Beavers fall in nail-biter

LITTLE ROCK – The Glen Rose Beavers came into the first round of the 5-3A District Tournament at Episcopal (Little Rock) with nothing to lose and everything to gain as they tried to play spoiler and keep their season alive. But, there would be no fireworks on the Glen Rose side as Fountain Lake narrowly got past the Beavers 44-42.

The Beavers started the game clicking on all cylinders and jumping out to a 2-0 lead on a jumper from Ben Witherspoon on the opening minutes of the first quarter. But that would not last long as the Cobras tied the game with a jumper of their own from Kendrick Smith. Smith gave the Cobras their first lead of the game moments later on a made free throw.

The Cobras pulled out to a 5-2 lead on a Jordan Stone jumper before Glen Rose got back on the board with back-to-back free throws from Jeremy Doll to pull the score to 5-4. After another Smith bucket, the Beavers tied the game at 6-6 on an Aaron Fulbright jumper.

Moments later, Fulbright gave the Beavers back the lead at 7-6 on a made free throw. Both teams continued to tie the game and take back the lead for most of the first quarter. Doll drained a deep three in the final seconds of the first to give Glen Rose the 10-9 first-quarter advantage.
Glen Rose still would not stop fighting in the second quarter as they continued to shoot the ball well.

Leading 14-9, Glen Rose began to be lazy on defense as Fountain Lake stormed back to take a 16-14 lead in the second. As Glen Rose continued to falter on defense, the Cobras continued to add to their lead as they found themselves heading into halftime with a 25-19 lead.

The Beavers came out of the half with a chip on their shoulder as they started the second half with a 7-0 run to go up by one at 26-25 before allowing the Cobras to take back the lead at 28-26 on an Andrew Freeman 3-pointer.

Both teams continued to battle hard as Fountain Lake led 38-31 at the end of three.

The Beavers pulled the score to within two at 44-42 in the fourth but then hit a cold streak on offense where they missed four shots and two free throws after Cobey Wingfield hit a jumper to pull the score to within two to end the game and their season.

Doll led the Beavers in scoring with 18 points but did not have a good shooting night from 3-point land, hitting 4 of 12. Wingfield added 10 for Glen Rose.

Smith led the Cobras with 19.

“It is a pretty common situation to where we were hoping that Fountain Lake was kind of overlooking us a little bit which tends to happen,” head Beavers Coach Chris Jones said. “I told the guys that if we could come out and open up and get in the passing lanes and play aggressive and make their guards turn a little, and keep the score close early and late, then we might have a chance.”

Jones could not say enough about his seniors’ last game.

“I take my hat off to my seniors,” Jones said. “They played really, really tough for us tonight and I hate to lose them.”

Glen Rose will head into the offseason beginning today. As for the Lady Beavers, they will take on Mayflower today at 4 p.m. at Episcopal with a 3A Regional Tournament bid on the line. Mayflower beat Episcopal on Tuesday in a blowout victory.