All starters reach double digits in the conference win.
The Van Buren Pointers were together on Friday, Feb. 16.
All five starters scored in double-digits in leading the Pointers to a 65-52 win over Springdale at Clair Bates Arena.
The win moved Van Buren (14-11, 5-7) into a tie for sixth place in the 7A-West with Springdale (14-11, 5-7), and earns the Pointers the tie-breaker over the Bulldogs with a final week of the regular season remaining.
Friday night, Jordan West led Van Buren with 20 points, Brayden Gilmore and Zane West each scored 11 points, and K.J. Stewart and Gavin Ball added 10.
“You try to preach toughness and togetherness,” Trembley said. “Our depth is a little shorter now. I told them now we know we truly need each other. Look at that stat line. That’s a great example.”
Van Buren outscored Springdale by a 12-11 count in each of the first two quarters and used a massive 16-2 run in the second half to turn a 32-31 deficit with 3:21 left in the third quarter into a 47-32 lead with 6:21 left in the fourth quarter.
Jordan West started the spurt with a 3-pointer, Zane West added another and Jordan West had two driving buckets.
“He made some big buckets in that stretch,” Trembley said. “That stretch was huge. He had the three and two drives.”
Gavin Ball ended the third quarter with a dazzling driving bucket, and Gilmore canned four free throws on Van Buren’s first two possessions of the fourth quarter.
Springdale, though, answered and whittled Van Buren’s lead down to 51-47 with 4:17 left when Vincent Mason hit two free throws after drawing the fifth foul on Stewart.
“We lost K.J. and had some new guys coming in,” Trembley said. “They were great. I’m so proud of them. Our press offensive all of a sudden has new guys in different spots they haven’t been in, but we got open, got to the foul line and made those free throws. That was probably the key.”
With Stewart on the bench as well as two other prominent players who are out as well, Van Buren got a lift on Ethan Moore’s three-point play with 4:05 left. Gilmore followed with a bucket to push Van Buren back up, 56-47, with 3:42 left.
Over the final three minutes, Jordan West converted two free throws and Zane West tossed in seven free throws in Van Buren’s 22-point quarter.
Jajuan Boyd and Joe Jibke each scored 12 points for Springdale.
SPRINGDALE 37, VAN BUREN 22
The Springdale Lady Bulldogs didn’t flinch on Friday night in the showdown for seeding in the 7A-West.
Springdale took a giant step toward at least the third seed while Van Buren dropped to fourth with the loss.
“In games like this, usually the first one to flinch ends up on the bad side of it,” Van Buren head coach Chris Bryant said. “Tonight, we flinched. That’s a credit to Springdale.”
Springdale never trailed in the game, which was back and forth until late in the third quarter.
“Anytime you have three games left in the 7A-West, it’s going to be big,” Springdale head coach Heather Hunsucker said. “I’m so proud of the effort they put in on the defensive end.”
Springdale led, 8-6, after a quarter, and 18-15 at the half in a closely contested and methodical contest.
“We felt good at halftime going in,” Bryant said. “We had some good looks in the first half and we were battling.”
Springdale led 20-18 with 4:04 left after Ira Sandoval scored for Van Buren, but Marquesha Davis scored inside, Thathianna Sysavanh scored underneath and Davis scored again as Springdale finished the third quarter with a six-point flurry.
After Sandoval scored inside to start the fourth quarter off a dish from Jamilyn Kinney, Jeniya Gause drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to push Springdale up, 29-20.
“With her making that shot it kind of queued them on a run,” Bryant said. “They made some plays in the second half that put them out of reach.”
Springdale turned it into a 35-20 lead with 3:13 left.
The 3-pointer by Gause was the only one of the game for Springdale.
“We’re not known as three-point specialists,” Hunsucker said.
It also matched Van Buren’s number of 3-pointers, which were limited by Springdale’s defense.
“That was the game plan, to push them as far away as we could,” Hunsucker said. “They’re such great shooters. The farther they have to shoot it, hopefully the percentages go down. I thought out girls did a great job of doing that, pushing them out and making those shots contested.”