Alma splits with Bentonville at home. Alma grabs tournament wins in Morrilton.
Alma’s let its share of potential wins slip by the wayside this season.
Tuesday, they simply refused to lose.
Kailey Fagan scored 16 points and Abbye Ostrander was solid in crunch time as the Airedalettes beat Bentonville, 56-52, at Charles B. Dyer Arena.
“We finally finshed,” Alma coach Codey Mann said. “We’ve talked about getting a signature win for our program. Beating Bentonville, as good as they are year in and year out, definitely lets our girls see what they can be.”
Playing for the fifth time in six days, Alma didn’t seem bothered by tired legs. In fact, they were in Tuesday’s game from the opening tip. Despite trailing 11-9 after one quarter and 23-21 at halftime, the Airedalettes found a second gear - and they stayed there.
“We talked about how our legs were going to be tired,” Mann said. “The easiest thing to do is not play hard. Everybody’s going to expect you not to play hard, because hey, ‘that’s your fifth game in six days.’
“But the girls, they didn’t want that.”
Fagan, who had 30 points in Alma’s win over Siloam Springs on Saturday, had plenty of help Tuesday night. Along with Ostrander’s 14 points, Bailey had 12 and Brooke Yates chipped in with seven.
“Every game but one we’ve been in it in the fourth quarter, and we’ve just found a way maybe not to make a play,” Mann said. “Tonight we didn’t do that. Tonight we battled and fought through it all.”
Ostrander played well during the closing minutes, Mann said.
“Abbye has played well all year,” he said. “Abbye wants the basketball. She wants to the point guard, which is great so now Sierra (Bailey) and Kailey can go to the wing. It’s also great because they (Bailey and Fagan) can bring the ball up the court against pressure.”
BENTONVILLE 53, ALMA 51
MEN’S — Jordan Hempbell hit a game-winning shot Tuesday to help Bentonville rally past Alma, 53-51.
The Airedales (0-1) led 32-22 early in the second half and were still in front, 42-35, at the end of three.
Nathan Corder led the Airedales with 29 points. Hemphill scored eight of his 12 points in the final quarter.
Also Alma, Kade Wood and Dathan Hillian had eight and six points, respectively.
Bentonville’s Michael Shanks led the Tigers with a team-high 16 points.
ALMA 59, SEARCY 44
MEN’S — Kade Wood and Nathan Corder scored 14 points apiece, and Jonny Harms had 13 points as well in Alma’s 59-44 win over Searcy at the Morrilton Tournament.
The Airedales led 8-2 after one quarter and limited the Lions to just three first half field goals while building a 31-11 lead. Wood scored eight third quarter points as Alma extended its lead to 46-30 heading to the fourth. Brayden Johnson and Christian Stahler scored eight and seven points, respectively, for the Airedales.
Alma will face Greenbrier on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the semifinals.
Michael Money led Searcy (2-6) with 12 points.
ALMA 46, BRYANT 42
WOMEN’S — Kailey Fagan’s steal and Abbye Ostrander’s driving layup with 21.3 left to play snapped a 42-all tie and carried Alma to a 46-42 win over Bryant at the Morrilton Tournament.
Alma (3-4) led 14-7 after one quarter, but Bryant rallied to within one at the half (17-16) and led 33-31 after three. Fagan led Alma with 15 points, and Ostrander finished with 14.
Sierra Bailey and Alyssa Hoyle added six and five points, respectively, for Alma.