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story.lead_photo.caption MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER Prairie Grove junior Alexis Edmiston battles a pair of Lincoln players for control of a rebound. Edmiston, son of Prairie Grove coach Steve Edmiston, eventually secured the ball and drew a foul while trying to pass off to a teammate after he was forced out-of-bounds. The Tigers defeated their rival, 43-39, on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018.

PRAIRIE GROVE -- Lincoln battled Prairie Grove right down to the final horn in a tough nonconference rivalry contest Dec. 4 at Tiger Arena before the Tigers pulled out a 43-39 win.

Ultimately free throws decided the boys basketball clash. Twice in crunch time Prairie Grove capitalized upon 1-and-1 opportunites with the coach's son, Alex Edmiston, and James Millwood both going 2-for-2 to put the Tigers up, 38-35. Caleb Hale scored on a lob for the Wolves and could have tied the contest, but his free throw was off.

In the last 31.5 seconds, John Mayers and Alex Edmiston combined to make 3-of-4 free throws allowing Prairie Grove to sneak ahead, 41-37. Sterling Morphis, who contribued 20 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals and 7 deflections for the Wolves, nailed a 15-feet pull-up jumper and Lincoln coach Tim Rich called time-out stopping the clock with 3.8 seconds left down 41-39.

"He (Morphis) has strung together the last three games playing pretty well," Rich said. "We've got to keep him going. He's been shooting well, but the team has not been. We've got to get that rhythm. Our rhythm's been off."

When play resumed, Lincoln fouled Riley Rhodes, who sank a pair of foul shots to ice the game for Prairie Grove.

Prairie Grove coach Steve Edmiston acknowledged clutch free throw shooting was a factor on a night when the Tigers couldn't seem to find the hoop from the field.

"Then again Riley coming back with less than four seconds, he's on the line. He's got an opportunity to basically get us that four-point lead which kind of puts it out of reach. Yeah, the free throws were huge for us late and then having Riley clean it up," said Prairie Grove coach Steve Edmiston. "Ironically enough, as poorly as we shot it, free throws again, I call them game-changers and they definitely kind of sealed the deal for us late, fortunately."

Despite the loss Rich plans to build on the season Morphis is having.

"Morphis, he's doing real well so far," Rich said. "This just hopes he going to open stuff up. He's got good court awareness. His good play is going to open it up for some other people."

Steve Edmiston said Morphis was a handful.

"Lincoln's got some pretty good hands. They made us earn this one for sure," Steve Edmiston said.

The lead switched hands several times during the contest. Prairie Grove led 11-8 after one quarter but Lincoln picked up its offense in the second period. Morphis twice played the pick-pocket stealing the dribble and driving for uncontested layups.

Braden Risner muscled his way inside to give the Tigers a 15-12 lead, but the next four points belonged to Lincoln. Clark Griscom's basket was followed by Morphis driving baseline and coming up on the other side for a reverse lay-in as the Wolves moved in front to take a 21-17 lead into the half.

"I thought we got really good looks at a lot of different times and I simply thought we did not execute, we did not finish. I don't know if we heard footsteps, I don't know what the deal was, but whatever the case may be, at home, as many good looks as we got, we can't shoot that percentage and expect to beat too many teams," Steve Edmiston said.

Chase Hutchens scored 10 points for Lincoln. His 3-pointer 37 seconds into the third quarter gave Lincoln a five-point lead of 24-19. Prairie Grove rallied to tie it getting a trey from Risner, one of four he made on the night; and Nick Pohlman's left-handed shot in the lane.

Hutchens again hit a 3-pointer and Morphis took a steal to the hoop, scoring and adding one free throw pushing Lincoln out to its biggest lead, 30-24.

Prairie Grove again rallied to even the score. Asher Webb passed out of the paint to set up John Mayer's 3-pointer in the corner. Mayer added a hoop and harm off a steal with nine seconds left in the third which brought the teams into the fourth deadlocked at 30-30.

"Basically, Lincoln kind of controlled the game the entire night," Steve Edmiston said. "They kind of led it early, it was kind of back and forth, then they built a six-point lead. We found a way to get it tied, just made really one more play, made a couple of big free throws down the stretch that really kind of gave us that breathing room."

PRAIRIE GROVE 43, LINCOLN 39

Lincoln^8^13^9^9^--^39

Prairie Grove^11^6^13^13^--^43

Lincoln (4-3): Sterling Morphis 8 1-1 20, Chase Hutchens 4 0-0 10, Caleb Hale 2 0-1 4, Daytin Davis 1 1-2 3, Jackson 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 2-4 39.

Prairie Grove (2-4): John Mayer 3 5-5 12, Braden Risner 4 0-0 11, Alex Edmiston 2 3-4 9, Webb 1 1-5 3, James Millwood 0 2-2 2, Riley Rhodes 0 2-2 2, Nick Pohlman 1 0-1 2. Totals 12 13-19 43.

3-Point Goals -- Lincoln 3 (Hutchens 2, Morphis). Prairie Grove 6 (Risner 3, Edmiston 2, Mayer).

Huntsville 47, Prairie Grove 46

Huntsville^10^10^15^8 -- 47

Prairie Grove^5^6^6^12 -- 46

Huntsville (1-1, 0-0): Beau Whelchel 5 5-6 15, Kent Mayes 4 3-4 12, Marpin Bokbwij 2 2-2 6, Clint Eaton 2 0-0 4, Kyle Garrison 2 0-0 4, Clint Eaton 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 10-12 43.

Prairie Grove (3-6, 0-2): Alex Edmiston 4 0-0 8, Riley Rhodes 3 0-0 8, Nick Pohlman 2 1-2 5, Blake Gardner 2 0-0 4, John Mayers 1 0-0 3. Totals 12 1-2 29.

3-point goals -- Prairie Grove 3 (Rhodes 2, Mayers). Huntsville 1 (Mayes).

Fouls -- Prairie Grove 14. Huntsville 9.

Charleston 65, Lincoln 32

Charleston led 21-8 after one quarter and rolled to a 3A-1 West Conference win Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 over Lincoln. Jacob Green had 13 points for the Tigers (7-2, 4-0), who went on a 20-2 run in the second quarter for a 41-10 halftime cushion, while Blaine Rowland added 11.

Huntsville 47, Prairie Grove 46

The Eagles claimed a narrow win in 4A-1 Conference action Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. Sean McCone had 15 points for Huntsville (8-4, 2-0) and Sean Marpin added 11.

Sports on 01/02/2019

Print Headline: Free Throws Separate Rivals

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