A Roundup of Junior High and Middle School Basketball from Jan. 18.

The Pointers overcame a slow start and stormed past Trinity as both teams wrapped up the first half of their River Valley Conference season on Jan. 18 in Fort Smith.

Van Buren trailed Trinity 16-12 in the first half but held the Buffaloes scores for most of the third quarter to pull away for the 37-26 win.

The Pointers improved to 12-2 overall and 7-0 in conference play.

Avery Salisbury hit three treys and finished with 15 points and four rebounds. Baylor Shook flirted with a double-double with 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Walker Catsavis led Trinity (3-9, 1-6) with 13 points and Dalton Smith had a team-high seven rebounds. Van Buren outrebounded Trinity 27-19.

After struggling to get shots to fall in the first half, the Pointers kept the Buffaloes scoreless for the first 4:55 of the third quarter to reverse a 16-12 deficit and take a 28-19 lead to start the fourth. Salisbury, who was scoreless in the first half, scored seven of his points and Shook added six to help the Pointers take the lead.

The Pointers struggled in the first half missing 14 shots but grabbed six offensive rebounds.

Shook got Van Buren off on the right foot with a traditional three-point play in the first quarter after he grabbed the offensive rebound. Trinity finished the first quarter with a 7-0 run.

Trevor Day gave Van Buren a big boost to start the second quarter with a trey to keep within Trinity, but the Pointers were limited to just three field goals and shot 1 of 4 from the free-throw line.

Matthew Haddock gave Trinity its largest lead of the night, 16-9, with 1:07 remaining in the contest, but Van Buren’s Keyton Mitchell, who came off the bench to score seven points hit a trey right before the buzzer to cut Trinity’s lead, 16-12.

Van Buren hosts Darby and travels to Kimmons next week to begin the second half of the conference season.

Back in December, the Pointers defeated Darby 40-14 and upended perennial powerhouse Kimmons 27-23.

Van Buren 42, Trinity 25

The Lady Pointers (10-3, 6-1) utilized a couple of runs to gain some distance and closed out the first half of the River Valley Conference season with a 6-1 record to retain sole possession of second place.

Bailee Woodard led the game with 16 points and had five rebounds. Skylyr Coleman added 13 points and seven rebounds while Elizabeth Rainwater tossed in six points and five boards.

Van Buren outrebounded Trinity 20-14 and had 13 defensive rebounds.

Trinity (4-6, 2-5) was led by Lauren Redding’s 10 points and nine from Lydia Reith. Abby Hunter paced the Lady Buffs with five rebounds.

Both teams battled in the first quarter as Trinity stayed within striking distance as Van Buren led 10-7. The Lady Pointers jumped to a 7-0 run to get a double-digit lead after a Bailee Woodard free throw with 1:12 remaining in the first half. Trinity got back on board and finished the half trailing, 19-10.

The Lady Buffs began the second half pushing Van Buren with a 5-0 run and were within two possessions, 19-15, with 4:01 left in the quarter.

Woodard ended the Lady Pointers’ scoring drought with a trey at the 3:25 mark. Maddi Gilsinger added a free throw on Trinity’s next possession, but it was the Lady Buffs turn to go scoreless in the quarter. Van Buren went up 27-16 to finish the third quarter and Trinity never threatened again.

Van Buren hosts Darby on Monday (Jan. 22) and will travel to Kimmons on Thursday (Jan. 25). The Lady Pointers won both contests back in early December by a combined score of 67-23.

Alma 44, Greenwood 31

The Airedales took another big step in the conference race by moving ahead of Greenwood and into the sole third-place seat in the River Valley Conference.

Alma finished the first half of the league season 5-2 with losses to Van Buren (7-0) and Kimmons (6-1).

“This was a big road win and it keeps us in the hunt,” said coach Eddie Corder. “Got a solid game from Austin Cluck, good inside presence with Seth Cole. Jacob Coursey also had a good game. He hit a big 3 to help us regain momentum in the second half. As the smallest player on the floor, he led us in rebounds and steals. He just did a great job of going and getting the ball. Overall, it was a great team effort. We need to carry this momentum into next week when we start the second round.”

The Airedales will host Chaffin and Ramsey next week. Alma defeated Chaffin 43-24 and battled the Rams to a 48-44 win in overtime.

Cluck led with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Cole added nine points, while Nathan Whalen and Drew Battles tossed in eight and seven points respectively. Coursey finished with five rebounds and four steals.

The Airedalettes dropped a 44-25 decision to the Lady Bulldogs. Alma is 4-2 in league play behind Greenwood (7-0) and Van Buren (6-1). Alma edged out Chaffin 38-34 and Ramsey 27-23 back in December.


Brandon Scott scored 16 points and Brayden Black added 11 as Butterfield Trail rolled past Trinity 36-22 on Thursday night in Fort Smith.

BTMS led 9-4 after the first quarter and commanded a 17-8 lead to start the second half.

Bri Ball scored 13 points in the BTMS Lady Pointers’ 22-19 win at Trinity. The Lady Buffs led 6-4 after the first quarter, but BTMS came back to lead by one, 10-9, at halftime. Trinity had a one-point lead, 15-14, at the start of the fourth quarter.

Butterfield Trail picked up a couple of wins against Darby in the seventh-grade contests. Lauren Phillips scored 10 points as Butterfield Trail won 22-15. Breanna Cranor added eight points.

Ball tossed in 13 points and Kenzie Jones had 12 and Butterfield Trail won 33-7.

Northridge defeated Hackett in two games on Jan. 16. Northridge won the first game 16-11 and the second game 23-12.

The NMS eighth grade dropped a pair of games on Jan 17 to Alma. Alma won the first game 24-9 and the second game Alma 30-13.