 lead.
Baumgartner would score 21 points, pull down 10 rebounds and hand out five assists in the game that assured the Rattlers they would play in the regional tournament.
Magazine ran the lead to a dozen at 29-17 at the 5:34 mark of the third quarter on a bucket by Baumgartner and two by Smith, who finished with 13 points and four assists, but the Dragons whittled the lead to seven on three occasions before the period ended.
A 3 by Levi Burrough, his third, and a later one by Winston Shepherd kept the Dragons within seven and a conventional three point play by Austin Wakefiled that had Mountainburg within 38-31 as well.
A Jacob Ortlieb free throw got it to a two possession game with 5:28 to go but Baumgartner pushed it back to 8, as did a basket by Trevor Blake. Free throws by Max Greb had it the lead back to double digits, 44-34 with 49.3 ticks to play.
A pair of Baumgartner free throws and a basket by Smith offset a basket by Austin Taylor and reestablished the Rattlers’ game high advantage of 12.
Lavaca 42 Rattlers 26
The Rattlers never led, but had pulled even at 4 and 8 in the first quarter before a 5-0 Arrow run finished the quarter for a 13-8 Lavaca lead.
Magazine got within 13-12 with 5:01 left in the second quarter on Landen Gilbert’s second basket of the game, and were only down 16-14 with 3:17 left in the half after a basket by Randon Baumgartner.
Baumgartner, Gilbert and Matt Smith would all co-lead the Rattlers with six points each.
A 3 by Lavaca’s Andrew Wright made it 19-14 with 2:58 remaining in the quarter and neither team scored again in the half.
Lavaca stretched it’s lead to 21 before Gilbert finally ended a scoring drought that totalled 9:37, but the damage was done. Lavaca got another 3 from Ryan Dockery, who scored 19 to lead all players, to make it 38-16 through three quarters.
Smith had a couple of buckets in the first minute of the final quarter and a 3 by Max Greb got it to 42-23 but Lavaca was content, at that point, to play keep-away and move on to the finals.
The Arrows did not score after the 5:32 mark of the final quarter and did not attempt a shot after the 2:26 mark. The only attempt after that was a miss by Jacob Hall after a steal.
For the night Lavaca’s Jordan Fenner had 13 rebounds to go with his eight points. The Arrows out-rebounded the Rattlers 28-11.
Eureka Springs 43 Rattlers 30
After four lead changes and a third tie score at 18-18 with 2:42 left in the first half it was mostly down hill for the Rattlers Saturday.
Freshman George Milawski hit his second 3 of the quarter 20 seconds after the game was tied at 18 and Eureka Springs led 21-18 but neither team could find the net the rest of the half.
Randon Baumgartner got the Rattlers back within 21-20 and Magazine put on a press prompting Brian Rambo to use the first time out of the game.
Garrett Cross and Rando Ray scored 30 seconds apart and the lead was a then largest of the game 26-20.
The Highlanders pushed the lead to nine on a 3 by Cross — who scored a game-high 14 points to go with 11 rebounds — six seconds before the quarter ended.
The Eureka lead was 35-24 after a pair of Carter Drennon free throws with 6:05 to play. A 3 by Max Greb made it a 35-27 game and after a Eureka possession without points Buck Chappell took a time out.
After the play stoppage the Rattlers turned the ball over — one of five times in the fourth quarter — and Magazine was scoreless for over five minutes while Eureka eventually pulled out to a 41-27 lead on a three point play by Cross, who had been fouled by freshman Cameron Raggio, who was seeing his first action in senior high.
Jesse Witt ended the drought with a 3 but only 29 seconds remained.
Greb and Baumgartner scored eight points apiece to lead the Rattlers.