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Tigers can’t contain Woolard’s hot shooting

by Mark Humphrey | January 18, 2023 at 11:05 a.m.
Mark Humphrey/Enterprise-Leader Prairie Grove senior Sam Kidd got inside for a layup in the first quarter of Friday's 63-43 loss to Gravette. The Tigers led 14-10 after the first quarter, but went cold in the second.

PRAIRIE GROVE -- Gravette boys basketball coach Matt Busch liked Friday's consistency in winning 63-43 at Prairie Grove, especially coming off a 47-32 road loss at Berryville

"I couldn't be more proud, our kids just played their tails off. Those juniors had a learning curve earlier in the year. We got a lead on Berryville on Tuesday, Jan. 10, and we were up 16-12 at the half. We didn't finish so I was proud of that maturation tonight, just finishing this game," Busch said.

The Lions (14-6, 3-3) rode the hot hand of junior guard Gunnar Woolard, who finished with 35 points, including six 3-pointers, but it was flash by Isaiah Larson, whose trey at the third quarter buzzer enabled Gravette to fashion a 15-2 run over a 6:31 span of the third and fourth quarters, turning an 8-point lead into a 52-34 cushion with 2:07 elapsed in the fourth.

Larson started the run with a free throw. After Woolard scored off a drive, Larson hit a 3-pointer off a screen on an in-bounds play underneath the Lions' basket. Prairie Grove (5-12, 1-5) doubled Woolard, but he passed to Larson for the spot-up triple to end the third with Gravette leading 49-34.

Larson made the first points of the fourth with a trey from the wing. Ben Munoz contributed a free throw and Woolard snared an offensive rebound, then scored easily off a quick dribble to the hoop and the Lions enjoyed a 55-34 advantage. Prairie Grove never recovered.

"Three threes in-a-row by Isaiah was huge. He's a senior. He missed the last game with sickness, came back tonight and had 12, but they were a big 12 points," Busch said. "Just a couple of good set plays and he made the shots and did a great job."

Prairie Grove started strong with the boys playing first on Colors Day. The Tigers fed Sam Kidd cutting the lane for their first bucket. Cole Edmiston chased down a loose ball which led to Eric Henderson's triple from the wing. Jace Edwards dribbled across the lane and put in a shot off the backboard and Prairie Grove opened up a 7-2 lead in the game's first 3:38.

Gravette cut that to 14-10 at the end of the first quarter with Woolard rattling in a three. The Lions used a 25-11 second quarter scoring spree to grab a 35-25 halftime lead.

Isaiah Larson added 12 for the Lions.

Henderson had 20 points for Prairie Grove while Cole Edmiston added 12.

Gravette 63, Prairie Grove 43

Gravette^10^25^14^14^--^63

Prairie Grove^14^11^9^9^--^43

Prairie Grove (5-12, 1-5): Eric Henderson 7 2-3 20, Cole Edmiston 6 0-2 12, Jace Edwards 2 0-2 5, Sam Kidd 2 0-1 4, Austin Henry 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 2-8 43.

Gravette (14-6, 3-3): Gunnar Woolard 13 3-4 35, Isaiah Larson 4 1-2 12, Ben Munoz 3 2-6 8, Will Betz 2 0-0 6, Holden Betz 1 0-1 2. Totals 23 6-13 63.

3-Point Goals -- Prairie Grove 5 (Henderson 4, Edwards). Gravette 11 (Woolard 6, Larson 3, W. Betz 2).

Print Headline: Tigers can’t contain Woolard’s hot shooting

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