Arab’s basketball teams ran into a buzzsaw at Buckhorn on Tuesday night as all four lost. The junior varsity girls did not play.
• VARSITY BOYS
Buckhorn 71, Arab 52
The Knights came out ready to play and were doing all the right things while the Bucs had a hard time finding the goal.
Arab made shots, drove the lane and grabbed rebounds on the way to a 16-7 first-quarter lead. But Buckhorn gradually started clicking, and their senior-laden athleticism, which included at least three dunks, took over.
“We played tough and for a good three quarters we played a solid game,” said coach Justin Jonus. “There were a lot of positives to take away from the game.
“We boxed out, we had five charges, and we did a great job of driving the ball.”
But, even with both teams pressing, Arab shot only six free throws the entire game and those came inside two minutes to play.
“We knew they were going to let us play but not getting to the free throw line hurt us,” Jonus said. “How do we only shoot six throws in a game like that?”
The coach went in with a game plan that was somewhat of a best guess.
“We’ll be better prepared next time. They were tough to compare to other teams. That said, they’re a good, very athletic team,” said Jonus.
James Ed Johnson had 17 points for the Knights, Will Cavender had 10, Darian Lusk nine and Kolby Conley six.
• JV BOYS
Buckhorn 55, Arab 43
The JV’s found themselves in unfamiliar territory to start the game. Buckhorn led 16-2 after a quarter and led 24-2 before the Knights started clawing back.
“I’m not sure what happened, but it’s my job to figure it out,” said coach Brad Kitchens. “I’ve got to have us better prepared to start the game.
“You dig that big of a hole and it’s very hard to get out.”
The good news is, Arab didn’t give up and came back to cut the lead to seven at one point in the final quarter.
“We showed a lot of character, a lot of fight, and I have to give them a lot of credit for that. We never quit,” Kitchens said.
Case Couch injured his thumb during the game and didn’t play the second half.
“We missed having Case in the lineup. It was just one of those nights,” said Kitchens.
Owen Thomas had 14 points for Arab, Aeron Mitchell had seven and Jonathan England and Ethan Thomas had six each.
• 9TH GRADE BOYS
Buckhorn 52, Arab 45
The ninth grade team played well and had a chance to win, but there was one problem.
“We didn’t end either half well,” said coach Jonathan Embry. “We had three straight turnovers at the end of the first half and three more at the end of the game.”
Arab led at the half 25-23 despite the Bucks’ 6-0 run at that point. The Bucks picked up easy layups to close out the game as well.
“We played four solid quarters. We’re playing together and we’re playing hard, we’ve just got to finish,” said Embry.
Austin Dyson led Arab with 12 points, Dylan Bennefield and Ryan King had eight points each and David Crabtree had seven.
• VARSITY GIRLS
Buckhorn 52, Arab 22
There were other factors, but the bottom line still came down to scoring.
“We’re not hitting shots,” said coach Jessica Thompson. “They were pressing but would go back into a 2-3 zone and we made only one three.”
Reagan Malone led the Knights with nine points.
“The effort is there; that’s not a problem,” Thompson said.
It’s no secret the Knights are playing a lot of young players that will need some time on the varsity court.