Siloam Springs Herald Leader
“We tried to mix up some of the junk defenses we were doing and just keep them off balance. Sometimes it was junk on (Ealy) and sometimes it was junk on (Burk), and we tried to switch it every time out or every dead ball we could to not let them get comfortable or draw anything up.”
First-year Russellville coach Will Stewart, who won a state title at Norfork prior to joining the Lady Cyclones, said his team struggled offensively after the hot start.
“He adjusted his defense a little bit and we did not run our offense really ever,” Stewart said. “We never would get in to what we were trying to do. That offense we were trying to run doesn’t matter what you run it against. We just wouldn’t do what we were supposed to do.”
Keehn finished with a career-high 23 points, while Smith had 10, Stephenson eight, Ross six and Wleklinski and Ellis each with two.
Siloam Springs 51, Russellville 42
Siloam Springs 5 16 15 15 — 51 Russellville 16 7 10 9 — 42
Siloam Springs (11-8, 4-1): Keehn 23, Smith 10, Stephenson 8, Ross 6, Wleklinski 2, Ellis 2.
Russellville (16-5, 3-2): Ealy 15, Burk 11, Willis 10, Robinson 6.
Greenwood 60, Siloam Springs 58
The Lady Panthers had the defending 5A champions and current No. 1 ranked team on the ropes, having rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second quarter to lead by seven late in the fourth.
But Siloam Springs was unable to score a point over the last 3 minutes, 7 seconds, and Greenwood staged a rally of its own.
Greenwood’s Anna Trusty grabbed the rebound of her own missed shot and her second shot attempt with no time remaining lifted the Lady Bulldogs to a 60-58 victory inside Panther Activity Center.
Greenwood (17-2, 4-0) remained unbeaten in 5A-West play, while Siloam Springs saw its first loss in league play and six-game winning streak come to an end.
“I knew it was going to be a close game the whole time,” said Greenwood coach Clay Reeves. “I knew at halftime it was going to be close. I told our kids that. They’ve got great players and Coach (Beau) Tillery’s doing a great job. Their players did a great job. I knew it was going to be a battle the whole time. It was a battle both times we played last year, and that’s the only way both of us get better is by playing this kind of game.”
The Lady Bulldogs came into Tuesday’s game having won their previous three conference games by an average of 41.3 points.
It looked like Greenwood might run away from Siloam Springs early when it led 28-14 in the second quarter after a transition basket from Carley Sexton.
The Lady Panthers cut the deficit to 36-26 at halftime and came out on fire to start the third quarter.
Mimo Jacklik hit consecutive 3-pointers to pull Siloam Springs within 37-32. Anna Wleklinski banked home a field goal and Emily Keehn had a basket in transition to make it 39-36 and another trey from Jacklik tied the game at 39.
Trusty gave Greenwood the lead right back 42-39 with a 3-pointer, but Keehn answered with another basket inside on a feed from Jacklik.
Trusty hit a short jump shot to put Greenwood up 44-41 and Brooke Ross answered with a jumper to keep Siloam Springs close.
Sexton scored for a 46-43 lead but Keehn scored inside again and Ross scored before the end of the quarter to give Siloam Springs its first lead 47-46. The Lady Panthers outscored Greenwood 21-10 in the third.
“We’ve been a pretty heavy third quarter team,” Tillery said. “We responded extremely well. We got down 10 in the locker room. With the coaching staff, we’re like, ‘Hey we’re down 10, so we’re just going to take some pressure to them and if we lose we’re already down 10, and if we get back in it then it will be a ballgame and we’ll scrap and claw and we’re going to do some things,’ and we did.”
The Lady Panthers carried that momentum into the fourth quarter.
Ross splashed a pair of 3-pointers, the first at the top of the key and another in the corner as Siloam Springs went up 53-48.
Another 3-pointer from Jacklik gave Siloam Springs a 56-49 lead and, with 3:07 remaining, Ross hit a pair of free throws to put the Lady Panthers on top 58-51.
Siloam Springs’ next five possessions, however, had three turnovers, an offensive foul on Brooke Smith, which fouled her out of the game, and missing the front end of a pair of one-and-ones. Greenwood capitalized as Tulsa signee Mady Cartwright hit four free throws and Kylah Pearcy scored. Pearcy hit a free throw with 1:11 left to tie the game at 58.
Both teams turned the ball over and Siloam Springs got possession with 24.4 seconds left. Greenwood fouled Sophie Stephenson with 22.1 left, but she missed the front end of the one-and-one, leading to the final play and Trusty’s heroics.
Tillery said the Lady Panthers tightened up late and didn’t make enough plays.
“That’s what we talked about in the huddle,” he said. “Again they are who they are. They’re going to be 1-3-1 or press or man, it wasn’t like X and O stuff, it was like, ‘Hey, you didn’t think you were going to beat the No. 1 team in the state without adversity, so can you be clutch and handle the ball and rebound and take care of it and make free throws? And those were areas where we lacked in all three of those.”
Trusty led Greenwood with 25 points, 18 of which came in the first half. Her only field goal in the fourth was the game-winner. Cartwright added 16 points for Greenwood.
“They’re a very good team and (Trusty) had a heck of a game,” Tillery said. “We were aware of her, but my gosh, we were thinking (Cartwright) would be the one. She’s very good. Tulsa signee, so we focused on her a lot and (Trusty) came out and made everything.”
Brooke Ross led Siloam Springs with 23 points, while Mimo Jacklik scored all 12 of her points on four 3-pointers in the second half. Brooke Smith scored all 11 of her points in the first half, Emily Keehn added 10 and Wleklinski 2.