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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Pirates bombard Eagles

  • Concord obtained several milestones on Friday in front of a packed gymnasium in Greers Ferry, where the Pirates bombarded West Side 64-57 behind eight three-pointers, including three from junior point guard Jacob Roark, who poured in a game-high 25 points.
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  • Concord obtained several milestones on Friday in front of a packed gymnasium in Greers Ferry, where the Pirates bombarded West Side 64-57 behind eight three-pointers, including three from junior point guard Jacob Roark, who poured in a game-high 25 points.
    The Class 1A No. 2 ranked Pirates capped an undefeated run (14-0) through 1A-2 South Conference play, reached 30 wins for the season and took a 2-1 series edge over their fiercest rival.
    Perhaps more important than Roark's steady offense, guard Luke Cornett provided stifling defense despite a tough assignment in West Side senior point guard Logan Bailey, who was limited to 12 points.
    "Luke Cornett is playing super," said Concord Coach Keith Cornett. "He is defending well and he is running the show out front so we can release Roark and get him out in space and take a little off him. We are trying to get him (Roark) up the floor so we can attack the rim a little better."
    One night after wrapping up their fourth consecutive conference championship with a win over Bradford, the Pirates took an early lead and relied on defense and timely shooting to thwart any West Side comeback hopes.
    "We shot the ball pretty well tonight but the difference was our defense," said Cornett, "Without defense we are not going to win that game tonight."
    The game was called loosely on both ends of the floor, allowing for physical play, which Cornett prefers. "We love the way it was officiated tonight. When you go into the lane and get bumped and knocked around a little bit we don't expect a foul. Most of the time it keeps all of the best players on the floor and that is all a coach can ask."
    West Side (23-8, 11-3) opened up an early 4-0 lead as center Ben Hargrove hit two free throws and guard Keaton Sutterfield drove the lane and finished in a crowd.
    Concord countered with a 6-0 spurt on two baskets from Roark and another by forward Ryan Cornelison, who scored off a high-low assist from power forward Ethan Hebert.
    Tied at 8-all after Sutterfield sank a midrange jumper from right baseline off an assist from Bailey, Concord forward Hanse Bowman drilled a pair of three-pointers sandwiched around a driving scoop shot from Bailey.
    West Side guard Bryce Hipp fired back with a deep three-pointer from left wing as the Eagles closed within one before Roark canned two free throws, giving the Pirates a 16-13 lead entering the second stanza.
    Concord opened the second period with a 13-2 run sparked by Bowman, who ripped a three-pointer from right wing on the Pirates' first possession. Roark then swiped a steal and hit Cornett for a fast-break layup.
    Page 2 of 2 - Following a West Side timeout, Hargrove momentarily stopped the Eagles' bleeding with a free throw, but Roark buried a three-pointer from left wing before Bailey turned an offensive rebound into a free throw.
    Concord extended its lead to 29-15 after Roark scored five straight on another three-pointer from left wing, plus a floater in the lane.
    West Side trimmed its deficit to 10 with consecutive buckets from Hargrove and Sutterfield, but Cornett responded with a three-pointer from top of the key then Cornelison sank a midrange jump shot from right baseline and Roark used a ball fake to get free for a pull up jumper from right wing.
    With the Pirates leading by 17, West Side closed the first half with four straight as Bailey attacked the basket for a layup and reserve power forward Tyler Inman scored inside off a driving assist from Bailey, leaving Concord's halftime lead at 38-25.
    The Eagles outscored Concord 16-13 in the third quarter as Bailey, Hargrove, forward Tanner Galeazzi and Sutterfield each contributed four points, while the Pirates maintained their lead behind five points from Bowman and four more from Cornelison.
    Cornett and Roark also notched baskets in the third period for the Pirates, who took a 51-41 lead to the fourth quarter when Roark dropped a double-clutch tear drop over two defenders in the closing seconds of the frame.
    Roark opened the fourth with a smooth reverse layup off a back cut, tut West Side refused to go down without a fight as Hargrove scored five straight, including a tough stick back, plus contact.
    Hargrove completed the old-fashioned three-point play with a free throw as the Eagles' sliced their deficit to seven at 53-46 before Roark popped a three-pointer from left elbow and Bowman slithered down left baseline for a layup.
    Hargrove used a smooth spin move for a bucket in the paint but Hebert answered in transition for Concord before Hargrove scored again, this time off a drop-step from right block as the Eagles closed within 10 at 60-50 with 2:39 remaining.
    After Sutterfield hit a free throw, Roark dropped a floater in the lane as the Pirates sailed down the stretch, claiming a 64-57 victory despite late three-pointers from Bailey and Sutterfield.
    Hargrove led West Side with 20 points, Sutterfield followed with 14, Bailey added 12 and Galeazzi finished with six.
    Following Roark's game-high 25 points for Concord (30-5, 14-0), Bowman registered 16, Cornelison had 12 and Cornett finished with nine.

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