The Conway Wampus Cats used the simple formula to get to the Class 7A state tournament next week.

The 42-33 victory over Little Rock Catholic on Friday night at Buzz Bolding Arena eliminated some complicated equations.

The victory gave the Cats (7-7, 17-10) the No. 4 seed from the 7A/6A conference going into the tournament at Cabot. Little Rock Catholic (5-9, 6-13) will have to endure some calculations and multiple tiebreakers to gain either one of the final two spots.

Conway will play at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the first round.

"If we had lost, there would be five teams battling for three spots with several tiebreakers in place; I don’t know what would have happened," said Conway coach James Bates. "We figured if we won, we were in at No. 4."

The Rockets and the Wampus Cats battled evenly the first half with Catholic post Matt Morris getting Conway’s inside players in foul trouble. Catholic led, 19-18, at the break.

The Cats put the game away in the first six minutes of the second half with an 11-0 run powered by forward Justin Leon.

After a layup in transition by Garan Davis, an inside basket by Everett Reed, Leon hit a 10-foot from the base and followed a Kevin Guiden 3 with an inside basket off a feed from Guiden. 

The run led to a 29-21 lead by Conway at the end of the quarter and Catholic got no closer.

"We got in foul trouble, they went to a zone and it slowed the game down from the pace we wanted," Bates said. "We gutted it out the first half, then spread the floor better the second half and found the gaps in their zone defense. We didn’t penetrate too far. But we got good penetration off the dribble. When we can penetrate and kick out, that’s when we’re out our best."

Davis had 16 points to lead the Cats. Leon had 10 and Boyd and Guiden eight each.

Morris had 16 for the Rockets.


The Conway girls showered Mount St. Mary with six 3-pointers in the second quarter on the way to a 70-37 mercy-rule victory.

The Belles (6-20, 0-14) put up a scrap in the first quarter, trailing 13-9.

Madison Foster, Alyssa Strickland (2), Enjonae Chambers (2) and Claire Hobbs all hit 3-pointers the second quarter as the Lady Cats (12-14, 4-10) surged to a 38-19 halftime lead.

Wilkins opened the second half with layups on back-to-back steals to start the first half. Foster drove for a three-point play in the final minute of the third quarter to put Conway on the cusp of the mercy rule, 55-27. The clock began run continuously after the Lady Cats took a 60-30 lead with 5:16 left in the fourth quarter.

Wilkins led a balanced CHS attack with 14 points. Chambers had 10, Hobbs 10 and Foster nine.

Conway, which hit nine 3-pointers in the game, goes into next week’s 7A state girls tourney as the No. 6 seed from the Central. The Lady Cats will play Fort Smith Southside at 1 p.m. Thursday at Cabot’s new gymnasium.