HOT SPRINGS, Ar. — Hot Springs took its’ game with Sheridan personally Tuesday night because of the Arkansas Sports Network rankings.
“We wanted to send a message to the Arkansas Sports Network and the rest of the state,” Trojan mentor Antoni Lasker said after his team beat the Yellowjackets for the second time this season at Trojan Arena, 52-44. “That media put out a top ten ranking and we weren’t in it. Sheridan was sixth, and we had already beaten them at their place.”
The ASN was probably looking at the two teams’ season records. That fact didn’t go well with the Trojans either. To be fair several individuals were polled, and Hot Springs did get in the others column with a vote, or two.
Trojans unhappy with Arkansas Sports Network
“I could manufacture twenty wins any season with our schedule, but that would be doing my guys a disservice. If we go to state we’re going to see the best-of-the-best. We play the teams we can in non-conference games. We also have a lot of football players on this team. It usually takes a month to get rolling.”
Not only was the Trojans’ victory over Sheridan their second, but it moved them into a tie with Lake Hamilton for second. The Wolves suffered a tough loss Tuesday night at Pine Bluff, 62-55.
Hot Springs led the Yellowjackets at the end of the first quarter and at halftime. Things changed in the third quarter when Sheridan’s Justin Crews and Addison Reynolds got hot outside. Crews led the Yellowjackets with a game-high 18 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the second half. Reynolds was next with 10 points.
Hot Springs goes on 12-0 run at the end
Sheridan found itself leading 44-40 with four minutes remaining in the game. Unfortunately for the Yellowjackets they didn’t score during those final minutes, while the Trojans rallied with a 12-0 run. Tyrell Honey ignited the comeback with all eight of his points in the final quarter. Nasir Hanna led Hot Springs’ offense with 15 points. Derrick Hicks Jr. scored 9, and Octavious Rhodes added 8.
“It an ugly win, but better than a pretty loss,” said Lasker. “We had some mental lapses and breakdowns. Sheridan made some three-pointers and made little runs here and there. We had nine turnovers in the second half, and only had five at halftime. That helped in Sheridan’s comeback.
“I told my guys we’ve got to start shooting with confidence. There was no reason we didn’t shoot with confidence when they went to a sagging two-three. Luckily, Tyrell Honey was able to come in and knock down some big shots in clutch moments.”
The Trojans return to action next Tuesday at home against Lakeside.
“We were able to squeak past Lakeside at their place,” concluded Lasker.