The Arab Junior Knights tipped off their season Tuesday night with a 2-2 start, with the usual ups and downs to begin the year.
• 8TH GRADE BOYS
Arab 32, West Point 29
Never able to pull away, West Point came back to claim the lead late only to see the Knights win in what turned out to be a thriller despite numerous mistakes during the game.
With no hesitation, Carter Kelley nailed a 3-pointer from the corner with just under 10 seconds to play to go to give the Knights a two-point lead.
A turnover and resulting foul sent Zac Hallman to the free throw line. He added one point for insurance with 4.5 seconds on the clock to give Arab the win.
Hallman had 10 points and Kelley seven. Luke Martin and Brandon Morris had six points each and Cole Smith added three.
Coach Jason Guger said it was obvious the team has had limited time in practice.
“We haven’t been practicing long enough to go over the game strategies and defensive techniques offensively or defensively,” said Guger. “It was nice to see Carter make a great play with a corner 3 when we needed it. We just kind of took what they gave us and he stepped up to give us the lead.
“We had a poor first quarter with some key players in foul trouble to give them an early lead and had to battle back all night long. It literally took all four quarters to get the win.”
• 7TH GRADE BOYS
West Point 23, Arab 21
“Definitely looked like the first game of the season,” said Guger. “We had way too many turnovers but we played pretty good defense.
“We didn’t hit enough shots, but we still had an opportunity late to tie it up but we didn’t come through. Davis Kinney did have a good game for us with three 3’s.”
Kinney finished with 11 points, Chase Miller had five, Bryson Trusley had three and Grant Cole two.
• 8TH GRADE GIRLS
West Point 13, Arab 8
Shots made were few and far between in the season opener. “We took good shots, we just weren’t making them. I think we shot around 17 percent tonight,” said coach Donnie Weaver. “West Point had played five games though and had two really good guards, so hopefully we learned some things.
“I thought we played well defensively, we’ve just got to start doing the small things and play under control,” he said.
Ella Blackmon, Brooklyn Jennings, Larkin Saint and Tessa Monroe had two points each.
• 7TH GRADE GIRLS
Arab 21, Eva 16
Down 10-5 at the half, the Lady Knights came back strong to get the win.
“Our defensive intensity really picked up in the second half,” said Weaver. “We went to a lot of man to man, created a lot of turnovers and started making some shots.”
Lackey had 13 points and Lambert four for Arab.