Chenault’s ca­reer­high not enough

The Saline Courier - - NEWS - By Con­nor Good­son Spe­cial to The Saline Courier

BAUX­ITE – Fol­low­ing the heart­break of Tues­day night’s loss at the buzzer to Arkadelphi­a, the ques­tion was whether or not the Baux­ite Min­ers could put the loss be­hind them with a quick turn­around. De­spite a valiant ef­fort, the Min­ers would fall to con­fer­ence foe Nashville 65-56 at Fred Daw­son Gym in Baux­ite.

The Min­ers couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter start to the game as all of their 18 first-quar­ter points came from be­yond the arc. Se­nior Max Chenault and sopho­more Carter Har­ri­son would knock down four and two, re­spec­tively.

Af­ter trail­ing by seven af­ter one quar­ter, the Nashville of­fense would set­tle down and be­gin to find a groove, as their de­fense stalled Baux­ite. Se­niors Cade Mcbride and Devonte Wither­spoon would score all but two points for Nashville, giv­ing them a one-point half­time lead at 25-24.

Af­ter scor­ing 18 points in the first quar­ter, the Min­ers would only put up 14 points through the sec­ond and third quar­ters. Nashville’s hound­ing de­fense would lead to easy tran­si­tion of­fense, with Wither­spoon be­ing a cat­a­lyst on both ends. He would score 15 of Nashville’s 24 third-quar­ter points.

“We came out on fire, hit­ting on all cylin­ders and shot the ball re­ally well,” said Baux­ite Head Coach Bran­don Kelly. “I think

we got a lit­tle com­pla­cent with the lead and let it slip away.”

Trail­ing by 17 points

en­ter­ing the fi­nal quar­ter, Baux­ite started to fi­nally get some things to go right of­fen­sively. Max Chenault would ex­plode for 16 of his ca­reer-high 36 points in the fourth. Se­nior Caleb Hei­del­berg would check in and draw three charges in

the quar­ter. His last would lead to a bas­ket from ju­nior Braden Brown, cut­ting the Nashville lead down to sin­gle dig­its with less than a minute left.

How­ever, Nashville would make free throws and get the stops they needed

to se­cure a nine-point road win, im­prov­ing to 5-2 over­all and 2-1 in con­fer­ence. Mean­while, the loss drops the Baux­ite Min­ers to 5-6 over­all and 0-2 in con­fer­ence play.

Chenault’s ca­reer-high 36 points, his fifth 30-point

game of his ca­reer, would lead the Min­ers, with Har­ri­son adding 12 points. The Scrap­pers were led by Wither­spoon’s 23 points and Cade Mcbride’s 18 points.

“We take it day by day, two losses doesn’t dic­tate our sea­son,” said Coach

Kelly. “Hope­fully these guys can take this into Christ­mas break and learn from it.”

Baux­ite will next face Pea Ridge (6-3) on Thurs­day, Dec. 26, in North Lit­tle

Rock as part of the CAC Christ­mas Clas­sic.

GREG Davis/spe­cial to The Saline Courier

Ben­ton se­nior Max Chenault, 3, takes a shot in a game ear­lier this sea­son. Chenault scored a ca­reer-high 36 points in a 65-56 loss to Nashville in 7-4A Con­fer­ence play Thurs­day at Fred Daw­son Gym in Baux­ite.

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