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PREP BASKETBALL: Fayetteville bounces back with win over Fort Smith Southside

by Walter Woodie | January 12, 2022 at 8:00 a.m.

FORT SMITH -- Fayetteville girls basketball coach Vic Rimmer said after last week's loss to Rogers, he could not wait to get to practice on Sunday.

His Lady Bulldogs also could not wait for Tuesday as they dominated Fort Smith Southside in a 61-39 6A-West victory at Southside Arena.

"I'm glad to get this win tonight. Any conference road win is special," Rimmer said. "I was jittery before the game. I told the kids I could not wait to get back on the floor (and play a game). In fact, I could not wait for practice on Sunday so we can fix some stuff we did not do well. I thought our energy was great tonight."

Wynter Beck and Jayla Johnson combined for 37 points to lead Fayetteville. Beck's game-high 24 points paced the Lady Bulldogs (7-9, 2-1 6A-West) while Johnson added 13

"I thought we did a great job of transition defense and we blocked out and kept (Southside) off the board," Rimmer said. "We did a great job of finishing after creating the turnover, but we also did a great job of when we didn't have a shot of running our offense and getting a good shot.

Because of illness, the Lady Mavericks (6-9, 1-2) were down to just eight players and the Lady Bulldogs took advantage. Pressure defense in the backcourt and trapping in the frontcourt led to 22 Southside turnovers, many converted into easy baskets.

"Fayetteville's depth and athleticism just took it out of us in the fourth quarter," Southside coach Robert Brunk. "Having just eight players was a challenge for us."

Fayetteville jumped to an 11-2 lead after a quarter, then Beck 8 points in a 10-0 run to start the second quarter and suddenly it was 21-2 with 6:10 left in the second quarter.

The Mavericks, though, never let the Lady Bulldogs pull away and further, climbing to within 30-13 at halftime.

Late in the third quarter, it appeared that Fayetteville was about the apply a knockout blow, using a 9-0 run to increase the lead to 43-21 with 2:23 left in the quarter. Beck scored the last four points converting steals into layups.

Southside, though, refused to surrender, going on an 11-0 run of its own. Sophia Neihouse scored four, Peyton Yaffe added a 3-pointer and Jaida Ndungu scored at the buzzer to get the Lady Mavericks to within 43-32 going into the fourth quarter.

"I was really proud of that third quarter," Brunk said. "We talked all year about how we need to have third quarters. We had a big third quarter last week (in last Friday's win over Springdale). But we can't keep getting behind like this."

The Lady Bulldogs, though, opened the fourth quarter with a 12-3 run, including six from Beck, to build a 55-35 lead with 4:45 left.

"Robert's kids played so hard and did not quit," Rimmer said. "They could have quit in the second half and instead, they made it a game going into the fourth quarter."

For the Lady Mavericks, Bruck said he still believes his team is building some momentum from the first conference win in four years last week at Springdale. Brunk said he was also pleased with the play of Neihouse, who paced the Lady Mavericks with 11 points.

"I thought she had a great second half for us," Brunk added. "That is two games in a row she has had a good game for us."

Fayetteville hosts Bentonville on Friday while Southside travels to Rogers Heritage.


Print Headline: Fayetteville girls bounce back

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