It was supposed to be a heavyweight bout between the state’s top-ranked girls basketball teams.
Fort Smith Northside got the knockout early Friday night on the way to a 79-60 victory over Conway’s Lady Cats at Kaundart-Grizzly Arena in Fort Smith.
The Lady Grizzlies (14-1, 3-0) used a 12-4 run at the end of the second quarter to take a 39-29 halftime lead and control of the game for good. After a tight first period, Northside forced Conway (14-3, 2-1) in 22 turnovers. The Lady Grizzlies dominated the boards with 22 offensive rebounds. Conway shot 28 percent from the field after the first quarter.
Olivia Hanson had 22 points for Northside. Alexis Tolefree led Conway with 14.
In boys play, Conway remained winless in 7A/6A Central, losing 69-56.
The Grizzlies (11-5, 2-1) only trailed the Wampus Cats (8-5, 0-3), 4-2 in the early going. Conway cut a nine-point deficit to five late in the third quarter before the Grizzlies went on a run to put the game away.
James Grubbs led Conway with 15 points. Tyler Triplett had 17 for Northside.
Conway teams play Tuesday at Little Rock Parkview.
LITTLE ROCK — Episcopal Collegiate made 11 of 17 free throws in the final four minutes to secure a 66-6a victory over Mayflower in a showdown of boys unbeaten teams in 5-3A.
Mayflower (14-4, 6-1) was 12 of 29 from the free-throw line.
The Wildcats (11-3, 5-0) were seven of 26 from the field the first half and still led, 25-24. The Eagles led 34-33 with 4:37 left in the third quarter before the Wildcats took the lead for good with a 9-0 run.
J.P. Perry led Mayflower with 27 points. Drew Duncan and Hayden Long added 11 each. Kelvin Robinson led the Wildcats with 25 points.
Mayflower dominated the senior girls game, winning 56-30. Jessica Webb led the Lady Eagles (9-7, 3-4) with 11 points. LonJanae Wyatt had 10 and Tierra Lasker nine.
HARRISON — Harrison’s Taylor Tate made a free throw with .6 seconds left to complete a comeback for a 52-51 victory over Greenbrier on Friday night.
Tate scored 22 of her 25 points in the second half for the Lady Goblins (11-5, 3-0), who trailed by 13 in the third quarter.
Kory Westerman led Greenbrier (8-8, 1-2) with 13 points. Ali Skudlard and Kenzie Batterton added 11. Shelby Shaw had seven.
Harrison (12-3, 3-0), the state’s top-ranked boys team in some polls, rallied from a 30-25 halftime deficit for a 64-58 victory over the spunky Panthers (9-7, 1-2).
Justin Tims led Greenbrier with 25 points. Tyler Simmons added 17.
An 11-3 run in the fourth quarter gave the Goblins the lead for good and they hit eight straight free throws down the stretch.