Badgers fall late in Hope

By ISAAC BOURNE | The Arkadelphian

HOPE — Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for the Arkadelphia Badgers (13-9) in their 50-63 loss to the Hope Bobcats (9-10) Tuesday night.

Shots unable to fall, foul trouble and other problems plagued the Badgers, who gave up a three-point halftime lead on their way to suffering their first loss to Hope since the 2020-21 season.

After winning big against De Queen just a night before, the fireworks quickly wore off for Arkadelphia, as the shots that were falling Monday night just were not finding the bottom of the net the same way on Tuesday.

Coach Garrett Garner confers with the Badgers during a timeout. | Isaac Bourne/The Arkadelphian

“I thought we looked a little lackluster,” head coach Garrett Garner said about his team’s play. “The fact of the matter is that Hope played hard in their own gym, and we just didn’t get it done.”

With junior Evan Bailey and senior Latonnieo Hughes both coming out with four fouls in the third quarter, 6-foot-3 forward Isaac Love of the Bobcats gave the smaller Badger lineup problems as Bailey and Hughes sat on the bench. 

“It’s all about positioning,” Garner said. “We were out of position a little bit tonight and that’s mainly Hope going after the shots and going to get it, and for that, I’d say credit to them, and it made a huge difference. Sometimes I’d look out there and see that we’d have five guards out there on the floor.”

With this loss, the Badgers must go 3-0 for the rest of conference play to make it to the regional tournament, and with a win this Friday against the Ashdown Panthers (9-7), the Badgers will be well-positioned to do just that.

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