Leader Blues

Thursday, December 14, 2006

SPORTS>> SHS Lions sweep up trophies at Batesville

For the second week in a row, both Searcy teams came away from a tournament final round with two championships. The Lions and Lady Lions won in the final round of the White River Medical Center Pros Roundball Classic tournament on Saturday after claiming titles in their own Bank Classic tourney the weekend earlier. The Lions downed a stubborn Harrison team 43-35, while the Lady Lions remained undefeated with a win over host team Batesville in a re-match of three weeks earlier.
The Lions built up as much as a 13-point lead on the Golden Goblins in the first half. Harrison rallied in the second half to cut the lead down to as little as four, but the Lions’ defense held strong in the final moments to stay out front.

The Lions were held to just 12 points in the second half after building a 31-16 lead through the first two quarters. “We played really well in the first half,” Lions coach Roger Franks said. “We knew they would be making a run at us in the second half. They did come back on us, but we were able shut them down towards the end.” Searcy’s biggest defensive accomplishment was holding Golden Goblins’ offensive leader Trey Sanders to only six points in the entire game. In fact, only Matt Walters reached double-figure scoring for Harrison with 11 points. Offensively for Searcy, senior guard Matt Cramblett led with 20 points. Lions post player Bryan McGrath added 12 points for Searcy. Cramblett and McGrath, along with senior Justin Rowden, were named to the all-tournament team.

The win gives Searcy a 9-1 record, which is pretty impressive considering pre-season talks of the Lions having a down year. Franks says that while the team is off to a solid start, there is always room for improvement. “We’ve got a long ways to go,” Franks said. “Hopefully, we can continue to get better. I’m happy with the start that we’ve had, we just need to keep going.”
The Lady Lions improved their record to 10-0 with a close 52-50 win over an improved Lady Pioneers team. In the first meeting, the Lady Lions rallied back from an early second-half deficit to win 61-47, but it would not be near as easy this time.

Searcy led 24-21 at the half, but the Lady Pioneers came back to lead in the early minutes of the third quarter. The Lady Lions regained their composure and the lead before the end of the frame 45-39. The Lady Pioneers cut it to within a single score with less than 30 seconds remaining, and had two scoring opportunities in those final ticks. Batesville couldn’t get a pair of free throws or a jumper from Marci Moffitt to fall in the last seconds, and the Lady Lions took their second straight tournament title while holding on to a perfect record, now at 10-0. Kayla Medley led the Lady Lions in scoring with 15 points. Kallie Bartee added 12 points, and Taylor Clark finished with 10 points. All three were named to the all-tournament team for their performances in the finals.