PEA RIDGE -- Trent Loyd will look back at the Battle of the Ridge championship and see it as one that just got away from his Pea Ridge boys basketball team.
The Blackhawks misfired on late chances to tie the game or take the lead, and that allowed Drew Central to escape with a 60-56 victory Saturday night.
Drew Central 60, Pea Ridge 56
Drew Central (9-1): Bell 16, Williams 10, Eubanks 9, Chavis 7, Daniels 7, Lucas 5, Trantham 5, Shead 1.
Pea Ridge (4-2): Holtgrewe 17, Rose 15, Mahoney 10, Coble 7, Allison 4, Rhine 3.
At A Glance
Battle of the Ridge
Seventh place: Pulaski Robinson 44, Neosho, Mo. 41
Fifth place: NWA Hornets 58, Providence Academy 39
Third place: Bearden 93, Guy-Perkins 88
Championship: Drew Central 60, Pea Ridge 56
"We didn't make some plays down the stretch that we felt we should make," Loyd said. "We missed some free throws and missed some easy ones here, but this is going to be a beneficial game for us down the stretch.
"It's a long season. We're just getting going, and I'm proud of the effort we had this weekend. We found out what we can be as a team, and we're going to work on the bad and build on the good."
Pea Ridge trailed 55-53 after Trenton Eubanks hit one of two free throws with 2 minutes, 48 seconds remaining. Mikey Mahoney was fouled moments later and hit one of two free throws to make it a one-point game, then he missed the front end of a one-and-one that could have given the Blackhawks the lead at the 2:22 mark.
Gary Lucas' layup pushed Drew Central's lead back to 57-54 with 1:34 remaining, then Pea Ridge missed again on a pair of 3-point shots that could have tied the game. Mahoney did score inside with 39 seconds remaining to pull Pea Ridge within one again, but free throws by Monteil Daniles and Lucas eventually sealed the game.
"You learn a lot from your team when you get these situations -- 1 or 2 minutes left, and it's blow for blow in a tie game or one-point game," Loyd said. "I was proud of the way we competed; we just didn't hit the shots and finish around the basket like we needed to."
Pea Ridge (4-2) trailed 47-37 late in the third quarter before Kobe Rose hit a 3-pointer -- the Blackhawks' first from beyond the arc after hitting five in the first 10 minutes -- and Mahoney added a free throw to make it a 47-41 game heading into the fourth quarter. Pea Ridge then followed Zy Chavis' bucket with 10 unanswered points and took a 51-49 lead on Hayden Holtgrewe's layup with 5:34 remaining.
That cushion only lasted 36 seconds as Eubanks scored to tie the game, then Wooda Bell followed with a 3-pointer with 3:49 remaining to eventually give the Pirates the lead for good.
"Our kids flew around defensively, and we got some shots and went up by two," Loyd said. "But they came right back."
Holtgrewe led Pea Ridge with 17 points, followed by Rose with 15 -- all on five 3-pointers -- and Mahoney with 10. Bell finished with 16 to lead Drew Central, while Jalen Williams had 10.
Sports on 12/10/2017
Print Headline: Blackhawks fall short in Battle of the Ridge final