By ISAAC BOURNE | The Arkadelphian
After the Arkadelphia Badgers’ 71-58 loss to the Camden-Fairview Cardinals (10-5), head coach Garrett Garner was proud of his team, who fought through sickness and physical play to keep the game close without the presence of high value scorer, senior guard Chris Gray.
“There’s a lot of emotion going on in the locker room, but at the end of the day, I couldn’t be prouder of them,” Garner said.
The depth of the Badgers (12-7) came into play as junior guard Seth Golden led Arkadelphia in scoring with 15 points, while sophomore wing O’Bryant Roberts had nine on three first-half threes.
“Our guys, they’ve learned from a lot of hard times … we don’t like to have them, but we learned a lot,” Garner mentioned. “Our backs were against the wall and we were short-handed with Chris being out sick … the guys just kept battling.”
Junior forward Evan Bailey had 10 points and nine rebounds against a tall and physical Cardinal roster. His emphatic slam dunk in the first quarter led to a 9-3 run to finish out the period.
“We’ve challenged him to be more aggressive like that,” Garner said. “I was really, really proud of the way [Bailey] fought and played.”
Sophomore guard James Elgas was a game-time decision after coming down with a sickness before the game, and after a slow first half where he only found the bottom of the rim once, he followed it up with 12 second-half points on his way to a 14-point outing.
After a long week with Tuesday’s game being canceled, the Badgers brought their full might into this game and fell just short.
Garner is confident his team will bounce back after such a hard fought loss: “I guarantee you, for us, regardless of what happened on the scoreboard tonight, we’re going to be better for the game because guys had to step up tonight, and when they were challenged, they didn’t back down, and I’m so proud of them for that.”
The Badgers are back in action Monday night as the De Queen Leopards (5-15) come into town to play the game that had to be rescheduled due to weather.
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