The Arkansas Activities Association will announce state basketball tournament sites in a couple of weeks. Charleston’s opponents have their fingers crossed the Tigers don’t get to host 3A’s.
Charleston used a 23-1 run over two quarters Tuesday to turn a tight game into a rout and hand Two Rivers its first conference loss of the season, 70-51.
The Tigers have lost just once since the state championship-winning football players joined the team in mid-December. And even in the midst of their eighth game in nine days, little looked out of sync with them.
"The deal about it is, it’s just the tip of the iceberg," Charleston coach B.J. Ross said. "It’s been two weeks and three days since they played state championship. We’ve played eight games and had three practices (since football players joined). That shows the toughness of them, though. They’re still out here battling and going on."
Seventy points and a pretty easy win against a likely regional qualifier is a bit scary if the Tigers are still ironing out the kinks. Especially if the Tigers get to host the 3A State Tournament
Two Rivers wasn’t out of it except for one eight-minute stretch when it simply went cold. The Gators went almost that amount of time without a field goal during Charleston’s run, the second quarter portion of which turned a three-point lead with four minutes left in the half to 17 at the break.
Charleston become sloppy with a lead as large as 23 in the third quarter. Two Rivers went on its own run and trimmed the lead back down to 10 with 1:31 left. But six fourth-quarter points from Matthew Ward ensured it wouldn’t drop to single digits and Charleston used free throws in the final minutes to create the final margin.
Ward led all scorers with 25 points. Chance Shelby added 18.
A lot of the Gators’ energy came from Morgan Yates. The sophomore guard, who stands maybe 6-foot, had an impressive one-step, one-handed jam in the second quarter and the Two Rivers third-quarter run began when he entered early in the third. His aggression drew a charging call with 3:32 remaining, though, and left his team down by 15.
"We had a stretch there in the third quarter we were up 23 and we turned it over four times in a row," Ross said. "We’ve done that a little bit lately. Then we kind of kicked it back in gear and extended it."
Four of Charleston’s eight-player rotation consists of football players. If they turn into basketball ones in the next several weeks, the Tigers will likely get to play in the tournament they host.
Actually, if Tuesday is any indication, they’ll probably play in it, anyway.
"We can go eight or nine deep and I’ll feel more comfortable doing that in the next two weeks," Ross said.
Charleston 52, Two Rivers 30
GIRLS — The Lady Tigers showed few ill effects on playing the second of back-to-back nights in an easy win.
Charleston started somewhat slow in the first and third quarters, but mostly cruised behind a balanced offense that saw nine players score.
Two Rivers pulled within three points by scoring the first six of the third quarter, but managed just one point the rest of the frame as the Lady Tigers built their lead to 17 points thanks to a 14-1 run to end the third.
Ally Howard led Charleston with 14 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter. Brittany Keys led Two Rivers with nine.
Charleston 70, Two Rivers 51
Two Rivers 12 10 19 10 — 51
Charleston 17 22 16 15 — 70
Two Rivers (9-5, 2-1): Yates 18, Whitlow 8, Morrison 8, Walker 8, Green 5, Brimm 3, Jones 1.
Charleston (11-5, 2-0): Matthew Ward 25, Chance Shelby 18, Andrew Smith 12, Brandon Fenner 10, Taylor King 2, Hayden Newhart 2, Ty Storey 1.
Charleston 52, Two Rivers 30
Two Rivers 5 7 7 11 — 30
Charleston 9 12 15 16 — 52
Two Rivers (5-9, 0-3): Keys 9, Reynolds 7, Mashburn 6, Lancaster 4, Byrd 3, Forrest 1.
Charleston (7-6, 2-0): Ally Howard 14, Morgan Prescott 8, Peyton Oldridge 6, Taylor Jones 6, Madeline West 6, Brittany Furr 5, Rebecca White 3, Bethany Haney 2, Camryn Haney 2.