GREENBRIER — Vilonia’s Eagles watched a 14-point lead evaporate to just a single point in the late going then put in a strong performance at the free throw line to preserve a 42-31 victory over Cabot Monday in the semifinals of the First Security Bank Battle at the Brier in Panther Pavilion.
It was far from easy for the Eagles. Cabot used a stiff press, going full court much of the time,causing headaches for Vilonia.
With a 19-7 halftime lead, the Eagles scored only three field goals in the second half, two in the third quarter by Trevor Martin and one late in the fourth quarter by Sean Talbert.
But successful free throws go up on the scoreboard, and the Eagles sank 15 of 18 attempts in the fourth quarter to offset the fierce Panther defense.
Vilonia coach Lance Davis said, "This was a good win for us. They (Cabot) stepped it up in the second half, and we had to do it with free throws in the fourth quarter. Sean Talbert had a big basket when it was 32-29, and he was 8 of 8 on free throws in the fourth quarter — all this with a broken nose."
Talbert was hurt in the third quarter but came back into action later.
Vilonia, now 7-4, will play in the title game at 7 p.m. today.
The Eagles had 15 points from Talbert and 11 from Martin. For Cabot, Kai Davis scored 15. Cabot dropped to 5-7 for the season.
Beebe fought back a late Charleston surge and took a 64-61 victory to march into tonight’s finals. Charleston tied the game at 57-all with 1:18 to play on Robbie Raggio’s 3-pointer, but Beebe put the game away on Devonte Young’s three free throws.
Raggio led the scoring with 24 points. Young had 17, Braden Jones 16 and Dayton Scott 12 for Beebe.
Greenbrier started well, outscored Sheridan in each of the first three quarters and cruised to a 53-36 win in consolation play.
The Panthers were ahead 20-9 at halftime.
Neal Burcham had 19 points and Colt Harmon 16 for Greenbrier. R.J. Comic scored 12 and Nick Ware 10 for Sheridan.
Little Rock Mills 73, Conway Christian 35
Mills jumped to a 17-8 lead at the end of the first quarter then put Conway Christian away in the second half.
The Comets shut out the Eagles in the fourth quarter.
Chris Hampton had 16 points and Dantrell Washington 15 for Mills. Kirby Powell put in 16 and Ethan Ellis 15 for Conway Christian.