D.J. Freeman of White Hall shoots over Tarmarqus Love of Hope during Friday’s game in White Hall. (Special to The Commercial/Mike Adam)
WHITE HALL — The White Hall Bulldogs never trailed Friday night as they defeated the Hope Bobcats 58-40 at home to win their third straight conference game.
“I think the kids are finally buying into what we have been trying to do,” White Hall head coach Marc Stringer said. “That has been the biggest thing.
“They are seeing the rewards of it finally paying off.”
Heading into the fourth quarter, White Hall (6-13, 3-6 5A-South) led Hope (1-7, 6-11) by just three points at 32-29. That’s when senior LaMarcus Davis took over for the Bulldogs, scoring all 15 of his points in the final quarter.
“I was just looking at the stats, and I had no idea,” Stringer said. “He did a very good job.
“He was the difference maker in the fourth quarter. That’s what we need out of a senior.”
Davis began the quarter with a baseline drive to give the Bulldogs a five-point lead. After Hope sophomore Steven Caples made one of two from the line, Davis made both of his free throws to give White Hall a 36-30 lead with 6:38 left in the game.
White Hall’s Daniel Sprinkle followed with a bucket thanks to an assist from Davis. On the next possession, Davis scored inside to give White Hall an eight-point lead.
Later in the quarter, Davis hit a bank-shot to give the Bulldogs a 44-34 lead. He scored again on the next possession and D.J. Freeman scored as well to give White Hall a 48-36 lead.
With 2:32 remaining in the game, White Hall took a 50-38 lead when J’Breun Steen made a pair of free throws.
With 2:22 left in the game, Davis was fouled. According to Stringer, the referees then called a technical foul on a Hope player after he argued the call.
Davis made one of his two free throws and Steen made one of his two free throws to give White Hall a 52-38 lead.
The win over Hope allows the Bulldogs to remain in sixth place as Watson Chapel defeated Camden Fairview on Friday night.
“It feels great after our start,” Stringer said, referring to the three-game winning streak. “That is big for our kids.
“Last Tuesday was big and we just carried the momentum with us into this one.”
White Hall defeated Hot Springs in overtime on Tuesday.
Kenneth Thompson, who scored 16 points for Hope, scored 10 in the second quarter. Hope senior Vincent Love, who led Hope with 18 points, scored 10 in the third.
“We knew (Thompson) and (Love) were the ones we would have to stop because they killed us the first time we played,” Stringer said. “We geared up to stop (Love) and I thought we did a good job on him.”
In the second quarter, with White Hall leading 18-9, Thompson made back-to-back jumpers to trim the lead to 18-13.
He then made a two-handed jam to get the game within three points.
“[Thompson] got loose and got some buckets and we had to make the adjustment,” Stringer said. “I thought we did about as good as we could have. They are very good players.”
White Hall led 20-17 at the end of the first half after Thompson made two free throws with 3.7 seconds left.
Freeman scored 14 points and Sprinkle contributed with 10 points.
White Hall will host conference leader Hot Springs Lakeside on Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m.
White Hall 55, Hope 53
WHITE HALL — Jae’Lisa Allen became the hero offensively and defensively for the Lady Bulldogs (7-13, 2-7 in 5A-South).
She scored a basket as she was fouled and converted a free throw with 17 seconds left to give White Hall a 55-53 lead. White Hall went into a man-to-man defense and Allen made a steal to wrap up the game.
White Hall erased a 36-26 halftime deficit after the game was tied at 17 through one quarter. White Hall outscored Hope (4-8, 2-5) 13-7 in the third period and 16-10 in the fourth.
Rachel Box led White Hall with 17 points. Allen followed with 14 points and four rebounds, and Alexis Winston added 10.
Anjelica Fulton led Hope with 15 points, followed by Asia Wesley with 14.