- Alma School District
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For you, mom
By Kevin Taylor
Drew Battles was very much aware of his shooting numbers leading up to Friday's breakout performance against Southside.
Battles was 3-for-24 from the field during Alma's first two games. Friday, he had three field goals by the time the Airedales took a 13-11 lead into the second quarter.
"I was about 0-for-13, just on threes," Battles said.
Battles scored 11 of his career-high 21 points in the third quarter as Alma pulled away for a 61-51 victory at Charles B. Dyer Arena.
The big night was a nice topping for Battles' mom, Jamie Bass's, too.
Bass celebrated her birthday Friday..
"I was thinking at halftime, 'Man, we need to win this for her.' It's a big day for her; it's a big day for my family," Battles said. "My stepdad (Sam) just got back into town, and my dad (Cliff) was here tonight. I think that's the big reason it's so special."
Southside (1-3) overcame a nine-point first half deficit with a go-ahead 3-pointer at the 6:02 mark of the third quarter.
Logan Taylor's put-back put the Airedales ahead for good at 30-29. Battles did the rest.
Battles hit a trio of 3-pointers in a two-minute span to stretch Alma's lead to 43-31.
"When I make about two in a row, if I can get it off, it's going to go in," Battles said. "It meant something good for the team, just being able to do my part. Being able to help out, that's what our team is about.
"Kick it inside and then find the open man."
Alma (2-1) made two 3-pointers in each of its first two games, including just 2-of-14 during last week's loss to Bentonville West.
Friday, the Airedales were 7-of-18 from deep.
They had plenty of inside strength as well. Senior Nathan Whalen scored 14 points and junior Hunter McAlister finished with nine.
The Airedales host Mena Monday at 7 p.m.
Alma 49, Southside 23
GIRLS — Alma found a third-quarter gear it had been missing the previous two games.
Just in the nick of time, too.
Chloe Trusty scored five of her 15 points as part of an 11-0 push to the end the third quarter. Teammate Loryn Kelley had 15 points and 11 rebounds in the team's 49-23 victory over Fort Smith Southside.
"I think it showed us how we need to get better," Kelley said of the team's third-quarter run. "I know me and Chloe kind of stepped it up at the end of the third quarter. Before the half and in the third quarter has been our Achilles heel. I think him (Alma coach Codey Mann) getting mad at us and making us want to play, we knew we didn't want to lose to a team like that. We got three games next week, but we needed this win to boost our confidence."
Southside (0-4) lost for the 57th consecutive time. The state record for consecutive losses is 129 set by Williford, Arkansas between 1995-99.
Alma led 18-4 after one-quarter of play and 24-8 at the half.
But the gritty Lady Mavericks opened the second half with a 10-3 run to close to within 27-19 before Trusty banked a layup and swished two foul shots with 47.9 left to go.