BY NORM BETZ –
The Mena Bearcats played tough, but ultimately fell to the Arkadelphia Badgers, 62-45, in a 4A-7 Conference game on Friday night at the Union Bank Center in Mena. Junior Jarrett Clibrey led the Bearcats with 15 points, while Arkadelphia’s Bryant Robinson led all-scorers with 25 points.
The Bearcats kept pace with the Badgers in the opening quarter, grabbed the lead twice, but trailed 13-12 at the end of the first. Senior Sage Kesterson led the way in the first with a pair of lay-ups. Clibrey drilled a three-pointer, while senior Brandon Sibbitt and junior Kaleb Posey each added buckets. Junior Daniel Maechler rounded out the first quarter hitting one-of-two free throws.
Mena outscored Arkadelphia 10-8 in the first six minutes of the second quarter to grab a 22-21 lead, but trailed the Badgers 24-22 at halftime. Junior Zak Terwilliger led the Bearcats with a 14-foot baseline jumper and a lay-up. All of the other Mena points came from the charity stripe. Junior Drew O’Brien and Clibrey each were perfect, hitting two-of-two, while Kesterson and junior Drew Plunkett each hit one-of-two from the stripe. Mena trailed by two points, 24-22, as they headed to the locker room at halftime.
The Bearcats had their lowest output of the game in the third quarter only scoring eight points, while the Badgers tacked on 13 points to lead 37-30 at the end of the quarter. Terwilliger and Clibrey were the only Bearcats to score in the quarter, each hitting lay-ups and each hitting two-of-two from the line.
After trailing by one point at the end of the first quarter, two points at halftime and seven points at the end of the third, the Bearcats were outscored 25-15 in the final quarter to lose the 4A-7 conference game, 62-45. Clibrey led Mena in the final quarter hitting a pair from beyond the arc. Terwilliger received a sweet pass from Posey and laid it in off the glass and later added a three-pointer of his own, while Kesterson rounded out the Bearcats scoring with a lay-up and a pair of free throws.
Jarrett Clibrey led the Bearcats with 15 points, Zak Terwilliger was the only other Bearcat in double digits with 13 points, Sage Kesterson finished with nine points, while Brandon Sibbitt, Kaleb Posey, and Drew O’Brien each added two points. Daniel Maechler and Drew Plunkett were each good for one point to round out the Mena scoring. Mena shot 68% from the line (13-of-19), while Arkadelphia shot a dismal 30%, hitting just 7-of-23 from the stripe.