January 2, 2008 Edition

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Greyhound Trevor Anderson (#41) attempts a pass to John Thomison (right) during the first round of the tournament as their teammate Chad Orrick (#10) looks on. Sloan-Hendrix came up short against Buffalo Island Central, losing the game 57-53.

NEA 1A, 2A boys action recounted

Hillcrest's Patrick Corder (right) guards Walnut Ridge's Tommy Lawrence as Screamin' Eagle Dustin Durham (#20) and Bobcat Derek Medlock move in toward the action. Walnut Ridge won the preliminary-round game 58-53. The Cats then fell to Riverside in the first round of the tournament.
TD Photos ~ Debbie Richey

Black Rock's Chris Richardson goes up for a shot against a Maynard defender in the preliminary round of the NEA Invitational. The Zebras lost the close game by a score of 53-52.
Debbie Richey
Staff Writer

The 2007 NEA Invitational Tournament tipped off last week at the Convocation Center on the Arkansas State University campus in Jonesboro with action in the boys 1A & 2A bracket.

First round
Walnut Ridge ~ Riverside

After a win in the preliminary round, the Walnut Ridge Bobcats advanced to the first round, where they faced the Riverside Rebels on Dec. 22.

Riverside slipped out to a 14-10 first-quarter lead over Walnut Ridge. The Rebels failed to shake the Bobcats and continued to hold a meager four-point lead at halftime, 26-22.

The Cats stayed on the Rebels' heels, as Logan Gaither's lay-up left the Bobcats only two points down at 53-51 with two minutes showing on the clock. Walnut Ridge was not able to complete the comeback, though, as Riverside held on for the 57-51 win.

Mitchell Thompson led the Bobcats with 14 points. Derek Medlock contributed 10 points, and Gaither added nine.

Sloan-Hendrix ~ Buffalo Island Central

The Greyhounds nabbed a 13-10 first-quarter lead, but BIC eased to a 25-24 lead at the close of the first half.

Sloan-Hendrix was quick to the game in the opening minutes of the third quarter, but with baskets dropping at both ends of the court, the Mustangs pulled out to a 45-39 third-quarter lead over the Hounds. The tempo of the match increased, with Sloan-Hendrix tying the game at 53-53 with 44.2 seconds left to play. Time ran out on the Hounds, as they fell 57-53 to the Mustangs in a hard-fought battle.

Trevor Anderson led Sloan-Hendrix with 17 points, and Stanley Archer had 12. John Thomison added 10 points, and Chad Orrick notched nine. Royce Pace added three points, and Zack Ogden added two.

Preliminary round
Walnut Ridge ~ Hillcrest

County and conference foes Walnut Ridge and Hillcrest squared off in preliminary round action on Dec. 21.

The Eagles took charge of the court in the first quarter, taking a 16-9 lead over the Bobcats. Walnut Ridge found their footing in the second quarter and cut Hillcrest's lead to 24-21 at halftime.

The Eagles continued to overpower Walnut Ridge with a 42-39 third-quarter lead, setting the stage for an exciting fourth quarter.

The game was tied 47-47 with 5:38 on the clock. The Bobcats took a 51-47 lead with 4:22 left to play. This was the turning point of the game, as Hillcrest seemed to run out of energy. With both teams giving a valiant effort, Walnut Ridge prevailed 58-53 to advance to the first round.

Three Bobcats scored in double digits, led by Tommy Lawrence with 18 points. Bennett Dudley added 16 points, and Tyler Meadors notched 12. Thompson contributed five points, and Brandon Dawson notched four. Gaither chipped in two points, and Medlock added a free throw.

The Eagles had four players score in double digits, with Chris Blevins leading Hillcrest with 14 points. Aaron Britton followed with 13 points, and Derek Wooten added 11. Dustin Durham chipped in 10 points, and Ricardo Rodriquez closed with seven.

Black Rock ~ Maynard

The Black Rock boys took on the Maynard Tigers in a preliminary round contest on Dec. 21.

Black Rock came out on fire, taking a 15-10 first-quarter lead over the Tigers and took a 23-19 lead into the dressing room.

Black Rock continued to illustrate their ambition, as they held on to a 38-29 third-quarter lead. The Tigers resurfaced as a different team in the final quarter, tying the game at 40-40 with 3:32 on the clock. The game remained tied 50-50 with 48.7 seconds left to play, and was again tied 52-52 with 10.9 seconds left. Maynard sank a late free throw to claim a 53-52 win.

Chris Richardson led Black Rock with 22 points. Les Foster added 11 points, and Garrett Maronde had nine. Ben Walker recorded six points, and Jay Nunally notched four.

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