It was the Greenbrier boys and the Vilonia girls who came out of Wednesday night’s 5A-West Conference games with the upper hand.
The Lady Eagles (24-2, 12-1) pulled out a 35-27 victory over Greenbrier to remain in a tie for first place with Siloam Springs. The Greenbrier boys sent the home crowd away from the Panther Pavilion with a sense of satisfaction, after recording a 50-42 victory over their county rival Vilonia.
"That was a big win for us," Vilonia coach Alvin Riley said. "If we can win on Friday, then we’ll be in first place in the conference because we’ll have the tiebreaker on Siloam Springs."
Vilonia’s Bailey Sisson hit five free throws down the stretch to break open a game that was 26-23 with a little over six minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Vilonia’s Catherine Puckett was the only player in the game to finish in double-digits. She ended up with 12 points.
Greenbrier (12-14, 5-8) gave the type of effort that coach Todd Shaefer was looking for and his Lady Panthers were disruptive on defense.
"We got the game’s tempo to where we wanted it to be," Shaefer said. "Our defense really made them work but we didn’t have enough scoring on critical possessions. Overall, both teams played hard and made it entertaining to watch.
Greenbrier (13-11, 8-5) is still in a lock for second with Morrilton after improving its mark in the conference.
"We had a total team effort," Greenbrier coach Jason Johnson said. "We were happy to see John Mark Rowden get going. He really needed to give us that lift that we were looking for and he did."
Rowden hit four 3-pointers in the game to finish with 12 points. Greenbrier’s Neal Burcham ended with 14 points and Vilonia’s Jacob Moore finished with a game-high 18 points.
"We did a pretty good job in the first half of slowing them down," Vilonia coach Lance Davis said. "They hit some big threes there and we never could get over the hump."