PREP BASKETBALL: Rogers earns another game on its home floor by locking state tournament berth with win over Springdale

1 month ago The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

ROGERS -- A pair of Rogers seniors played like they wanted at least one more game on their home floor Tuesday night, and they got just that.

Aubrey Treadwell and Selah Blockburger each had 20 points, and the Lady Mounties secured themselves a spot in next week's Class 6A State Tournament with a 71-64 victory over Springdale in Mountie Arena.

"That's just what I told them," Rogers coach Preston Early said. "I told them I had some really good news -- this was not your last game here. I'm just so proud of the grit. We were down four to start the fourth quarter, and we knew what we were in for with these guys.

"We knew we were in for a battle. We were just going to have to stay in the fight. They were going to hit shots and make big plays. We knew it was going to be a challenge, and I'm just proud of our guys' hearts. Our last key on the board before we walked out was this was a strong heartbeat kind of game. I thought our guys played with that kind of desire."

The win not only put Rogers (12-15, 7-8) into the state tournament, but it adds extra incentive to Friday's regular-season finale against rival Rogers Heritage at War Eagle Arena. The winner of that game will get the fifth seed next week, while the loser will be the sixth seed.

Springdale (14-14, 5-10), however, entered the fourth quarter with a 52-48 lead, but that disappeared when Treadwell hit a 3-pointer and put Rogers ahead 55-54 with 4:52 left to play. That lasted just 23 seconds as Aubiana Wilson's 3-pointer put the Lady Bulldogs back in front, but Treadwell answered with another 3-pointer to put the Lady Mounties ahead to stay.

"It was kind of surreal," Treadwell said. "When you're in the game, you're in the mindset of each play. I honestly didn't know it was back-to-back. You just go out there and play defense, and you're like 'don't let them score' and they did.

"I think everybody went back on offense and were like 'we need another score, no matter how we're going to get that.' Luckily I made it, but you just do it play by play and forget what happened before that. You just go out and play your hardest each play, and that's what we did."

Treadwell's second 3-pointer also sparked an 11-3 Rogers run, with Blockburger's bucket inside giving the Lady Mounties a 66-59 lead with 1:20 remaining. Kaiya McCoy's 3-pointer pulled Springdale within four, only to have Brooklyn Owens hit three free throws and give Rogers its seven-point cushion again.

"We gave the crowd an opportunity to get behind us," Early said. "It kind of spurred us a little bit in the fourth quarter when we needed some energy, and I think having those people there helped us. To put up 71 points in a game that we had to have, I can't say enough about our toughness."

Four Lady Mounties finished in double figures, and two with double-doubles as Kiara Owens had 16 points and 11 rebounds while Brooklyn Owens added 13 points and 13 rebounds. Charleen Hudson scored 11 of her 17 points in the first half to lead Springdale, while Wilson was next with 15 and McCoy added 14.

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