It was a tale of two halves between Alma and Siloam Springs.
The Panthers were 7 of 9 from behind the 3-point line in the first half and led by as many as 12 points. The Airedales, however, caught fire in the third quarter with six 3-pointers and outscored Siloam Springs 24-6 to turn the game around and take a 65-48 victory inside Panther Activity Center.
"Well we haven't played in over a week," said Alma coach Stan Flenor. "(Tuesday) was a week since we've played, and we knew we were going to be a little rusty. Siloam, give them credit. They came out and ran their offense and made threes, and when they do that, we were guarding them for 35 to 40 seconds at time. That makes it difficult, and that's what teams will do to you if you allow them to.
"We came back in the second half and we got to play the tempo that we wanted to and force a lot of turnovers. We settled in and ran our offense and hit open shots. We hit a few threes and got to the foul line and just got a lot more comfortable."
Down 32-24 at halftime, Garrison Jensen and Tanner Shelton buried 3-pointers to start the second half for Alma and Brayden Johnson scored inside as the Airedales cut the lead to 34-32.
Diego Flores scored for Siloam Springs to extend the Panthers' lead to 36-32, but Kade Wood hit a pair of free throws to get back within 36-34 and Christian Stahler canned a 3-pointer to put Alma ahead for good, 37-36.
"We came back in the second half and we got to play the tempo that we wanted to and force a lot of turnovers," Flenor said. "We settled in and ran our offense and hit open shots. We hit a few threes and got to the foul line and just got a lot more comfortable."
Cejay Mann hit back-to-back 3-pointers for a 45-36 lead, and Stahler hit another at the third quarter-buzzer for a 48-38 lead. The Airedales extended that lead in the fourth quarter and scored 11 of their 17 points from the free-throw line.
Jensen led Alma with 15 points, while Johnson and Mann each had 14 and Shelton 10. Spencer Lashley led Siloam Springs with 15 points, while Jacob Wakefield had nine.
"Alma turned up the heat and played a lot more physical in the second half and gave us some fits," said Siloam Springs coach Tim Stewart. "We had trouble handling their pressure. Then offensively, Alma does a great job moving the ball with their size and finding those corner threes and inside-out threes and a timely rebound.
"Man, it'd seem like we'd get a break and they'd get a timely rebound. Give Stan and his guys a lot of credit. They turned up the heat in the second half. I thought we played really comfortable in the first half. A lot of poise on both ends, and we just weren't able to continue that in the second half."
The first half saw the Panthers fall behind 13-7 early. However, Siloam Springs went on a 10-0 run into the second quarter to take a 17-13 lead on the Airedales after Evan Sauer hit a 3-pointer, a Wakefield basket inside to close the first quarter, a Lashley 3-pointer to open the second and a basket by Thad Wright.
Wright, Tyler Pettit, Lashley and Drew Vachon all connected on 3-pointers as Siloam Springs took a 32-20 lead with 1:37 left in the first half.
"Give Stan credit," Stewart said. "He's a good coach and he sees that we're in rhythm and that we're playing comfortably, so he tweaks some things."
Stewart said the Airedales changed up their defense with a 1-2-2 full court press and extended their pressure into the halfcourt.
"He probably told his kids to play a little more physical," Stewart said. "It bothered us. We're not quite there to handle that yet, but we're going to keep working. The kids' attitudes are great. We'll see what we can do."
Alma 65, Siloam Springs 48
Alma (13-7, 7-2): Jensen 15, Johnson 14, Mann 14, Shelton 10, C. Stahler 6, Wood 6.
Siloam Springs (6-19, 4-6): Lashley 15, Wakefield 9, Wright 7, Vachon 6, Pettit 5, Sauer 4, Flores 2.Sports on 02/11/2018
Print Headline: Airedales flip script