Heath Neal's Lady Blackhawks and Trent Lloyd's Blackhawks opened their home schedule on a high note, racing past the Eureka Springs Highlanders 52-37 in the girls' game with the boys earning a 44-31 win.
After the girls' game, Neal expressed his satisfaction with the effort and aggressiveness displayed by his charges, adding "we have a lot of new faces out there with not a lot of experience. They played a good game."
Coach Neal was very pleased with his players' defensive efforts.
"We were tough on defense, making it difficult for Eureka to score. Our offense got rolling in the second half and we kept up the defensive pressure, leading to the win."
Pea Ridge 52, Eureka Springs 37
Sophomore guard Leah Telgemeier started the scoring a minute into the game on a breakaway layup for a 2-0 lead. Eureka then scored to tie, but the Hawks forged back ahead 4-2 with a layup by lone returning starter, senior Lauren Wright. Wright then pulled off a steal in the front court then went the other way to drop in another layup to push the home girls ahead 7-2 with 5:05 left in the first.
Eureka's Alura Lamar sank a 3-pointer to close the gap to 7-5, but senior Bella Cates matched that trey then added another one moments later to give the Hawks their biggest lead at 13-5 with 3:21 left in the first period. Ali Fargo converted a pair of free throws but a 3-pointer seconds before the buzzer by Jadyn Spivey sent Pea Ridge into the second quarter with a 16-7 lead.
Reagan Bleything sank a 3-ball to start the second period and give the hosts a double digit lead at 19-7. Marella Laduna popped in a charity toss for the guests but a Cates' layup pushed the lead to 13 at 21-8. Mikayla Humphrey's steal and subsequent layup threatened to turn the game into a rout as the Hawks led 23-8 with 4:36 left in the half.
After a few turnovers by both sides, Fargo finally got the scoring for the Highlanders, hitting behind the arc with 2 minutes left, shrinking the lead to 23-11. Telgemeier
answered the visitor's trey by ripping one of her own for a 26-11 lead. The visitors sank three free tosses in the last minute to close the gap to 26-14 going into the break.
Telgemeier ripped a 3-ball to start the third quarter, then after the guests hit a free throw, Cates pulled off a steal then got the ball to Telgemeier. Telgemeier responded by dropping in a layup for the Hawks' biggest lead at the time, with Pea Ridge on top by 16, 32-15 with 7 minutes left.
The Hawks then hit a bump in the road by suffering a series of turnovers allowing Eureka the opportunity to score a trey, field goal and two free throws to get the deficit back into single digits at 31-22. Wright scored off a rebound to stop the run, but the guests came up with a free throw and a deep 3-pointer before the buzzer to send the game into the final quarter with the Hawks lead down to just 7 at 33-26.
Wright pulled off a defensive gem by blocking a shot out of bounds to start the fourth quarter. Telgemeier followed that up with a steal and a layup to get the lead back to 9. A minute later Cates nailed another trey to get the lead back to double digits at 38-26.
Eureka scored to cut the deficit to 10 and had a chance to get closer but Amelia Dayberry stuffed a shot attempt, and 30 seconds later, Cates hit her fourth trey to get the Hawks a 41-28 lead. The guests hope to pull the upset evaporated over the next two minutes when they suffered four turnovers. Wright dropped in a layup, as did Dayberry and Telegemeier with Telgemeier's double free throw score blew up the lead to 49-30 with a little over 2 minutes left in the game. Eureka managed to score 4 from the charity stripe but Allie King scored off a layup then added a layup to keep the guests at bay, 52-34. A long shot at the buzzer gave Eureka their final 3 points as Pea Ridge won 52-37.
Telgemeier led the scoring with 16, followed by Cates with 14, Wright 8, King 3, Spivey 3, Bleything 3, Humphrey 2 and Dayberry 2.
The Hawks were scheduled to have a game at home Tuesday hosting Cedarville with the girls' next game with Nixa on Dec. 7.
Pea Ridge 44, Eureka Springs 31
After taking a 2-0 lead to start the game, junior guard Bric Cates ripped a trey for an early lead in the non-conference contest.
After the Highlanders slipped in behind the defense for a back door layup, Austin James retaliated with a shot behind the arc for a 8-2 lead. Will Anderson then drove through the defense to score a layup and put the Hawks up 10-2. The guests put together a layup and two free tosses to tighten the game up before the end of the quarter as Pea Ridge led 10-6 at the buzzer.
The visitors began the second quarter with a trey to shave the lead to just 1, but James answered right back with a trey of his own, restoring the Hawks' 4-point lead at 13-9 with 5 minutes left in the half.
After Cates and Anderson sank solo free throws, the Hawks suffered four consecutive free throws with the Highlanders taking advantage to score a trey and a bucket to knot the score headed into intermission with the teams tied at 15-all.
Josh Turner gave the lead back to the Hawks with a layup to start the third quarter. Cates then pulled off a steal and layup to get the Hawks further ahead 19-15. After Eureka scored in close, Colton Thurman fired in a trey seconds later for a 22-17 lead with 5:40 left in the period.
A Highlander trey cut the advantage to 2, but Turner responded right back with a 3-pointer to restore the lead to 25-20. The guests responded right back with another trey, with a Cates to Joe Adams pass netting a layup and 27-23 lead.
Eureka cut the lead to a single point with another 3-ball but James hit behind the arc again to keep the lead at 4 at 30-26. Hot shooting Eureka then nailed their fourth trey of the quarter to cut the lead at just 1 at 30-29, but Cates managed to score underneath before the end of the quarter to give the Hawks a 32-29 heading into the final period.
Luke Baker started the final period by threading a pass to Josh Walker inside to score the quarter's first points. Cates then scored twice in the paint with a free toss of James ballooning the lead to 10 at 39-29 midway in the final period.
Both teams upped the defensive pressure with neither team scoring until the 2-minute mark when James fired in another trey to give the Hawks breathing room holding a 42-29 lead. The final 2 minutes became a free throw shooting contest with James swishing two to match the visitors' double score as Pea Ridge took a final 44-31 victory.
Cates and James shared high score honors with 12 each with Anderson, Thurman and Turner each having 6, and Walker rounding out the scoring with 2.