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story.lead_photo.caption MIKE ECKELS NWA NEWSPAPERS Gravette's Jessica Bookout (left) and Lady Cardinals' Audrey Culpepper (center) fight for control of a loose ball during a 4A-1 Conference basketball contest at the competition gym in Gravette Dec. 21. Farmington won 62-40, then went 2-1 over Christmas break at the Mountain Home tournament.

FARMINGTON -- The 4A No. 2 ranked Lady Cardinals ran into an ambush losing 61-50 to Norfork ranked No. 1 in Class 1A then rallied to win two straight over Christmas break.

Farmington 69, Wonderview 51

Farmington pulled away throughout the second half Saturday, Dec. 29 to post a victory over Wonderview (1A-5) and win the consolation final (fifth place game) of the First Arkansas Bail Bonds Tournament at Mountain Home.

The Lady Cardinals (12-2) had a 33-29 halftime lead and started the second half with a 3-pointer by Trinity Johnson. Farmington went on to lead 45-38 after three quarters, then extended its lead to double digits when Audrey Culpepper's bucket made it 49-39 with 6:10 remaining.

Makenna Vanzant converted 11-of-12 free throws in crunch time accumulating 19 points to lead the Lady Cardinals, while Tori Kersey added 16 and Culpepper tallied 12. Faith Byers led Wonderview with 11 points.




Wonderview (17-5): Faith Byers 11, Audrey Beck 10, Bailey Wright 9, Kailey Gullett 5, Hadley Jones 5, Abby Gullett 5, Alexis McClaren 4, Mallory Jones 2.

Farmington (12-2): Makenna Vanzant 19, Tori Kersey 16, Audrey Culpepper 12, Madisyn Pense 8, Trinity Johnson 7, Alexis Roach 4, Joelle Tidwell 3.

Farmington 62, Highland 51

Playing on Friday, Dec. 28, Farmington regrouped after losing a double-digit lead, and the Lady Cardinals went on to defeat Highland (4A-3) and advance to the consolation game of the First Arkansas Bail Bonds Tournament in Mountain Home.

Highland led early 6-2 with a chance to add more, but Vanzant's steal thwarted an in-bounds play underneath Highland's basket. Farmington went on a 18-3 run to grab an 18-9 lead as the first quarter ended. Trinity Johnson, who scored 10 points and contributed 3 assists, had a 3-pointer and Joelle Tidwell added 6 points in the run.

Farmington (11-2) held an 11-point early in the second quarter, but Highland pulled within 28-24 at halftime and took a 29-28 lead in the third quarter. Highland twice was denied on bids to extend its lead. Trinity Johnson's steal in the paint ended the first try, but the Lady Cardinals turned the ball over on the other end. Coming back down, Alexis Roach stole the ball and drove the length of the court for a layup putting Farmington back in front, 30-29.

That play fueled a run. Culpepper's steal and outlet led to Madisyn Pense's layup as the Lady Cardinals scored nine unanswered points for a 39-31 cushion after a Vanzant 3-pointer. Highland made it a 39-37 game after three quarters before Farmington opened the fourth quarter with eight straight points including a trey by Vanzant coming off a screen to go up 45-39.

Roach led Farmington with 13 points, followed by Vanzant with 11 and Trinity Johnson with 10. Briley Pena, a 5-6 freshman guard, scored 25 points for Highland, including 11 in the fourth quarter.




Highland (8-5): Briley Pena 25, Abby Dietsche 11, Macy Qualls 6, Molly McBryde 5, Cheyenne Yates 4.

Farmington (11-2): Alexis Roach 13, Makenna Vanzant 11, Trinity Johnson 10, Madisyn Pense 9, Joelle Tidwell 8, Audrey Culpepper 7, Tori Kersey 4.

3-point Goals -- Farmington -- 5 (Johnson 2, Vanzant 2, Culpepper).

Rebounds -- Highland 24, Farmington 22 (Culpepper 6). Assists -- Highland 11, Farmington 17 (Vanzant 6). Steals -- Highland 2, Farmington 8 (Vanzant 3). Blocks -- Highland 4, Farmington 0.

Norfork 61, Farmington 50

The hot-shooting Lady Panthers made 55 percent of their field goals and 6-of-8 attempts from 3-point range. Norfork was awarded 24 free throws with leading scorer Whitlee Layne (24 points) making 15-of-16 attempts. In the midst of all those whistles Farmington coach Brad Johnson's body language told the story.

Playing from behind throughout the game, Farmington pressed. Pense came away with a steal in the full-court press and immediately fed a teammate breaking to the basket. No sooner had she touched the ball than an official on the far side of the court called traveling negating a potential layup.

Brad Johnson was on his feet, his body language expressing frustration.

Norfork outscored Farmington 23-9 in the second quarter and knocked off the Lady Cardinals during the first round of the First Arkansas Bail Bonds Tournament in Mountain Home on Thursday, Dec. 27.

Norfork used the outburst to build a 37-23 halftime cushion, then sealed the game by hitting 21 of 24 free throws.

Roach and Trinity Johnson scored 11 apiece to lead Farmington (10-2). The loss dropped the Lady Cardinals into a game with Highland in the consolation bracket.




Norfork (17-3): Whitlee Layne 24, Macy Dillard 12, Kinley Stowers 11, Kynzie Rangel 6, Hannah Bryant 5, Maple 3.

Farmington (10-2): Alexis Roach 11, Trinity Johnson 11, Madisyn Pense 9, Makenna Vanzant 9, Tori Kersey 6, Joelle Tidwell 4.

3-point Goals -- Farmington -- 4 (Johnson 2, Pense, Roach).

Rebounds -- Norfork 26, Farmington 21. Assists -- Norfork 9, Farmington 11. Steals -- Norfork 5, Farmington 8. Blocks -- Norfork 0, Farmington 1 (Culpepper).

Sports on 01/09/2019

Print Headline: Lady Cardinals Can't Overcome Whistles

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