This story originally ran in the Press Argus-Courier on Jan. 9, 2019.

Senior Courtney Storey scored a dozen points to pace Rogers to a 41-32 victory in the 6A-West opener for both teams Friday.

Lexi Miller had nine for the Pointers (7-7, 0-1).

New Year, New Start

The Van Buren Lady Pointers welcome the new year and second semester with a return home to Clair Bates Arena.

“It’s good to be back at home to get in the flow of the second semester,” Van Buren head coach Chris Bryant said. “We’re excited to play at home and looking forward to playing a good club on Tuesday night.”

Students returned to school from the Christmas break on Tuesday at Van Buren.

The Lady Pointers played 13 nonconference games in November and December, traveling from Little Rock, to northwest Arkansas, to northeast Arkansas to Oklahoma with only home games against Mount Saint Mary, Jacksonville and Harrison.

Tuesday, they hosted Bentonville in 6A-West play in just their fourth home game of the season.

Van Buren opened conference play at Rogers on Friday night, losing, 41-32.

The Lady Pointers mustered little offense, scoring just eight points in the first half and trailing, 20-8.

“We had a slow start,” Bryant said. “We’re trying to find, offensively, the right pieces in place doing what those respective pieces are effective at. Rogers did a really good job defending us. They were really good and ready. We dug ourselves a big hole.”

Van Buren had a key spell to end the first quarter where the Lady Pointers had a layup blocked after a back-door pass, which Rogers rebounded and quickly hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a five-point swing and a 14-4 lead.

“We had a sideline out-of-bounds play, executed it very well and had an opportunity at the basket,” Bryant said. “They made a good aggressive play.”

Bentonville’s Lady Tigers opened conference play with a 70-39 win against Rogers Heritage on Friday with 6-4 sophomore Maryam Dauda, who played up last year and started as a freshman, and point guard Avery Hughes combining for 38 points.

“They’re very good,” Bryant said. “They have an impact player in the sophomore and one of the better guards in the league.”

The Pointers also lost on the road, 45-40, at Rogers to open conference play.

Rogers led, 41-33, with 1:55 left before Logan Brothers hit a 3-pointer for the Pointers.

Brothers hit another 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to keep Van Buren within, 43-40, but that was as close the Pointers could get.

“Everybody’s learning,” Van Buren head coach Austin Trembley said. “When you’re young and inexperienced you have to make your own breaks and play a lot harder than the other team. You’ll make some mistakes, that’s obvious, but let’s don’t make them on effort.”

Bentonville opened conference play with a 61-47 win against Springdale Har-Ber.