PEARCY, Ar. — Lake Hamilton’s boys and girls smothered Texarkana Arkansas High Tuesday night with outstanding defense at the Wolf Den.
Boys coach Scotty Pennington pulled his starters two minutes into the second half. Lake Hamilton’s second group also outscored the Razorbacks as the host team won easily, 65-31.
The Lady Wolves were expecting their toughest challenge in conference. They built a 30-point cushion with 22 points in the third quarter en route to a 54-30 victory.
Both of the Lake Hamilton teams have enviable reputations for their outstanding shooting beyond the arc. Junior Zac Pennington and sophomore Ty Robinson are considered by most to be the Wolves’ best outside shooters, and they did combine for three treys against the Razorbacks. Seven of Lake Hamilton’s players combined for 11 3-pointers. Sophomore Easton Hurley led the winners with 14 points, including four treys.
Lake Hamilton’s boys improve to 16-3 overall and 5-0 in conference, while Texarkana slips to 4-8.
“This is a much deeper and skilled team than we had recently,” said Pennington. “Defensively, we’re world’s better than what we have been. We feel like we can score, but we’ve got to guard people, and I thought we did that tonight. Texarkana is a very athletic team, and they shot the ball a little better than we expected. I thought our defense was really smothering at times. I was proud of how fast we played in the first quarter.”
Wolves never trail Texarkana teams
Hurley scored the Wolves’ first five points of the game, and it was 7-0 before the Razorbacks finally lit up the scoreboard. It was 19-7 at the first break, and 37-13 at intermission.
“Hurley was coming off a game where he had five treys,” said Pennington. “He is really coming on for us. We honestly have six or seven players who can score in double figures.”
Pennington played all 15 of his players. Sophomore Ty Robinson and senior Cade Robinson were the only other players to score in double digits with 10 points each.
Texarkana’s Mckell Watson got hot in the second half with three treys for nine points, while Chris Watson hit a 3-pointer and scored nine points.
Winfrey scores career-high 31 points
Lake Hamilton’s girls climb to 16-2 on the year and 5-0 in league play.
The individual standout of the night was the Lady Wolves’ Audri Winfrey, who scored a career-high 31 points. She scored 13 in the first quarter and Lake Hamilton led 15-9. Winfrey added 10 more points in the second quarter to make it 28-17 at intermission.
It became a rout in the third quarter when Hayleigh Wyrick finally found her scoring touch. Wyrick has been the Lady Wolves’ leading scorer all season. She was held to three points in the first half, but added nine more in the third period to help get the scoreboard clock running non-stop.
“We lost three really good players to graduation, but had three coming back that we felt would be leaders for us,” said coach Blake Condley. “Winfrey has been working really hard. She’s putting in extra time coming to practice early and staying late. Tonight all that work paid off.”
The Lady Wolves failed to make a 3-pointer for the first time this season. It didn’t seem to concern Condley.
“Shooters are going to have nights like that,” he said. “Ginny Higginbothan has been shooting 45 percent from the three-point line this season. She’s had eight in one game, but tonight none. She’ll come back and be better the next game.”
Texarkana’s leading scorer was 6-1 sophomore Jenna Dupree with 11 points.
Both Lake Hamilton teams are scheduled to play Pine Bluff Thursday night in a makeup game.