FARMINGTON -- Girls basketball drew an encore for Farmington senior Audrey Culpepper, who contributed 20 points towards the Lady Cardinals' 69-50 defeat of Berryville Tuesday, Jan. 21.
At halftime of the boys game with Farmington leading 34-25 public address announcer Steve Morgan brought attention to a car in the parking lot with its lights on. He announced it twice then described it as a Dodge Charger with license plates registered to Audrey Culpepper.
Audrey didn't know she had a car. Her curiosity was piqued and she came to the scorer's table to find her head coach Brad Johnson waiting with keys to a Dodge Charger purchased as a surprise by her parents, Sara Mitchell and Jason Culpepper.
Audrey wasted no time blazing a trail out into the parking lot accompanied by a few of her friends to locate the vehicle. That was her encore.
"Her parents bought her a new vehicle and so we kind of set up a little bit of a surprise for her on that night and we got the announcers involved and we were able to give her the keys to that car in front of everybody at halftime. that was fun, too," Brad Johnson said. "It's not a basketball thing. It goes beyond that. It's an opportunity to continue to build relationships cause that's really what we do anyway and it was a very special moment for her as a senior getting a vehicle and I was just a very small part of it but it was a lot of fun to play that part."
During the girls game, Audrey made 7-of-10 shots to go with 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots. She was one of three girls scoring at least 20 points as Farmington claimed a 69-50 victory over Berryville on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Cardinal Arena. With the victory Farmington (18-3, 5-0) remained atop the 4A-1 Conference overall standings in a tie with Harrison (19-1, 5-0), which defeated Prairie Grove, 78-42, the same night. Makenna Vanzant and Tori Kersey each scored 21 and Audrey Culpepper added 20 including 15 points in the first half.
Farmington and Berryville split their meetings last season. Berryville blew out the Lady Cardinals at Bobcat Arena in the regular season but Farmington knocked off the Lady Bobcats to win the 4A-1 District championship game at Harrison. Both teams made the 2019 State 4A tournament and Brad Johnson thinks that's a possibility again this season.
"I think tradition-rich programs make rivalries. That's a testament not only to our kids, but to their (Berryville's) coaches and kids," Brad Johnson said. "I think Berryville is a state tournament team this year. They have a good big girl, who is a difficult matchup and some guards that shoot it well. I thought our kids handled that well."
Farmington scored the first five points before Berryville center Jordan Estepp set up topside and hit a three for the Lady Bobcats. Culpepper (4-of-5) and Vanzant (4-of-6) combined for 20 of Farmington's first 26 points blazing away from the 3-point line. Late in the second quarter Estepp drew Berryville to within 26-22 to cap an 8-0 run.
Culpepper and Trinity Johnson made 3-pointers and the Lady Cardinals answered with their own 8-2 run to expand a four-point to 10. Farmington remained ahead 34-24 at intermission but Abby Thurman's trey got Berryville to within 34-27 to start the third quarter. Vanzant cranked out one more trey as Farmington then went on a 20-4 run to take command before Lexy Anderson made a 3-pointer for the Lady Bobcats.
"When we're defending and rebounding well obviously that kind of keys our transition game and we're able to go 94 feet," said Farmington coach Brad Johnson.
That spells trouble for most opponents and although Berryville put together a 7-1 mini run, Farmington led 55-38 going into the fourth and went on to a 69-50 victory.
Estepp scored 18 and Anderson 14 to lead Berryville.
Farmington 69, Berryville 50
Berryville (14-5, 3-2): Jordan Estepp 8 1-2 18, Lexy Anderson 5 3-4 14, Abby Thurman 3 1-2 8, Lilli Compton 2 2-2 6, Ella McMellon 1 0-0 2, Lauren Compton 1 0-0 2. 20 7-10 50.
Farmington (18-3, 5-0): Tori Kersey 6-12 9-11 21, Makenna Vanzant 6-11 5-6 21, Audrey Culpepper 7-10 2-2 20, Trinity Johnson 2-5 0-0 5, Kaci Drain 1-1 0-0 2, Joelle Tidwell 0-1 0-0 0, Madison Earnheart 0-1 0-0 0, Morgan Brye 0-3 0-0 0, Carson Dillard 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 22 16-19 69.
3-Point Goals -- Farmington 9-20 (Culpepper 4-5, Vanzant 4-6, Trinity Johnson 1-4, Brye 0-1, Earnheart 0-1, Dillard 0-3), Berryville 3 (Estepp, Anderson, Thurman).
Rebounds -- Farmington 23 (Culpepper 6, Kersey 6), Berryville 24. Assists -- Farmington 16 (Vanzant 5), Berryville 13. Steals -- Farmington 7 (Vanzant 3), Berryville 1. Blocks -- Farmington 2 (Culpepper 2), Berryville 1 (Estepp). Turnovers -- Farmington 6.Sports on 02/12/2020
Print Headline: Culpepper Gets An Encore