BRYANT - West Side Christian’s girls claimed the championship of the Heartland Christian Athletic Association 2A East Regional Tournament Saturday in Bryant. The Lady Warriors staved off Arkansas Christian Academy 48-44 and did it the hard way after losing three starters to fouls.
West Side’s boys fell to Southwest Christian 54-34 and will take the No. 2 seed into next week’s state tournament.
Freshman Maddie Conley hit a free throw in the final seconds to seal the Lady Warriors’ win as they improved to 20-6 overall. They will play Owasso Prep (Okla.) in Little Rock on Monday at 3 p.m.
West Side starters Carley Bain and Victoria Colley fouled out in the third quarter on Saturday. Camille McKnight fouled out with more than six minutes remaining in the fourth.
Coach Randall Miller said each player was called for an offensive foul for their final infraction.
“It was a gritty win but it certainly wasn’t a pretty one,” said Miller. “(Conley) made some big free throws for us. Carson Bain made plays all over the place, defensively, rebounding, smart passes. She made a ton of defensive plays.
“I thought she and Jenna, when we were scuffling without some of our players, they really made a lot of gritty plays to keep us in it.”
Jenna McNabb paced West Side with 20 points. McKnight scored 10. Conley scored all five of her points in the fourth quarter and hit 3-of-5 free throws.
“In the fourth quarter when we needed her to be super aggressive with the ball, she was,” said Miller.
The Lady Warriors led 20-12 after one quarter and 34-29 going into the final period.
The Warriors will play Trinity Christian on Monday at 8:30 p.m. in Hot Springs.
West Side’s boys fell behind 14-5 to start the game and were never able to catch up.
Nathan Pearson scored 13. Elijah Narciso and Cayson Martin added nine and seven, respectively.
“We struggled a little bit against their match-up zone. In the first half, I thought we played a little frantic, just a little bit too rushed,” said Miller. “We had some defensive breakdowns as well. They’ve got a really good 3-point shooter. We let him get free for three of those.Their point guard ended up hitting four. Those two guys we knew could shoot and they ended up combining for seven threes and that’s something we’ve got to do better at.”