Jamilyn Kinney scored 14 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter and hit six treys, but her biggest one was with 17.8 seconds remaining in the game to give Van Buren the lead and eventually the 42-39 win Saturday night at Van Buren Freshman Academy in the finals of the Junior High holiday tournament.
Alma suffered a pair of late turnovers in the final seconds to prevent its chances to either tie the game or retake the lead.
Madi Tobler gave Alma a 39-35 lead with 1:15 remaining in the game. Taylar Sutton hit a bucket to pull Van Buren within two, 39-37, at the 39.6 mark. After another exchange, Kinney drained her trey and the Lady Pointers gave the squad the lead, 40-39, for the first time since the first quarter.
Alma suffered a turnover with 14.9 seconds remaining and eventually Kinney was sent to the line, but missed the front end of her one-and-one. Bailee Griffiths grabbed the rebound for the Lady Pointers and eventually got the possession back to Kinney, who was fouled again.
This time Kinney made both free throws with 5.4 seconds remaining in the game and Van Buren’s lead increased to the final margin.
Alma turned over its final possession as it tried to inbound the pass.
Alma hit four three-pointers in the first 6:32 of the game to build a 14-8 lead. A pair of free throws from Sutton and the Airedalettes had its biggest lead of the night, 16-8 with 5:21 left in first half.
Van Buren didn’t tie up the game until a three-pointer by Kinney at 3:18 mark of the third quarter to make it 24-24. Alma closed out the quarter with a 6-0 run to retake the lead.
Kinney hit back-to-back treys to start the fourth quarter to tie up the game 32-all with 3:56 left in the game. Alma regained the lead on its next possession with a basket by Kaitlyn Jackson.
Jackson led Alma with 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Abbye Ostrander added 10 and Bailey Jones chipped in nine.
Van Buren had the slight edge on the boards, 22-17. Sydney Grizzle came off the bench for the Lady Pointers and pulled down a team-high five rebounds.
Madi Tobler had six rebounds and four steals for Alma.
Van Buren 54, Alma 46 (Boys’)
Alma’s Noah Dotson scored 25 points and Isaac Posey scored 15 points, but the Airedales trailed early in the game and battled the duration of the boys’ championship game of the Van Buren Junior High tournament that concluded on Saturday night.
Van Buren opened the game with a 9-0 run to lead 11-5 after Posey hit a trey at the first-quarter buzzer.
The Pointers had its largest lead of the night, 17-6, after Logan Thomas hit a shot with 3:40 remaining in the game. Alma stormed back to cut the lead to five, 17-12, at the 1:09 mark. Van Buren led 19-12 at the break.
Both teams exchanged scores until a late run in the third quarter. Dotson scored all nine points in a span of 41 seconds to cut the lead by one, 36-35, early in the fourth quarter. Dotson began with a three pointer with 23.9 seconds remaining. He then added a traditional three-point play with 2.5 seconds and started the fourth quarter with another.
Van Buren responded with a 9-0 run of its own to rebuild its lead.
Both Jonny Harms and Beau Beckner scored nine points each in the fourth quarter to keep the Pointers in the lead and finished with 19 and 21 points respectively.
Van Buren Tournament
Game 1: Russellville West 28, Siloam Springs 24 (G)
Game 2: Siloam Springs 29, Russellville West 24 (B)
Game 3: Rogers 24, Russellville East 22 (G)
Game 4: Rogers 43, Russellville East 24 (B)
Game 5: Alma 53, Bentonville Black 18 (G)
Game 6: Alma 39, Bentonville Black 27 (B)
Game 7: Van Buren 42, Rogers Heritage 16 (G)
Game 8: Van Buren 43, Rogers Heritage 33 (B)
Game 9: Siloam Springs 43, Rogers Heritage 34 (G)
Game 10: Rogers Heritage 30, Russellville West 28 OT (B)
Game 11: Russellville East 25, Bentonville Black 13 (G)
Game 12: Russellville East 32, Bentonville Black 30 (B)
Game 13: Alma 34, Rogers 32(G)
Game 14: Alma 39, Rogers 26 (B)
Game 15: Van Buren 30, Russellville West 20 (G)
Game 16: Van Buren 44, Siloam Springs 34 (B)
Game 19: Siloam Springs 33, Rogers 32 (B)
Game 20: Russellville West 32, Rogers 28 OT (G)
Girls’ Championship: Van Buren 42, Alma 39
Boys’ Championship: Van Buren 54, Alma 46