BENTONVILLE -- The hotter Asa Hutchinson IV became with his shooting Tuesday night, the farther Bentonville High's boys pulled away from Alma.
The senior highlighted a 23-7 run when he scored 12 of his game-high 28 points in the third quarter and led the Tigers to a 61-43 nonconference victory over the Airedales in Tiger Arena.
Bentonville High 61, Alma 43
Alma (1-2): Shelton 12, Wood 12, Stahler 6, Gar. Jensen 6, Mann 5, Gab. Jenson 2.
Bentonville (4-1): Hutchinson 28, J. Smith 9, Deffebaugh 6, Shanks 6, Baggett 4, Simmons 3, T. Smith 3, Phillips 2.
Bentonville High 55, Alma 35
Alma (1-4): Bailey 10, Cravens 5, McGhee 5, Hoffsommer 4, Yates 3, Henson 3, Cooper 2, Holloway 2, Mata 1.
Bentonville (7-0): Hughes 17, Dauda 13, Sanders 7, Hawkins 6, Irlenborn 4, Smith 3, Wagner 3, Hernandez 2.
"I think Asa is a handful," Bentonville coach Dick Rippee said. "Here's the thing -- you put a perimeter guy on him and he'll go post. You put a post on him, and he'll go and hit a 3. That's difficult to defend, then our guys did a real good job of finding him.
"There were some things where he just played. It wasn't a set where we were trying to get it to him down low. We had some penetration where he cut from his guy when his guy turned his head. That's a sign of a guy that's really studying basketball and learning how to play."
Bentonville (4-1) had a 25-20 halftime lead, and Alma had cut it to a 27-23 margin after Tanner Shelton's free throw with 6 minutes, 44 seconds left in the third quarter. The Tigers, however, blew the game open of the final 4 minutes of the third quarter, outscoring the Airedales 16-2 during that time.
Hutchinson, whose dunk at the 5:49 mark helped Bentonville match its biggest lead at that point, scored seven straight points to push the Tigers' lead to a 39-25 margin. He then capped the third quarter with a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it a 48-27 Bentonville lead, and Alma didn't get any closer than 14 points over the final 8 minutes.
"This is our third game of the season, and we're about two weeks behind everybody," Alma coach Stan Flenor said. "This game was definitely going to be a challenge for us, but I thought our game plan was pretty solid. We were going to stay in front of them and, offensively, I thought we executed real well early.
"We started the third quarter with a score-score, but fatigue jumped on us a little bit. Of course, they started making shots, and that was the difference to the game -- that, along with a little fatigue -- but give them credit for hitting a lot of shots."
Hutchinson was the only player in double figures for Bentonville, which travels Saturday to Springfield (Mo.) Glendale for a game against Jackson (Miss.) Provine. Kade Wood and Shelton each had 12 points to lead Alma (1-2), which returns to action next week against Vilonia.
Bentonville High 55, Alma 35
Avery Hughes had 10 of her game-high 17 points in the first quarter as Bentonville bolted to a 20-2 lead and went on to post a win over Alma.
Maryam Dauda, the Lady Tigers' 6-foot-4 freshman, added 13 points as Bentonville (7-0) -- which played without injured senior guard Courtney Cochran -- led by as much as 41-11 after a Hughes 3-pointer with 2:39 left in the third quarter.
Sierra Bailey had 10 to lead Alma (1-4).
Sports on 12/06/2017
Print Headline: Hutchinson, Tigers too much for Airedales