BY EASTON LEONARD –
On Monday, November 27th, the Mena Bearcats Sr. High basketball team took on the Dierks Outlaws for their home opener at the Union Bank Center. Prior to the varsity team action, the junior varsity Bearcats defeated Dierks 36-30.
Mena started the game on a 10-0, before the Outlaws scored their first bucket with 4:59 left in the first quarter. The Bearcats went on to outscore Dierks 21-10, to take an eleven point lead into the second quarter. Dierks narrowed down the Bearcats lead in the second, outscoring Mena 20-13, to trail by only four points at halftime, with the score 34-30 Bearcats.
At the half, Jarrett Fox led the Outlaws in scoring with 14 points, while Zeb Wilson led Mena with 11 points.
The Bearcats extended their lead a little in third quarter, outscoring Dierks 11-7, to take an 8 points, 45-37, lead into the fourth quarter. Dierks stepped up their game a bit in the fourth, and took their first lead of the game for short while. After both teams going back and forth, with :33 left in the quarter, and the Outlaws leading 59-57, Zeb Wilson made a 2-pointer, tying the ball game up at 59-59. Neither team scored another bucket in the quarter, making the official score 59-59 at the end of regulation, and taking the game into overtime.
In the first overtime of four minutes, the Outlaws took a quick 3 point lead, but after a technical foul from Dierks, Mena was able to eventually retake the lead 65-64. With about :40 left, the Outlaws retook the lead on a layup 66-65, but that didn’t last long as Mena’s Zeb Wilson countered with a 2-pointer of his own, to make the score 67-66, and after a steal and score by Nick Myers, the Bearcats led 69-66 with under fifteen seconds left. Following the steal and score by Myers, Dierks tied the game at
69-69 with a 3 pointer with :03 left, to send the game into a second overtime.
Dierks made the first bucket of the second overtime, a 2-pointer, but stayed scoreless for the remainder. Mena went on to outscore the Outlaws 12-2 in the second overtime, to win the game by 10, 81-71.
Jarrett Fox led the Dierks Outlaws with 22 points on the night, as Blayn Turner scored 21 points of his own, Cameron Pugh 20 points, Grant Strasner 5 points, Aaron Stokes 2 points, and Zane Cox 1 point.
Zeb Wilson led the Mena Bearcats in scoring with 28 points, while Blake Seals and Nick Myers scored 15 points each, Zane Stephens and Brock Strother 8 points, Marc Wilson 3 points, and Williams Shanner and Braxton Bahr 2 points.