PEARCY, Ar. — Lake Hamilton (20-4, 10-3) took another step toward the 5A state basketball tournament Tuesday night by defeating rival Lakeside at Wolf Arena, 75-54.
It was the type of win that head coach Scotty Pennington wants to see the rest of the season. Star players Zac Pennington and Ty Robinson led the way as usual, but their teammates also contributed in a big way.
“We have five games left before state, and we’ve got to climb every game and peak at the right time,” said the Wolves’ coach. “For the most part Ty and Zac have given us the scoring punch needed. We’ve told the others they have opportunities on offense because of our shooters, and they need to drive and attack more. They did a good job of that tonight against Lakeside.”
Zac Pennington broke the school record recently with eleven 3-pointers, and he had eight for 24 points against the Rams. Robinson finished strong Tuesday night and scored 20 points, with five assists, five steals and four rebounds. LaBraun Christon contributed 11 points, eight assists, five steals and five rebounds. It didn’t stop there! Post Charter Harris scored seven points with 10 rebounds and seven assists. Easton Hurley, Zane Pennington and Cooper Kindt also contributed.
“I thought LaBraun was special tonight for a sophomore,” said Scotty Pennington. “Defensively he’s completely locking down. He had a different look in his eyes. It must have something to do with Lakeside because he did the same thing at their place. If he can do that consistently, and we get that out of Charter we’ll be OK. Easton (Hurley) is always going to give you all he’ got.”
Pennington hits eight treys against rival Lakeside
Zac made two of his treys in the first quarter as the Wolves raced out to an early 17-10 lead at the first break. He added three more 3-pointers in the second quarter, and Lake Hamilton was in control, 36-24.
Lakeside (9-14, 4-7) could never catch up, but continued to fight behind the outstanding play of Atreal Howard (17 points) and Skylar Purifoy (13 points and 10 rebounds). Sloan Hayes added 10 points for the Rams.
Robinson and Zac Pennington were quizzed at the end of the game about what is was going to take for the Wolves to challenge for a state championship.
“Tonight all of us contributed; we all played together and everybody was doing their job,” said Robinson. “If one of us doesn’t do his job it makes it easier to stop us.”
Pennington wants to see his team beat a really quality opponent.
“We’ve got to play better in the big games,” he said. “You might say we choked in those games because we didn’t play well down the stretch. We’re working on putting it all together, and I believe it’s got to happen at some point.”
The Wolves step out of league play Friday to play Vilonia.
Lakeside girls climb into fourth place
Amelia Rogers and Zakoria Wilson converted three consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter, and Lakeside never trailed afterwards in beating Lake Hamilton, 43-29.
The two teams swapped positions in the 5A standings as the Lady Rams climbed to fourth place.
Lakeside (11-8, 7-4) also has a tie-breaker with the Lady Wolves, having swept the season series.
Rogers led the winners with 24 points, 18 coming in the first half. Lake Hamilton’s Brooklynn Braughton finished strong, scoring 10 of her team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter.