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Airedales fall late, 61-56 11/9/22

Airedales fall late, 61-56

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


PEA RIDGE - Alma had Pea Ridge on the ropes for a half Tuesday night before a big second-half run helped the Blackhawks to a 61-56 victory in the season opener for both teams. 


Alma (0-1) will play a benefit game with Northside next week and will open its 2022-23 home slate with Sylvan Hills on Nov. 17. 


Freshman Easton Boggs led the Airedales with 15 points. 


“Those kids (play hard); that didn’t surprise me,” Alma coach Dominic Lincoln said. “I was ready to see them do it against somebody else.”


Alma led by as many as 10 points (22-12) before falling behind 48-35 in the second half. The Airedales whittled the 13-point deficit to seven (53-46) with six minutes left to play.


“I was very proud of them for that effort and being resilient,” Lincoln said. “They took a punch in the third quarter and they responded and kept battling.”


Pea Ridge outscored the Airedales, 24-9, in the third quarter. 


Sophomore Israel Towns-Robinson, fresh out of football, finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Fellow sophomore Tyree McGill pulled down a career-high six boards as well. 


“It’s a different type of sport; it’s a lot different from football,” Towns-Robinson said. “I’ve got to get back into shape and work on certain things you’ve got to do to win games.”


Towns-Robinson, whose thunderous dunk put Alma up 10 about halfway through the second quarter, was 4-of-7 from the foul line in 19 minutes of playing time. The Airedales, as a team, were just 8-of-17 from the free-throw line.


“I believe in these kids; I know they’re going to come back tomorrow and continue to get better,” Lincoln said. “I’m looking forward to a great season.”


Alma led 17-12 after one quarter and 30-26 at the half. Camden Curd’s layup extended the lead to 32-26 early in the third quarter. 


But Pea Ridge went on a 27-8 spurt to take control of the game.


“To see the work that we’ve put in, to see how we prepared ourselves, I feel like a lot of good came out of this game,” Curd said. “It didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but we can only go from here.”


Senior Matthew Schlegel had two points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of playing time. Like Towns-Robinson, he had just one day of basketball practice to prepare for the season. 


“It’s tough work to turn around a day after and go practice; I’m definitely out of shape,” Schlegel said. “But we came here and competed. We’re young, but late in the season I think we’re going to be pretty good.”