By ISAAC BOURNE | For The Arkadelphian
The Arkadelphia Badgers (10-4) held down home court Friday night in their 61-44 win over the Hope Bobcats (6-7) behind the scoring efforts of senior guard Chris Gray and sophomore guard James Elgas who both combined for 40 points on the night.
Gray’s five threes and 13-point third quarter effort on his way to 21 points led all scorers on the night, while Elgas’ 10 mid-range buckets to go with his 19 points was second behind him.
“[My five threes] felt really good,” Gray said after the game. “I practice that shot all the time, so I knocked it down when I needed to.”
And that he did. Gray missed only a single three in the game, shooting five for six from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Elgas was getting his work done inside the arc, drawing four fouls and taking seven free throws.
This win comes after a hard loss to the Cardinals of Camden-Fairview, and coach Garrett Garner talked about the effort put forth by his players to make sure something like that did not happen again.
“I’ll give the guys credit … we came back in and practiced really hard,” Garner said. “They’ve been really physical in practice because we know that’s how our conference is, so tonight, they responded, and coach Ware had a great defensive game plan for the guys. I feel like as we build confidence in what we’re doing, we’re going to be winning a lot of ball games.”
Elgas was excited after helping his team back into the win column. “It feels great, just getting back into our hometown of Arkadelphia and winning, putting on a show for the fans,” he said. “Camden was hard, they threw a game plan at us that we weren’t quite ready for, so we went back into the film room, got a plan ready for Hope, and we executed it well tonight.”
The Badgers came out of the gates a bit slow, starting out 9-5 with two minutes left in the first quarter, but coming out of a timeout, the Badgers went on a 8-0 run to finish the quarter, not allowing another field goal from the Bobcats until late in the second quarter as they extended their run to 21-1 in just around eight minutes.
The Badgers also found help from junior guard Seth Golden who finished with ten points and two steals, while junior forward Evan Bailey had six hard fought points in the paint.
The Badgers will take that swagger into Ashdown Tuesday night as they take on the Panthers (5-6) in another interconference battle.