DES ARC — The Carlisle Bison couldn’t overcome a 41-point performance by Des Arc’s DeNerryen Spencer as the Eagles held on for a 74-70 win in a 2A-6 matchup Friday night.
The Eagles led 53-52 after three quarters and 55-52 following a Spencer bucket early in the fourth quarter. Carlisle scored five in a two to lead 57-55. Clayvon Edwards hit a free throw then Braden Reed and Deron Ricks each scored two points in the run.
The game remained close as the Bison tied it at 64-64 on a outback by Ricks with 3:12 left. Des Arc then scored six in a row, including three by Andrew Childers, to lead 70-64 with 1:45 left.
Carlisle cut the deficit to 70-67 on a free throw by Ricks then two more by Reed with 1:19 left.
The Bison got a steal from Reed with 1:08 left. They had a chance to tie the game but Dathan Hill’s three-point attempt rimmed out with a minute to play.
Spencer then scored the Eagles’ final four points and the Bison couldn’t get any closer than four points the remainder of the game.
"Every time we needed another bucket, especially that last time we got the lead, we couldn’t do it," Carlisle coach William Rountree said. "They made some plays. Spencer is a real good player and we knew that."
Spencer scored 12 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter.
"He is a player who will take over a game," first-year Des Arc coach Craig Nyborg said. "I’m fortunate enough to have him on this team. It just amazes me what he can do. I believe he can do more." Nyborg said his team is "buying in to what I’m telling them."
"They are working hard and their ability is going to get them places," he said.
The loss was Carlisle’s first of the year after starting with wins over Riverview and Hazen.
"It’s still early," Rountree said. "I hate to lose and we’ve lost here three years in a row. But those other two years, we got blown out. And this one, we play to the final buzzer. I thought our kids showed a lot of character under adverse conditions."
Some of those adverse conditions included losing Austin Reed and Edwards to their fifth fouls in the fourth quarter. Also, starting guard Chris Hart was hit with a technical foul with 2:23 left in the first quarter and didn’t return to the game because of a team rule instituted by Rountree during his eight years as Bison coach.
"In the nature of what they told me, that was certainly questionable," Rountree said of the technical foul. "And we had some guys fouled out that hurt. That’s part of it. You have to deal with that on the road.
"Our league is a very tough road league. What we’ll do is digest our film and lick a few wounds over the weekend. Get back on the practice court Monday and we’ve got a tough road game at Brinkley on Tuesday."
In addition to Spencer’s 41 points, Des Arc’s Eric Williams added 20.
Ricks and Justice Bryant led the Bison with 14 points each. Braden Reed had 12. Hill added 10. Austin Reed scored nine. Edwards added five while Nick Schafer scored two.