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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Hays, Gaines lift Jr. Wildcats over Quitman

  • Hector versatile forwards Rustin Hays and Tanner Gaines combined for 36 points on Friday night in Quitman, leading the Junior Wildcats to a 49-31 win over the Junior Bulldogs in a 4-2A East Conference matchup.
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  • Hector versatile forwards Rustin Hays and Tanner Gaines combined for 36 points on Friday night in Quitman, leading the Junior Wildcats to a 49-31 win over the Junior Bulldogs in a 4-2A East Conference matchup. The Jr. Wildcats stormed in front early, taking a 13-2 after one quarter of play as Gaines poured in six points and Hays added five, including a three-pointer from left wing on the game's opening possession. Late in the first period, Quitman got on the scoreboard when forward Treavor Williams slashed down right side of lane for a layup but Hays picked a steal and finished with an open floor finger roll, pushing Hector's lead to 13-2 entering the second stanza. Hays hit a double-clutch leaner in the Jr. Wildcats' opening possession of the second quarter before Quitman retaliated with a 6-0 run, sparked by point guard Trey McGhee, who drove left baseline for a layup. Guard Tyler Grantham swiped a steal and scored then guard Christian Emmert added a bucket in transition as the Jr. Bulldogs suddenly closed the gap to seven, causing Hector to call for timeout with 3:31 left in the first half. Following the break in action, Gaines hit a driving floater but Williams responded with five quick points sandwiched around a basket by Hector power forward Wyatt Reid. After Williams hit a spectacular reverse layup to pull Quitman within six at 19-13, Hays scored three straight but Grantham countered with a difficult runner from right side, leaving the Jr. Wildcats with a 22-15 lead at halftime. Hector busted the game wide open in the third quarter, outscoring Quitman 18-6, including a crushing 12-2 run to start the period. Hays, who buried a three-pointer from right wing to polish off the Jr. Wildcats' 12-2 run, scored nine points in the period, while Gaines added six. Trailing 40-21, Quitman outscored Hector 10-4 in the final six minutes as McGhee scored four points, while guards Nathaniel Reynolds, Michael Lewis and Hunter Burroughs each recorded a basket for the Jr. Bulldogs. Hays scored a game-high 22 points for Hector (7-3, 1-0), Gaines added 14 and power forward Dalton Day had seven. Williams led Quitman (6-5, 0-1) with 11 points and McGhee chipped in six.
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