Izard County sweeps Norfork

Izard County sweeps Norfork


Izard County sweeps Norfork


NORFORK — An 8-1 spurt to start the fourth quarter gave Izard County a double-digit lead, but the Cougars could never put Norfork away until the very end Friday night.

The Cougars hit enough foul shots down the stretch to improve to 7-0 overall and seal an 80-70 victory over the Panthers in 1A-2 North Conference play at Bobby D. Hulse Gymnasium.

Norfork’s Travis Lewis — who tossed in 21 points — scored to open the fourth, but the Cougars scored eight of the next nine, including a 3-pointer by Taylor Reynolds and a bucket by Andrew Walker at the 5:50 mark to push the lead to 61-51.

Norfork could not climb any closer than seven the rest of the way, but Izard County could not gain a lead bigger than 12, struggling to put the Panthers away.

A 3-point play by Lewis brought the Panthers within 70-63 with 1:52 remaining, but Walker hit 1 of 2 foul shots and Coby Jones scored to push the lead back to double digits for the visitors.

Chapman led all scorers with 24 points for Norfork, while Walker paced Izard County with 23 markers. Reynolds added 18 for the Cougars, while Tyler Simino notched 14 and Jones found double digits with 10.

The Panthers return to action at Valley Springs for nonconference play on Tuesday.

Norfork's Jacob Standfield dribbles between Izard County's Tanner Brooks, left, and Taylor Reynolds, right, during the Panthers' 80-70 loss to the Cougars on Friday night at Norfork.

Norfork’s Jacob Standfield dribbles between Izard County’s Tanner Brooks, left, and Taylor Reynolds, right, during the Panthers’ 80-70 loss to the Cougars on Friday night at Norfork.

The Panthers led for much of the first quarter, but the Cougars got going about midway through the frame, turning an 8-6 deficit into a 16-12 lead.

Chapman pumped in 12 points in the second quarter alone to keep the Panthers within four at halftime. The Cougars had led by as many as 10 in the second, but a bucket by Chapman had the Panthers within 34-31 with :21 left in the half.

Izard County’s Clay Mosley hit a 3-pointer from the corner to end a 9-2 run by Norfork, but Alex Reynolds’ basket to end the half brought the hosts within 37-33 at the intermission.

Grant Casey drilled a 3-pointer to open the second half, and after an Izard County basket, Lewis drained a trey as well to knot the score at 39-39. The Cougars responded with seven straight and took a 46-39 lead on a bucket by Simino.

The Cougars led by as much as eight in the third and held a 53-48 edge going into the final stanza.

COUGARS (7-0, 1-0)

Walker 23, Reynolds 18, Simino 14, Jones 10, Mosley 9, Norton 4, Brooks 2.

PANTHERS (4-3, 0-1)

W. Chapman 24, Lewis 21, Reynolds 9, Casey 7, Standfield 5, C. Chapman 2, Scott 2.

IZARD CO. 16 21 16 27 – 80

NORFORK 14 19 15 22 – 70

Lady Cougars 65,

Lady Panthers 36

Izard County scored the first 10 of the game, and it scored the last eight in a row of the opening frame to gain a big early lead on its way to a league-opening victory.

After 6-foot junior Kennedy Cooper scored the game’s first bucket, sophomore Jen King scored eight straight to give the guests the early 10-0 advantage.

Makayla Irby drained a 3-pointer for Norfork’s first points of the game with 4:50 left in the quarter. The Lady Panthers were just 3 of 13 from 3-point range in the first half as Izard County forced quick, out-of-rhythm shots for the hosts.

Norfork's Makayla Irby puts up a shot against Izard County on Friday night at Norfork.

Norfork’s Makayla Irby puts up a shot against Izard County on Friday night at Norfork.

Norfork pulled as close as 12-6 after an old-fashioned 3-point play by sophomore Marleigh Dodson, but the Lady Cougars scored the final eight of the quarter for a 20-6 advantage.

Irby scored and Riley Scalf ended the 3-pointer drought to bring Norfork within 27-13, but the Lady Cougars received a trey from Cooper and a putback by Kristen Caraway to push the lead back to 19 again.

Abbie Belding hit a trey for Norfork, but the Lady Panthers trailed 34-16 at the half.

After Dodson scored to bring Norfork within 16 to open the second half, the Lady Panthers never climbed any closer the rest of the way.

Cooper led all scorers with 23 points, while King added 19 for the Lady Cougars. Dodson paced Norfork with 14 points.

LADY COUGARS (5-2, 1-0)

Cooper 23, J. King 19, Everett 9, Thomason 8, S. King 4, Caraway 2.

LADY PANTHERS (5-3, 0-1)

Dodson 14, Belding 8, Scalf 5, Irby 5, Staples 2, P. McGowan 2.

IZARD CO. 20 14 17 14 – 65

NORFORK 6 10 14 6 – 36

Junior Cougars 66,

Junior Panthers 31

Caleb Faulkner poured in 29 points to lead Izard County to a mercy-rule victory in the junior boys’ contest.

Bryson Thiel tossed in eight points to lead Norfork, which trailed 20-11 after one quarter, 37-20 at the half and 56-28 after three. Izard County’s lead reached the 30-point mark with a basket at the 5:01 mark of the fourth quarter to make it 60-30.

For local sports updates, follow Neal Denton on Twitter @BBSportsNeal and Like his Facebook page at facebook.com/BBSportsNeal


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