Both Conway basketball teams opened 6A Central Conference play with big wins Friday at Buzz Bolding Arena.
In the boys game, the Wampus Cats trailed 16-11 after the first quarter to Fort Smith Southside before going on to win big 79-56.
Both teams opened the game trading baskets until Southside picked up the five-point advantage over the final two minutes of the first quarter as senior forward Dedrick Washington scored on a layup and senior guard Mykale Franks nailed a 3-pointer to take the five-point lead.
The second quarter began much like the first quarter began with both teams trading buckets before Conway sparked a 12-0 run that allowed it the lead to climb to 27-20 after Conway junior guard Jacoby Easley kicked it off when he split free throws and then nailed a 3-pointer.
Senior guard and Arkansas State commit Caleb London scored on a layup to give Conway a 21-20 lead.
Junior center Jayden Williams scored Conway’s next four points before the 12-0 run was finished off on a layup by sophomore guard Chase Boyd.
From that point on, the Wampus Cats never saw their lead disappear.
By halftime, Conway built its lead up to 10 before that lead grew in the third quarter as senior guard Lucas Foster got hot behind the 3-point line as well as London saw his point total increase by six as the Wampus Cats went on an 18-2 run just over seven minutes to begin the quarter.
By the time the third quarter ended, Conway had surpassed its first half 3-point total as it hit two in the first and second quarter combined.
Foster matched that total by himself in the opening four minutes of the third and then London hit a three to end the quarter with 2.8 seconds left.
Entering the fourth quarter, the score was 59-38.
The Wampus Cats continued their strong play as the reserves started getting more playing time.
By the final buzzer, Conway had three players in double figures as London led all scorers with 22 points, followed by Foster’s 13 and senior guard Chase Boyd’s 10.
Southside had two players score 13 and they were Franks and junior guard Jairo Phonesouphan.
The Conway Lady Cats game didn’t take long to get out of hand as they raced out to a 7-0 lead at the first Southside timeout a little less than a minute into the game.
From there, Southside managed to get just six points, while Conway score 18 as the Lady Cats led 25-6 after one.
Conway coach Ashley Hutchcraft’s signature high-octane, turnover-making team managed to put up another 21 points in the second quarter, while Southside managed just seven as the mercy rule was now in effect for the second half as it led 46-13 at the break.
By the end of the third, the Lady Cats managed to put up another 23, while allowing 10 points to Southside, taking a 69-23 lead.
The fourth quarter just had to have time run off the clock as the reserves came in and Conway managed only eight points to Southside’s four.
Conway freshman guard Chloe Clardy led all scorers with 20 points, while senior guard Jadah Pickens scored 13 and freshman center Savannah Scott scored 12.
Southside didn’t have any players reach double figures.
Both Conway teams travel Tuesday to North Little Rock for another conference matchup.