Thursday, December 7, 2017
Hot Springs got more than it bargained for against crosstown rival Lakeside Tuesday night before pulling away with a sizzling second-half rally.
With the Trojans trailing 25-22 midway through the third quarter, Kaleb Hughley buried two consecutive 3-pointers to spark a 10-0 run, giving Hot Springs a lead it wouldn't surrender.
Leading 32-25, Santiair Thomas scored five points during a 10-0 Trojan run to open the fourth quarter as Hot Springs raced ahead for a 46-32 win at Lakeside Athletic Complex.
"I challenged them at halftime to make plays and not get down on themselves," Hot Springs coach Rodney Echols said. "These guys tend to hang their heads if they miss a wide open shot; we had our looks early, but they just didn't fall. We did a heck of a job in the second half of keeping them off the boards, getting steals and knocking down shots."
Seeking their first win of the season, the Rams stifled Hot Springs in the first half. Following two free throws by Connor Braughton, Tazz Glover converted on a four-point play from the line to give Lakeside an early 6-4 lead.
The Trojans answered with a trey from Eddie Miles to take a slim 7-6 advantage at the end of the first quarter, but were unable to carry the momentum into the second.
The Sentinel-Record/Mandie Gober FLIGHT PLAN: Surrounded by Hot Springs defenders, Lakeside guard Sawyer Lamb (25) rises for a layup attempt Tuesday n...
Sawyer Lamb scored three points, while Glover, Phillip Gayle, Andrew Igbodkidi and Gavin Menotti each scored two points to give Lakeside a 17-10 halftime lead. The Rams limited Hot Springs to just one field goal in the second quarter.
"When they can't score, they can't get into their pressure and we were able to take care of that a little bit in the first half," Lakeside coach Eddie Lamb said. "I'm really proud of our guys. I know the record is what it is, but we're getting there and we're coming."
Lakeside stretched its lead to 20-12 on a 3-pointer from Patrick Davis before Hot Springs came to life offensively. Curtis Frierson knocked down a shot from behind the arc, while Thomas scored seven of the team's first 10 points in the third quarter.
Miles put the exclamation point on a 10-0 run with a steal and emphatic dunk in transtion to close the third quarter.
"That's what Hot Springs basketball is all about," said Echols. "We want to force our will on our opponents, and that run right before the third quarter ended was a statement for us. It was all about our will to fight, and that's what these young guys have to rely on each other with."
A 3-point basket by Payton Hayes capped a 10-0 run to open the fourth quarter, giving Hot Springs a commanding 42-25 advantage with less than five minutes to play.
Lakeside stopped the bleeding with a trey from Davis and two points from Glover to pull within 42-30, but the Rams got no closer. Hayes and Miles scored the last four points for the Trojans to set the final margin.
"I loved the way we fought through it," Eddie Lamb said. "We didn't get beat by 25 or 30, and we held into it and made it a game. No one wants to lose, but if we stay the course and stay together, we can turn this thing around. We want to be the team that nobody wants to play at the end of the year."
Thomas led all scorers with 14 points for the Trojans, Hughley and Miles each finishing with eight points. Glover paced Lakeside with nine points, and Sawyer Lamb had eight points.
Both teams are competing in tournaments this week, Hot Springs at Fayetteville and Lakeside at Russellville. The Trojans (4-1) resume conference play Dec. 12 at El Dorado while the Rams (0-6) host Lake Hamilton on Dec. 15.
"What these guys are seeing is they can play with anybody if they put their focus on the defensive end," said Echols. "They're doing what we ask them to do, and they're giving it their all."
Sports on 12/07/2017
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