By ISAAC BOURNE | For The Arkadelphian
Sophomore guard James Elgas showed out in the Arkadelphia Badgers’ 63-57 win over the Lakeside Rams Monday night, tallying 22 points, 10 of which coming in the crucial fourth quarter.
His performance was accentuated by the 18-point outing by his teammate, senior guard Chris Gray. Together, the two of them came out with season-best performances to defeat the red-hot Rams despite a miraculous third quarter by junior forward AJ Howard, who scored 19 points on the night, 11 of them in the third quarter, as he himself went on an 8-0 run in the period to tighten the score going into the final quarter.
Other than the big performance from Gray, junior guard Seth Golden and junior forward Evan Bailey received a larger workload as they saw the floor during clutch time, making big baskets to seal the game for the Badgers.
“I’m very encouraged with the guys who haven’t been in moments like that,” head coach Garrett Garner mentioned. “Being able to step up and handle the basketball, handle adversity, and being able to close it out with free throws down the stretch. The moment didn’t seem like it was too big for them tonight and that’s what I really like to see the most.”
Even through the Badger mistakes made in the final minutes brought the Rams to within four points in the final seconds, Garner’s team found a way to win.
“The good news is we can watch film and learn from those [mistakes]. I would rather be learning from those mistakes after a win than a loss, and it’s still early in the season with getting all these guys back into basketball form, so we will learn and grow from it.”
With this win, the Badgers finish out non-conference play at 7-1 on the season and will be back in action on December 28 against the 5-3 Pocahontas Redskins at Berryville High School as a part of the Berryville Christmas Tournament.