Seniors knock off former Hogs in annual charity game
BENTON — It didn't take long for Bauxite senior Tristan Rogers to find her groove. Before Friday's annual charity basketball game, Rogers said "it had been a while" since she had shot the ball or played.
It didn't seem to matter though as she scored three points off the bench in the first quarter and would finish the game with about 14 points, including four three-pointers.
Rogers, an all-conference player for the Lady Miners, said afterward, "You never lose it."
The Saline County Seniors defeated the former Razorbacks 64-60 in the second annual Razorbacks for Reading charity basketball game, in which all proceeds go toward the Saline County Imagination Library.
"I tell you what, that young lady from Bauxite played great and shot great," Benton head coach Chris Nail said. "The kids had good time and they shot the ball great the whole game.
"It was a lot of fun tonight."
By halftime, the seniors had a 36-23 lead thanks to a couple of late free throws by Bryant's Abbi Stearns and a basket by Harmony Grove's Michael Cotten.
Rogers' bucket at the start of the second quarter gave the seniors a two-point lead and Benton's Eddie Poland followed with a shot of his own. Cotten scored two more times but missed a three-point play opportunity.
Benton's Katelyn Simmons hit a three-pointer as well.
Bryant's Houston Garner also led the seniors with about 15 points.
"I went to go pick up my uniform from my coach today, and I kind of joked around with the guys in the locker room, 'I'm coming out of retirement boys,'" Garner said. "It was fun to get to come out here, it felt real relaxed and stuff.
"It was cool to get to play against former Razorbacks."
Garner said this was the first competitive game he's played in since the season ended, but it didn't really bother him that much.
Benton's Luke Vance, who earned all-state for the Panthers this season, also chipped in with a couple of points during the game. At one point, Vance and former Razorbacks point guard Sam Munsey had a collision under the goal during a play in which Munsey was trying to lay it in during the second half.
Vance said, "I couldn't let him have a free one," as he made his back to the other end.
Glen Rose senior Coulter Perry added a couple of points in the fourth quarter as the Saline County Seniors were able to withstand a late comeback attempt by the Razorbacks.
Nail said as the game was coming to a close, neither side could help but make it competitive.
"It was a lot of fun tonight," Nail said.
Singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" for Friday's charity game was Bryant alum James Kidd, who will be taking his talents to a school in Los Angeles later this year. During halftime, current Razorbacks guard Rotnei Clark shared a part of his testimonial and how he tries to use his success on the court to glorify God.
Nail said future seniors should play in the game if the opportunity is presented to them.
"Oh yeah, it is a great event and a good cause, too," Nail said. "We had a lot of fun tonight."
Rogers and Garner agreed.
"It was a load of fun, and I enjoyed it a lot," Garner said. "I recommend it to everybody."