Alma unleashed 10 3-pointers in the first half against Greenland and had 13 for the game in the First Community Bank of Crawford County Airedale Classic girls championship on Monday, but it may have been a little extra hustle under the boards that made the difference in a 65-61 victory.
With Alma up, 61-60, in the final minute, the Airedalettes went to the free throw line and got their own miss not once but twice. Greenland’s leading scorer Kianna Thompson picked up her fourth and fifth fouls as a result of defending Alma follows.
"One of the biggest problems we had in last year’s team was rebounding," Alma coach Madelyn Flenor said. "We have stressed that a lot and worked on it. We are not a real big team, but we have some scrappers. That’s how we have to play to win."
Robin Stewart led Alma (8-3) with 23 points and Hailey Ostrander added 18. The Airedalettes started the season 1-3 but have reeled off seven consecutive wins, including Monday’s against a two-time defending 3A state champ in Greenland.
"It was a fun win," Flenor said. "We like having Greenland at our tournament because they play so tough and are always going to make you battle. We were shooting the ball so well early in the game and we built that 10 point lead, but Greenland was right there to fight back and we had to hit that great shot at the end of the half to go up by four."
Laina Wright hit a 35-footer at the halftime buzzer that put Alma up 37-33 at the break after Alma hit 10 3s in the first half.
Thompson led Greenland (9-6) with 17 points, Kelsey Vaughn had 15 and Anna Rogers 14 for the Pirates.
"Alma shot the ball well, but I think we had seven 3-pointers," Greenland coach Alan Barton said. "I don’t think that got us beat, we just didn’t get it done at the end on the boards, and we missed a couple of free throws and turned the ball over."
Greenland is wrapping up a nonconference schedule that included playing in the Airedale Classic and the Deepsnap Tournament of Champions in Fort Smith.
"We basically played seven tonight and we need to play nine in the spring," Barton said. "That’s what we are doing here is finding out who those other players are. We are 9-6 and I’ll take that considering every team we have played so far is 4A, 5A or bigger. Alma invites Greenland to this tournament because people hate the coach and they know the team will play hard."
Alma 64, Farmington 47 (Men’s)
Alma forced 20 turnovers and rolled past Farmington for the boys title.
Austin Lee hit four 3-pointers and finished with 27 points for Alma (8-3).
"We hit them with our full-court pressure and I don’t think they had seen a lot of that," Alma coach Stan Flenor said. "That got it going for us and Austin hit a couple of big 3-pointers."
Matt Thomas and Mackenzie Spears each had 12 points to lead Farmington (5-6). The Cardinals started the season 1-5 but had won four straight, including knocking off defending 4A state champ Pottsville in the semifinals.
"We graduated nine players from the team that won the conference last year," Farmington coach Beau Thompson said. "We are starting a freshman and four juniors now. We made too many turnovers against a good team like Alma, but that is part of the growing pains. We had a good tournament and are going to keep improving."
Alma will play at Farmington on Friday in a final non-conference tuneup for both teams.
"They have a lot of talent and a lot of potential for such a young team," Flenor said. "I am sure they will be more than ready for us Friday night when we have to go back up there to their place."
Alma slowly built its lead. After starting with a 11-10 advantage after one quarter, the Airedales led 25-19 at the half and 43-33 heading to the final quarter.
High School Basketball
First Community Bank of Crawford County Airedale Classic
Game 1: Farmington 58, Lavaca 22, girls
Game 2: Farmington 69, Lavaca 41, boys.
Game 3: West Fork 55, Gravette 30, girls.
Game 4: Gravette 60, West Fork 40, boys.
Game 5: Greenland 57, Pottsville 43, girls.
Game 6: Potttsville 63, Greenland 27, boys.
Game 7: Alma 52, Sacred Heart 31, girls.
Game 8:Alma 87, Sacred Heart 39, boys.
Game 9: Pottsville 45, Lavaca 25, girls
Game 10: Lavaca 57, Greenland 44, boys
Game 11: Sacred Heart 60, Gravette 57, girls
Game 12: West Fork 54, Sacred Heart 47, boys
Game 13: Greenland 55, Farmington 52, girls
Game 14: Farmington 64, Pottsville 63, boys
Game 15: Alma 44, West Fork 31, girls
Game 16: Alma 81, Gravette 75, boys
Game 17: Gravette 56, Lavaca 43, girls.
Game 18: Greenland 59, Sacred Heart 51, boys.
Game 19: Pottsville 59, Sacred Heart 37, girls.
Game 20: West Fork 58, Lavaca 48, boys.
Game 21: Farmington 55, West Fork 36, girls.
Game 22: Gravette 78, Pottsville 65, boys.
Girls Championship: Alma 65, Greenland 61
Boys Championship: Alma 64, Farmington 47.