PRAIRIE GROVE -- Senior guard Riley Rhodes game-winning 3-point buzzer-beater prooved a fitting cap to a banner night at Prairie Grove on Friday, Dec. 7.
Rhodes' field goal gave the Prairie Grove boys a 46-43 win over West Fork, which had tied the game at 43-43 on Justin Bivens' putback with 8.8 seconds remaining.
Prairie Grove fans erupted into a frenzy celebrating Rhodes' trey while West Fork was left with the sound of merry bells ringing in its ears. Prairie Grove coach Steve Edmiston acknowledged West Fork coach Kelby Drennan tried to get a time-out called on the heels of Rhodes' bucket.
"Coach Drennan, his first year at West Fork, but doing a great job. His kids played hard, executed well. They got some good looks, they got some good players," Edmiston said. "He was wanting that time-out there late, clock's running, you don't know what's going to happen there. They gave us everything we wanted for sure. He's got a good bunch."
The evening began with three people, Donald Ledford, Eddie McClelland, and the late coach Ed Staggs inducted into the Prairie Grove Athletic Hall-of-Pride followed by a 45-28 victory for Prairie Grove in girls basketball action versus West Fork. At halftime of the boys game, Tiger alumnus Jalen Beeks, now a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, made an appearance to present his autographed, framed Rays' jersey No. 68 as the grand prize for a raffle to benefit the Prairie Gove baseball team. Beeks drew the winning ticket which belonged to Prairie Grove band mom, Marcresa Hattenhauer much to the delight of those in attendance.
West Fork, which only had five team fouls, attempted to foul Prairie to force an in-bounds play. The visitors were unable to disrupt the flow of the ball with Prairie Grove point-guard Braden Risner getting the ball into the front-court and finding Rhodes open on the wing where he knocked down the game-winner.
Rhodes wasn't aware West Fork was trying to foul. He locked in on the task at hand and delivered beautifully.
"I had no idea, I was in the moment so I didn't really notice that," Rhodes said. "Great pass by Braden that's what I got to say," Rhodes said.
Rhodes has practiced his jump-shooting to prepare for these moments.
"I didn't play a lot my sophomore year. Junior year I got in a little bit so I just stayed in the gym cause my senior year I knew I'd be getting those looks a lot and I wanted to be able to be that guy that could knock them down," Rhodes said.
Rhodes wished his family and fiends a happy holiday, noting Christmas, which was just celebrated is his favorite holiday. His 3-pointer unwrapped like a sweet gift arriving in the nick of time.
When asked if West Fork might have perceived him as playing the Grinch for stealing their thunder, Rhodes laughed, "Yeah, I can definitely see that."
Nick Pohlman led Prairie Grove with 12 points while Alex Edmiston added 10 and Rhodes, 8.
Brenon Burks had 12 and Bivens 11 to pace West Fork.
PRAIRIE GROVE 45, WEST FORK 28
West Fork^6^13^8^16 -- ^43
Prairie Grove^8^14^9^15 -- ^46
West Fork (3-2): Brenon Burks 4 2-2 12, Justin Bivens 4 2-2 11, Wyett Kutz 3 0-2 7, Johnny Di'Camillo 3 0-0 7, Destin Steinmetz 2 0-0 4, Jack Neyman 0 2-2 2. Totals 16 6-8 43.
Prairie Grove (3-2): Nick Pohlman 6 0-0 12, Alex Edmiston 5 0-0 10, Riley Rhodes 3 0-0 8, James Millwood 2 3-3 7, John Mayer 3 0-0 6, Braden Risner 1 0-0 3. Totals 18 3-3 46.
3-point Goals -- West Fork 5 (Burks 2, Kutz, Di'Camillo, Bivens). Prairie Grove 3 (Rhodes 2, Risner).Sports on 01/02/2019
Print Headline: Score Win For Tigers