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Wampus Cats rally past Harrison for tourney title

Posted: December 14, 2013 - 11:56pm

Javonte Ellis' steal and a layup with 12 seconds left in overtime Saturday night propelled Conway’s boys to a 53-50 victory over Harrison and the championship of the Bank of the Ozarks John Stanton Wampus Cat Invitational.

Ellis had 18 points and Jalen Jones, who hit two late free throws, added 12.The Cats trailed by 41-35 in the third quarter to the Goblins, who defeated Fayetteville with a 30-foot buzzer shot Friday night.

“We speeded things up and got some flow going; we couldn’t hit a basket the first quarter (12-2 deficit) and it took our energy away,” said Conway coach James Bates. “The kids adjusted to what we needed to do all year. They seem to be able to adjust to do whatever it takes.”

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da man 3
da man 3 12/15/13 - 01:19 pm


Coach got it right, the kids made adjustments. Just not quite sure he had much to do with it. Harrison was obviously undersized, and he could have pounded them by playing big, but he chose not to use his big man off the bench. Colton Jackson 6'6" 290, played all of 2 minutes, despite the other big men being foul trouble. The kid has committed to the Hogs football team, and pledged his time to play basketball to help the school team out. He has a very solid low post game, could be very dominant in the post, if used correctly. If the coach is not going to use him, he should release him back to offseason football. Buzz around the gym, Saturday was that some players have already quit, citing the coach's refusal to take advantage of his players skill set. I am a true believer that basketball changes and so must coaching. All teams can't run the same system, the coach must learn to take advantage of his players attributes. I have not seen Coach B. do that in quite some time. To back this point, their have been several players that coach has lost in the last couple of years, that he did not play or did not play correctly.
Over the summer, I read a tweet that one transfer posted, "he was leaving to receive better coaching", the kid is now playing for one the most talented teams in the state. There are two kids playing less than twenty minutes away from Conway, in the same county. One was one the team, never got any pt, so they transferred before the younger brother got under the high school coach's system. There is another kid who got away from Coach B., he got to Sylvan Hills last year, and was an immediate impact player, averaging nearly a double double. Morillton, picked up a kid from Conway who has been added to their rotation, he seems to be panning out for them.
I had the privilege of watching the boys play last year against Hall and Parkview, some people say that the teams were just overpowering, I agree they were loaded, but with the talent Conway had they should not have gotten blasted by 30 points. A coach can't let a team go on a 17-0 run without calling a timeout. This year got to see some of the Conway tournament, the boys were letting obviously lesser opponents hang around. It was clear that they are being out coached. Right now I am sure the Mayflower kid is pretty happy with his decision to go back to Mayflower.
Last year I was told that Conway had several sophomores who should have been playing for the varsity, I can't recall any of them playing. Of last years sophomores their is only one getting major minutes this year. Seen him a play a few games this year, but he seems to be out of place, running this offense that does fit this team. If were a parent I might consider that transfer for the senior season.
The coach put all of his eggs in one basket last year, that egg hatched and few the coup, now lest see how this season pans out, when the conference schedule starts in a few weeks.

Olguywicker 12/18/13 - 12:16 pm

Haters going to Hate

Just saying.

Kalexander1 12/19/13 - 11:39 am

As a parent there some things

As a parent there are some things that I would like to see out there on the court, at times watching games I may get frustrated with the way the team is playing. Ultimately it is the coaches team to coach, confident he'll do what it takes. I agree with some of the points from the earlier post, but my opinion of basketball and what I want to see may be totally different than the next man.
I do believe that we have let a lot of talent slip through our fingers here in Conway. With the talent and the youth that has gotten away, I believe if given the chance they could have made this an explosive team, that would be more competitive with the more athletic teams in the state.
Each kid has his own reason for leaving, I hope it works out best for those kids and Conway too.
If Bates can keep this team together throughout the season, there may be good things store for them.
This team has plenty of size length and there is some speed and quickness, interested in seeing them gel.

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