Tigers Win On Buzzer Beater

RHODES KNOCKS DOWN CLUTCH 3-POINT SHOT

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS - By Mark Humphrey

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.”

MARK HUMPHREY EN­TER­PRISE-LEADER

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.

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