Pottsville 56, Morrilton 28
To say that coach Shane Thurman has a machine going at Pottsville might be the understatement of the century. The top-seeded Apaches rolled to the third straight district tournament crown with a 56-28 victory over Morrilton.
Over the last three seasons Pottsville has amassed a 79-13 record while losing only two district games which both came this season. They have been the dominant team in the 4A-4 over the last three seasons.
If a team is going to beat the Apaches they will have to put a full four quarters together and they will not beat themselves. The Morrilton Devil Dogs got off to a great start but could not carry that momentum throughout the rest of the game.
The two teams battled to a 13-13 tie at the end of the first quarter. Morrilton got off to a great start by scoring
The two teams battled to a 13-13 tie at the end of the first quarter. Morrilton got off to a four to zero start which it didn’t take long for coach Shane Thurman to take a timeout and get his troops regrouped. Regroup they did. Morrilton did a great job in penetrating the Apache 1-3-1 zone, kicking to shooters, and knocking down shots.
Pottsville used an 18 to five advantage in the second quarter to put distance between themselves and the Devil Dogs. The Apaches did a great job getting their hands into the passing lanes which created fast break opportunities. Junior guard Kade Mainhart was the spark for the Apaches scoring eight of the 18 second quarter points.
The third quarter saw Pottsville start with an 11-0 run to push the Apache lead all the way out to 42-18 mid way through the third quarter. The Apaches allowed 13 first quarter points, but through the next quarter and a half they only allowed seven more points. Ultimately, Pottsville only allowed 15 more points for the rest of the game.
Morrilton just had no answer for anything that Pottsville did beyond the first quarter. “We just talked about at halftime we were going to make it like the score was 0-0 and we were going to try to win the first for minutes. The goal was to be up 10 to zero in the first four minutes and I think we hit it right on the head,” said coach Shane Thurman
Pottsville ultimately evoked the mercy rule and rolled to a 56-28 victory. As most games Pottsville had another balanced attack with Wesley Heikes leading all scorers with 18 points. Kade Mainhart and Logan Porter added 14 and 11 respectively. The always steady Carter Horton added five assists while Hekies added seven rebounds to his 18 points. Logan Porter and Carter Horton each had five a piece.
Xavier Wright led Morrilton with 10 points.
Both teams head into the regional tournament hosted by Morrilton. The Apaches will play at 8:30 on Wednesday 2-20 night where they will face Farmington—a team that Pottsville has already beaten. Morrilton will face Huntsville at 5:30 pm on Thursday 2-21. Both teams need to win their opening round games to make the state tournament.