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Alma splits with Mena

By Kevin Taylor
Alma Schools 
 
Alma boys basketball coach Stan Flenor had seen all he wanted to of Mena's late second-quarter offensive push Monday night. 
 
So Alma settled into a zone and limited the visitors to a single second-half field goal — a 3-pointer with 2:38 left in the game — while posting a 46-27 victory at Charles B. Dyer Arena.
 
Mena finished just 1-for-17 from the field in the final half.
 
"We really chased them around defensively in the first half and we came back in the second half and played our zone," Flenor said. "We kind of caused them a little bit of trouble and we were able to make some shots and get ahead."
 
Up 28-24 at the half, Alma opened the second half by outsourcing the Bearcats, 14-0. It wasn't a thing of beauty; Alma was just 7-of-14 from the free-throw line, and the Airedales were guilty of 17 turnovers.
 
"But I've coached long enough that you're not going ever give them back," Flenor said. "We started doing some things that we're going to have to do."
 
Drew Battles finished with a game-high 17 points for the Airedales (3-1).
 
Nathan Whalen and Hunter McAlister combined for 19 points in the win.
 
"Going into the week, we knew we had three different games," Flenor said. "For our group, it's our fourth game. As a basketball team, we're still young. We have two guys playing inside (Whalen and McAlister) that are complementary to each other and our guards are still young.
 
"We're still evolving as a team."
 
Mena 42, Alma 39
GIRLS — A late fourth-quarter shooting spell cost the Lady Airedales a win against the bigger Mena Lady Bearcats Monday night.
 
Down 35-31 at the end of three, Mena held Alma to just a single field goal for nearly eight minutes while coming-from-behind to post a 42-39 triumph.
 
Down 37-35, Mena's Brooklyn Pennington completed an old-fashioned three-point play with 2:30 left to play. Alma didn't score again until Halyn Carmack swooped in and scored with 11.1 remaining.
 
Carmack led Alma (3-4) with a career-high 18 points. Loryn Kelley had 13 points in the team's loss.