AMITY, Ark. – Poor shooting continues to hurt Centerpoint’s status in the 3A South standings after Haskell Harmony Grove swept the Knights in the regular season Thursday night, 43-41.
The Knights slip to 2-4 in league play, while Harmony Grove improves to 10-4 overall, and 5-3 in conference.
“We lose because we can’t shoot the ball,” said a dejected Kevin Owens. “We can’t make it under the basket, and we can’t shoot three-pointers. If we don’t get that straightened out we’re not going to win.
“The guys are playing their butts off, but can’t make a shot. That’s the bottom line. We shoot every day in practice. Maybe we’re saving our good shots for later, I certainly hope so. It’s frustrating, and I know it’s frustrating for the kids. We can play with anybody if we shoot well.”
Second half difference for Haskell Harmony Grove
The Cardinals didn’t shoot the ball much better, but that didn’t make Owens feel any better. The Knights’ coach was optimistic going into the dressing room at intermission. Despite the poor shooting performance, Centerpoint led 19-17 at halftime.
Centerpoint’s early lead could have easily been a lot more in not for the Cardinals’ defensive play in the paint. Blake Ammons (6-6) blocked 10 shots in the game, with his teammates adding four more.
“They blocked it, and we couldn’t get a foul and go to the free throw line,” said Owens. “We’re not very big, but we probably should have gone to the free throw line a little bit more than we did tonight. That’s just the way the refs called it.”
Knights couldn’t make their free throws either
Owens wasn’t making an excuse. The Knights only converted 3 of 11 free throws. That was better than Centerpoint’s outside shooting (3 of 19) on three-point attempts.
Harmony Grove gave the Knights an opportunity to win the game in the final second. Twice the Cardinals missed the front end of one-and-one situations. Centerpoint rebounded the last miss with eight seconds left, and got an open three-pointer off at the buzzer. The shot hit the rim and bounced over the backboard.
Guard Carson Withers led the Cardinals with 15 points, 11 coming in the second half. Donald Miller scored 12, but Ammons’ 10 blocks was the difference.
Kaden Bryant scored 10 of his team-high 11 points in the first half. Gage Galloway swished a pair of treys in the second half for six points.