Siloam Springs Herald Leader
Panthers bounce back at Van Buren
VAN BUREN — When the offense isn’t clicking for Siloam Springs senior forward Dalton Newman, his coach always reminds him to get to the rim.
Recalling that advice worked out well Monday night at Clair Bates Arena.
Newman, who stands 6-foot-4, scored Siloam Springs’ lone fourthquarter basket on a layup with 42 seconds left to retake the lead and hold on for a 36-34 victory against Van Buren. The bucket helped secure a bounce-back win for the Panthers, who two days ago lost a close contest at Mountain Home.
“I knew we needed that basket at the end,” Newman said. “We were all struggling to shoot. I just told myself I needed to get to the rim. Every time I start messing up, coach always tells me to get to the rim. We had a bad taste in our mouth from our last game and really wanted this one.”
The Panthers made just one of seven shots in the final quarter, but it was an important one with Newman scoring the go-ahead basket late in the game.
“He is the strongest kid on the team and is a great player,” Siloam Springs coach Tim Stewart said. “We got some good looks at the rim and missed them. He finally hit that one. We look for him to make big plays late. I’m super proud of him hitting that shot.”
Siloam Springs held just a 33-26 lead entering the final quarter after Van Buren’s Trenton Cooley scored at the third-quarter buzzer. The Pointers used that momentum for a 8-0 run and a 34-33 lead with 3:37 left in the contest. Drew Brasuell drilled a 3-pointer to cap the scoring stretch.
Siloam Springs used its defense down the stretch to not allow another point after that while scoring the final three points of the game. Newman scored his for a 35-34 lead, and Nate Vachon hit a free throw for a 36-34 edge with four seconds left.
Van Buren had an open look from behind the arc to win the game, but it went off the side of the rim as time expired.
Siloam Springs (14-8, 6-2 5AWest) had a very balanced offense. Vachon led the way with nine points while Newman and Jaxson Spence each added eight. Nathan Hawbaker also chipped in seven
Van Buren (13-11, 4-4) was led by Cooley off the bench, as he finished with a gamehigh 10 points.
Siloam Springs jumped out to a 10-2 edge early, but Van Buren used a 7-0 run to make it just a 10-9 Siloam Springs advantage after a quarter of play.
The Panthers used a 7-0 run to take a 17-11 lead in the second quarter and held a 22-14 edge entering halftime. Van Buren was outscored 12-5 in the second frame.
MOUNTAIN HOME 51, SILOAM SPRINGS 49
MOUNTAIN HOME — The Mountain Home Bombers played impressive defense and avenged an early-season loss by holding on for a 51-49 victory over the Siloam Springs Panthers in 5A-West play Saturday at The Hangar.
The game, originally scheduled for Friday, was pushed to Saturday and Mountain Home’s coaching staff came up with a strong defensive game plan.
“We were ready for yesterday,” Mountain Home head coach Josh Fulcher said, “but if you give us a little more time to kick things around and work on things, having that extra day let us decide to start out with a different look defensively. We used it to our advantage.”
Siloam Springs’ Dalton Newman and Nate Vachon had combined for 44 points in the Panthers’ 64-51 win over the Bombers on Jan. 6. The duo was held to half of that total Saturday, scoring 22.
“Siloam Springs is always well-coached and physical,” Fulcher said. “With Vachon and Newman, that one-two punch is nasty. Those two just lit us up for 44 points last time.”
Mountain Home’s Braiden Dewey scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the second half.
“When he’s committed to getting around the rim, he’s tough to stop,” Fulcher said of Dewey. “He has some perimeter skill, but when he’s getting rebounds, we’re tough to beat.”
Siloam Springs led 10-5 after one quarter, but Mountain Home got going offensively, tying it 10-10 on a 3-pointer by Coben Inskeep.
Dewey scored consecutive buckets for a 16-12 lead and the Bombers took a 22-17 lead into the halftime break.
“(Mountain Home assistant) coach (Brad) Morris had some great ideas and change-ups,” Fulcher said. “We looked at a couple different things we could have done. The game plan was good and our kids executed and were gritty down the stretch.”
Dewey scored to end the third quarter with a 35-26 lead, and the 6-6 junior filled the hoop again to push it to double digits to open the fourth.
The Panthers rallied, and the Bombers missed five big free throws in the final 1:46. But the hosts made enough from the line to hold on.
“Mountain Home was the more physical team, beating us badly on the boards and on hustle plays,” said Siloam Springs coach Tim Stewart. “You add that to a subpar field goal percentage and a tough defensive outing by Mountain Home and we cam e up a little bit short.”
Siloam Springs’ Nathan Hawbaker made a 3 to bring the Panthers within 45-43 with :56 remaining. Dewey connected on both ends of a one-and-one, but the Panthers made two free throws with :35.5 left.
Mountain Home’s Ky Bickford sank both ends of a one-and-one for a 49-45 lead, but the hosts missed two foul shots with :15.8 left.
Siloam Springs’ Jaxson Spence banked in a 3-pointer with 5.5 seconds remaining to make it 49-48, and Mountain Home’s McGee Harris made two foul shots with 4.1 left.
The Bombers fouled Levi Fox with 1.4 left to intentionally send him to the foul line before attempting a 3-pointer. Fox made the first free throw, but when he missed the second intentionally, the rebound fell into the hands of Robert Dover to seal the victory.
“We’ve been game-prepping for Greenbrier, then we had to play Alma instead,” Fulcher said of last week’s home game. “Then we went back to working on Greenbrier and had to switch to Siloam. For our kids to flip the switch and focus on the task at hand, that shows a lot of growth.”