Hot Springs seniors enjoy big night with impressive win over Sheridan Yellowjackets

Sheridan's Owen Myers is double-teamed by two Hot Springs defenders during Tuesday night's 5A South game in Hot Springs. The Trojans won their first conference game of the season.


HOT SPRINGS – Senior Jadyn Walker was the unsung hero Tuesday night as Hot Springs celebrated Senior Night with its first 5A South win of the season over the Sheridan Yellowjackets, 57-45.

The Trojans (7-9, 1-4) victory came at home, and proved what Coach Antoni Lasker has been saying despite the team’s slow start in conference.

Trojans’ Nasir Hannah scores two points after stealing ball from Sheridan player.

“We’re definitely not a bottom of the barrel conference team,” said Lasker. “I’m constantly telling my guys we’re going to dig ourselves out of this hole we put ourselves in. We’re going to fight, and we’re going to compete.

“Walker didn’t score in the first half, and he told his teammates at halftime he didn’t care how many he scored, he just wanted to win. He’s a four-year starter, 1,000 point scorer, 300 assist guy, and maybe a 200 rebound guy. Jadyn has had an amazing career here, and his leadership was evident in the second half tonight.”

Hot Springs’ Dante Grayer scores after making a steal.

Yellowjackets succumb to full-court pressure

Hot Springs never let up with its pressure against the Yellowjackets. The Trojans’ lead was 21-20 at intermission, but that lead grew to 11 at one point in the third quarter thanks to Walker and senior Adrian Conway.

It was 40-34 going into the final eight minutes. Sheridan cut its deficit to four points behind the outside shooting of Peyton Hill and Keaton Stone. The Trojans’ full-court pressure finally paid off in the final four minutes when three Yellowjacket turnovers resulted in layups for Hot Springs.

Bino Stephens buried three 3-pointers in the first half and scored 11 of his 13 points to get the Trojans off to a good start. Conway finished with 11 points, with Nasir Hannah contributing 10, while Walker scored all nine of his points in the second half.

Defense a tradition for Trojans

“We’ve always been a program that hangs our hat on the defensive end of the court,” said Lasker. “It took us a little longer to get there this year because of the COVID, but that’s really not an excuse.

“We talk about starting, and we talk about finishing. Sometimes we’ll start good, and not finish well. Sometimes we’ll start bad, and finish a lot better. We were able to put four quarters together tonight. It’s something we can build on. We definitely want to send our seniors off on a high note by making it to state.”

Hill and Stone led the Yellowjackets with 14 points each, while Caleb Patrick contributed 10.

In another game Tuesday, Texarkana Arkansas High beat Lake Hamilton, 62-53.