Lake Hamilton boys overcome early deficit to win conference opener over Sheridan

Lake Hamilton's Cade Robinson (12) banks in two points Friday night against Sheridan at the Wolf Den.


PEARCY, Ark. – Two similar basketball teams clashed Friday night when Sheridan invaded Lake Hamilton’s Wolf Den for both teams conference opener.

It was a see-saw affair for more than a quarter before Lake Hamilton’s defense turned the game with five stops. The Wolves scored eight points during that stretch, and never trailed again on their way to a 68-54 victory over the Yellowjackets.

“We knew coming in that Sheridan and us sort of mirror each other,” said winning coach Scotty Pennington. “We’re both small, and we both shoot the three really well.

“The film that we scouted showed Sheridan making twelve or thirteen three-pointers each game. That’s similar to what we’ve been doing. I felt like we had more of an inside presence than they did with Gavin Robbins and Chase Jessup. The best thing we did was getting the ball to Gavin when he got rolling in the third quarter.”

Guard Zac Pennington (24) passes the ball to Gavin Robbins, who buried a trey from the baseline.

Robbins sparks Wolves past Sheridan

The 6-1 Robbins led all scorers with 20 points, and he also contributed 9 rebounds. His trey in the final second of the first quarter cut a Sheridan lead to 17-13.

The Wolves (8-4) built a 32-27 advantage before halftime, pulling away in the third quarter by outscoring the Yellowjackets, 20-13. Robbins scored nine of those 20 points.

“We were having trouble guarding Sheridan early,” said Pennington. “They rather shoot a three, than a pull-up ten-footer or contested layup. We adjusted at the end of the first quarter, and did a great job defensively.

“We’ve said it more than once that this is one of our best offensive teams. There are so many threats on the court than can score. The seven kids we played tonight have all had at least one game where they scored twenty or more points. There’s an eighth one who will be back Tuesday from an injury who scored twenty-four in a game last year. Our kids are unselfish, they just want to win.”

Gavin Robbins finds his path blocked by Sheridan’s Ethan Odom (23).

Four score in double digits for winners

Lake Hamilton had a balanced attack with four players in double figures. Elijah Smith came off the bench to score 13 points. Zac Pennington had 11, while Cade Robinson contributed 10. Pennington also had 6 assists, but the stats that impressed the Wolves’ coach the most were team statistics.

“Eight turnovers and eighteen assists, that’s phenomenal,” said Coach Pennington. “We shot fifty percent on three-pointers, which I’ll take every time. Fifty percent on two-pointers is not bad. We were terrible at the free throw line (5 of 11).”


Like the Wolves, Sheridan had a balanced attack on offense. Senior Ethan Odom was the only player in double digits with 19 points. Four Yellowjackets had eight points each.

The Wolves travel across Hot Springs next Tuesday to play Lakeside. The Rams may have a new lineup on the floor with senior Caleb Campbell transferring in from Hot Springs High School. Pennington calls Campbell arguably the best player in the conference.