SPRINGDALE – The Charles H. Flowers High School boys basketball team headed into the postseason with a surge of momentum after pulling away from visiting DuVal 52-43 last Thursday evening in its regular season finale. Flowers (17-5) recognized its six seniors before the contest and started five of them, but it was one of the […]
SPRINGDALE – The Charles H. Flowers High School boys basketball team headed into the postseason with a surge of momentum after pulling away from visiting DuVal 52-43 last Thursday evening in its regular season finale.
Flowers (17-5) recognized its six seniors before the contest and started five of them, but it was one of the underclassmen who delivered in the second half. Junior Elliott Brown yielded his starting role to a senior last Thursday evening, but he came through off the bench with 17 points to lead the Jaguars past the Tigers. Flowers finished third in the county 4A league standings and will begin its bid for a 4A South Region title on March 2.
“We started the game a little slowly, but that was because we had all of our seniors on the floor,” said Flowers coach Mark Edwards. “But once we got our regular lineup back into the game in the second quarter, I thought we were able to do more on offense. It was a good way for the seniors to go out. Last year they [DuVal] came over here and spoiled our senior night when they beat us, but tonight the guys played well in the second half.”
Neither team could generate much offense in the first quarter. DuVal did not get its first field goal until more than five minutes had elapsed when Kevin Simpson hit a jumper to narrow the Jaguars’ lead to 6-3. Emmanuel Ijeh, however, hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the visitors an 8-6 lead after one quarter.
Brown made his presence known in the second quarter when he scored six points to help the Jaguars stay even at 17-17 heading into halftime. DuVal (14-8) had opened a 12-7 lead two minutes into the second period, but Brown and Trent Watson led the Jaguars’ comeback, accounting for all 11 points the team scored that frame. They would continue to do more damage in the second half.
A pair of jumpers by Simpson, including a three-point field goal, vaulted DuVal to a 25-20 lead with 5:30 left in the third quarter, but Watson and Brown again combined to lead the comeback. Brown continued to be a force inside for the hosts and Watson hit a pair of jumpers, including a three-pointer, to give the hosts a 38-33 lead at the end of the third. The two teams had combined to score more points (37) in the third quarter than they had in the first half (34).
Ijeh scored the first three points for the Tigers in the fourth quarter, but after Tyrick Campbell and Brown each hit one free throw for the hosts, DuVal center Edward Polite missed a dunk on that would have narrowed the Jaguars’ lead to two points with just over three minutes remained. Flowers countered with a pivotal 6-0 run to extend the lead to 46-36 with 100 seconds remaining and the Tigers never seriously threatened in the final stages.
“I liked the fact that we never quit,” said DuVal coach Ulysses Lee. “We fell behind in the third quarter and we were down 10 in the fourth, but we never gave up. Flowers kept getting the ball inside to their big kid [Brown] and we just never had an answer for him. We have a week of practice to get ready for our first playoff game next week, so we’ll work on some things and see how far we can go. Our league is very tough, but it’s wide open this year.”