Report by Wes Gwaltney

The Pioneers and Lady Pioneers would return home Tuesday night as they would play host to the 5A East-leading Marion Patriots and Lady Patriots in conference action.

The opening game of the evening would see the Marion Patriots who are ranked number one in 5A according to the Arkansas Sports Media Poll, take on the Pioneers who have been off since the week prior after their first conference win against Greene County Tech.

The Patriots would control the first quarter, 20-9, and from then on would stretch their lead throughout the game, leading 34-18 at the half before breaking away in the fourth quarter defeating the Pioneers 76-52.

Leading the Pioneers in scoring was Senior John Paul Morgan with 20 points and Senior K J Cross and Junior Wes Lange with five points apiece.

In the nightcap, the undefeated Lady Pioneers would have the opposite outcome as the boys as they took sole possession of the top spot in the 5A East with a victory over the Marion Lady Patriots, 84-53.

Scoring was aplenty as after the first quarter alone, the two teams would account for 38 points and the Lady Pioneers would lead 22-16.

Batesville’s defense would come alive in the second as they held the Lady Patriots to just nine points and would stretch their advantage to 17 at the break.

Coasting in the second half and never seeing their lead fall below double digits, the Lady Pioneers would stay unbeaten on the season and in conference play.

Leading the Lady Pioneers once again was Senior Izzy Higginbottom with 31 points and she would be joined in double digits by Junior Taylor Rush with 15 points, Senior Kaylee Clark with 12 points, and Senior London Cuzzort with 10 points.

Sophomore Kayla Ward would just miss double digits with eight of her own points.

Both teams will return to action Friday night as they travel to Nettleton to continue the 5A East conference play with the first JV game to start at 5 p.m. and then the Varsity games to follow at 6 p.m.

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