Tigers Win On Buzzer Beater
RHODES KNOCKS DOWN CLUTCH 3-POINT SHOT
PRAIRIE GROVE — Prairie Grove senior guard Riley Rhodes delivered an early Christmas gift making the game-winning 3-point shot with the clock running out in Friday’s 46-43 win over West Fork.
“You always like to hear that come crowd erupt in a situation like that,” Prairie Grove coach Steve Edmiston. “Those buzzer-beaters are always great to watch go in and to be able to get out of here with a win so proud of the effort. It’s a learning process of learning how to put games away and we’re still learning.”
Rhodes was either Santa Claus or the Grinch depending upon which team fans were rooting for. He was mobbed by teammates, who picked him up and smothered him with a bear hug.
“We had a press-break drawn up and Brandon Risner had a great pass, our point-guard, to get up the court and luckily I got a good look at the end of the game, but it wasn’t really drawn up, just a really good pass by Brandon to get me the open look,” Rhodes said.
Prairie Grove built a 41-33 lead with 3:36 left in the fourth quarter on John Mayer’s layup, but West Fork triggered an 10-2 run to tie the game. Wyatt Kutz hit a 3-pointer, then Brenon Burks took a steal in drawing a foul and making both free throws narrowing Prairie Grove’s lead to 41-38.
Nick Pohlman hit a short jumper in the key pushing Prairie Grove back to a 5-point advantage at 43-38. Burks got open for another 3-pointer making it a 2-point game of 43-41 with 1:50 showing.
Both teams turned the ball over, then West Fork got a break when Alex Edmiston was bumped out-of-bounds after catching an in-bounds pass near the sideline. The visitors ran a play for Burks but his shot was off. Justin Bivens controlled the offensive rebound and muscled his way in for the putback to even the score at 43-43 with 8.8 seconds remaining.
Prairie Grove called timeout saving seven seconds to work with. West Fork had only five teams fouls and tried to foul to force Prairie Grove to have to use time in-bounding again, but Prairie Grove got the ball up the court quickly and found Rhodes on the right wing. His trifecta sailed through the nets bringing down the house as Prairie Grove fans roared with delight.
“I wasn’t really sure how they were going to play it late,” Steve Edmiston said. “I thought they (West Fork) were going to extend a little bit more pressure and kind of make us inch it up the floor, but we were fortunate, kind of just caught it and went. We were setting up a screen at the half-court line to try and open something up. We wanted to attack and try to get a shot up. Just proud of their execution. You get kids in the right place at the right time and they’re the ones that make the plays. Riley, our best shooter, he came up and hit a big shot for us.”
Prairie Grove takes a 3-4 record into Friday’s 4A-1 Conference-opener against rival, Farmington.
“Had a solid win Tuesday (43-39 over Lincoln), had a win tonight so we got a week here to kind of get ready and figure out and go for conference next Friday night. Then they really start, every one of them matters,” Edmiston said. “I think we played well at times through our nonconference schedule. I definitely think we still have some things we got to work on, but I’m not displeased and I like where we’re at going into conference play.”
Prairie Grove senor Riley Rhodes, shown shooting a 3-pointer in the first half, knocked down the game-winning 3-point shot with seconds to go lifting the Tigers to a thrilling 46-43 win over West Fork on Friday, Dec. 7.