HOT SPRINGS, Ar. — It would be an understatement to say Hot Springs’ Senior Night win over Sheridan Friday at the Trojan Arena was an emotional victory for Antoni Lasker.
The Trojans’ head coach took a few minutes to reflect on his team’s 55-52 win over Sheridan before entering the locker room to talk to his players. It was Hot Springs’ six consecutive triumph. Hot Springs in 13-12 overall, and fourth in 5A South.
Lasker emotional after Senior Night win
“There’s a lot of various reasons it was so emotional for me,” Lasker. “We have one senior (Jabari West Jr.), and we wanted to make sure we got him to the state tournament, which was uplifting. I lost my close friend and assistant coach (Aaron Cooper) a couple of years ago. It’s emotional for me every time we have a big game like this and win.
“I’m also so proud of how far this team has come since early on. We’ve been over .500 the last half of the season. We want to keep it going against Lakeside Tuesday and into the state tournament.”
Tuesday’s game featured the Trojans’ athleticism and defensive effort against the outside shooting of Sheridan. Chris Crew and Peyton Free converted two 3-pointers each for the Yellowjackets. Free scored 15 points, and Crew contributed 11.
Late free throws doom Sheridan
Free throws by Tyrell Honey and Tavallis Stephens gave Hot Springs the cushion it needed. Sheridan had three opportunities to tie the game in the final seconds with 3-pointers.
The 6-8 West, who will be attending George Washington University next fall, led the Trojans’ with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Honey and Kendall Williams contributed 11 points each. West just missed a triple-double with eight assists.
“If you throw the ball in to Jabari, you don’t have to worry about him being a ball Hog,” said Lasker. “It’s a testament to him that he trusts his teammates the way he does. He could easily average a lot more than 15 points, but he’s been that way his entire career. He has always been about team, and doing what we ask him to do.”
Sheridan’s girls led 15-13 at halftime, but pulled away from the Lady Trojans with 19 points in the third quarter. The Lady Jackets won, 43-28. Brooklyn Rowe led Sheridan with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Kayden Porter scored 13 points with four treys.
Junior Gabby Erby led the Lady Trojans with eight points.