ROGERS — KJ Stewart’s putback at the buzzer gave the Pointers a huge 42-41 road win and snapped Heritage’s 12-game winning streak Friday night in War Eagle Arena.
Heritage (13-3, 2-1 7A-West) led most of the fourth quarter and took a 41-40 lead when Seth Stanley hit one of two free throws with 19.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Van Buren (10-6, 1-2) then got three shots in the final seconds and the 6-foot-8 Stewart got the final one, laying the ball over the front of the rim and in.
Pointers coach Austin Trembley said his team struggled to hold a lead in other games this season, but the players didn’t get down when Heritage rallied and stuck to the game plan in Friday’s game.
“What every coach preaches is understand your process and just keep sticking to it,” Trembley said. “Bentonville, we played a great game, but we kinda got away from what we are good at and it cost us. Tonight, we stuck our process and I’m proud of our guys.
“In the year when things wouldn’t go well, we would hang our heads and we would show weak faces and weak body language. I just said you’ve gonna do some good things. There’s going to be some runs. I want to see strong faces, strong body language the whole time and I promise you they did it. I hadn’t seen that yet, so that’s exciting.”
Stanley finished with a game-high 22 points and was Heritage’s only player in double figures. Junior Presley Kindrix led the Pointers with 17, while Jordan West put up a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
But the War Eagles made just three of nine free throws in the fourth quarter and Van Buren was allowed to stay close.
Heritage coach Tom Olsen that cost his team in the end.
“This one’s in the book if we just make some free throws,” Olsen said. “Van Buren made a nice play at the end. They got on the boards. They stayed with it and stuck it in the basket. We had our chances to make some free throws late, missed them. It is what it is.We live to fight another day.”
Van Buren controlled the first half and led 26-19 at intermission. The Pointers pushed the lead to 10 in the third quarter. But Heritage scored the final eight points of the quarter punctuated by Stanley’s dunk to end the quarter for a 34-33 War Eagles’ lead.
Van Buren 49, Heritage 29
The Lady Pointers used good 3-point shooting and solid defense to pull away for the easy win.
Van Buren (12-4, 3-0 7A-West) outscored Heritage 14-4 in the third quarter and held the Lady War Eagles to just one field goal to take a commanding 41-19 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Irasema Sandoval led a balanced Van Buren scoring attack with a game-high 14. Jentry Myers and Jamilyn Kinney added 12 each.Myers, a 5-10 junior, hit four 3-pointers, including two in the second quarter in which the Lady Pointers pushed their lead to double figures.
Lady Pointers coach Chris Bryant said Kinney, who had three steals and seven assists, does so much more than score to help his team be successful.
“It’s easy to look up and see that she doesn’t have 24 or 25, but she facilitates and that’s the way she’s operated from day one,” Bryant said.”If you design and scheme to take the ball out of her hands, she’s gonna gladly give it up. That’s what makes her such a fun player to play with and coach.
“When you’re looking for a point guard, the greatest compliment you can get is you make others better and that’s what she does.”
Sophomore Pam Seiler’s 3-pointer as time expired in the third quarter was Heritage’s only field goal in the quarter. Seiler, Brooke Menke and Faith Rohrbough led the Lady War Eagles (5-10, 0-3) with six points each.