PEARCY, Ar. — Hot Springs coach Antoni Lasker doesn’t pass out praise unless it’s well earned. The Trojans’ earned kind words Friday night at Wolf Arena after they claimed second place in 5A South with a 58-52 win to spoil Lake Hamilton’s Homecoming.
“I think our kids played a good game,” Lasker said in understating the Trojans’ performance. “We executed the game plan, and made sure we were there on every three-point shot. We didn’t want to get into our pressure and give them too many open looks. The kids rebounded well which was the key to our victory.
“Our guys really played hard. The only thing we didn’t do well was keeping them off the foul line. This was our biggest win because it was our most recent win.”
Lasker praises Trojans’ defensive effort
Hot Springs (14-7, 8-2) beat the Wolves with their own game, making more three-pointers and playing outstanding defense with a sagging zone. Lake Hamilton (19-4, 8-3) couldn’t take advantage of the Trojans’ defense, sinking only two treys. The Trojans swished six 3-pointers, while the Wolves shot 10 percent from the perimeter.
“Hot Springs played phenomenal; they were hungrier, and you could tell how much they wanted to win,” said Lake Hamilton coach Scotty Pennington, a former Hot Springs coach. “They deserved to win. I almost feel like it would be unjust if had come back and won. Their players were locked in, and their coaches were locked in. They played harder, and congrats to them.”
The Trojans led 16-11 after the first quarter, and never trailed afterwards. They built a 15-point cushion in the third quarter.
Robinson leads Wolves’ attack with 29
Junior Ty Robinson sparked a Lake Hamilton rally with 19 of his game-high 29 points in the second half. Robinson was 15-of-16 from the charity stripe. Sophomore Zane Pennington cut the Trojans’ lead to 40-38 with 5:40 remaining in the game. Hot Springs converted four free throws in the next minute to pull away again.
Tyrell Honey led that run with 13 points to share scoring honors with Kendall Williams. Honey had three treys, with Dante Grayer contributing nine points and two 3-pointers. Lasker praised the defensive play of Derrick Hicks.
“It was a rough night for Zac (Pennington), and Ty started out rough,” said the Wolves’ coach. “They did a good job on Zac. Ty is always going to get the other team’s best defender, and get double-teamed. I think he still had a special night despite not shooting the ball well (no 3-pointers). He worked hard and still attacked the basket. LaBraun (Christon) and Charter (Harris) had some good moments.
“We’re humbled and that could be a good thing. Now we’re going to find out about the character of our team. We’ll stay together and make this something positive in the long run. These guys are winners, but now it’s time to refocus. There’s still a lot of basketball to be played.”
Lady Wolves roll past Hot Springs
Paris Macon swished three 3-pointers in the second half and led all scorers with 20 points to lead Lake Hamilton’s girls past Hot Springs, 51-39.
Trailing 16-12 after the first quarter, senior Brooklynn Broughton rallied the Lady Wolves with 15 of her 17 points in the first half. Nancy Coffman contributed 10 points for the winners, now 10-13 overall and 7-4 in the 5A South.
Hot Springs (5-15, 2-8) was led by Bethann Mullenix with 13 points. Kyabra Lomax and Praylin Jones added eight points each. Lomax and Mullenix had two 3-pointers each.