Report by Wes Gwaltney
The Batesville Pioneer basketball teams would welcome the Searcy Lions to Pioneer Gymnasium Tuesday night for a 5A East Conference doubleheader and walk away with two big victories.
In the opening game, the Pioneers would open up several double-digit leads in the matchup, but the persistent Lions just wouldn’t go away as they would hang around till the very end, where the Pioneers would knock down several big free throws and would grab the victory, 65-57.
The Pioneers would lead at every break, 13-11 at the end of one, 27-21 at the half, and 43-41 at the end of three-quarters of action before grabbing their second conference win of the year.
Leading the Pioneers was Freshman Caden Griffin with 22 points, including four three-pointers in the third quarter alone.
Joining him in double digits were Seniors John Paul Morgan and KJ Cross with 13 apiece and Junior John Thomas Morgan with eight points of his own.
In the nightcap, a slow start would lead to a barrage of points and a blowout victory for the Batesville Lady Pioneers by a final of 68-35 over the Lady Lions.
Leading by twenty at the end of one quarter, the Lady Pioneers would coast to victory leading by as many as 40 at one point in the game.
Even just playing the first half, Senior Izzy Higginbottom would lead the team in scoring with 21 points.
Other leading scorers would include Senior Kaylee Clark with 11, Junior Taylor Rush with nine, Senior London Cuzzort with eight, and Sophomore Kayla Ward and Senior Riley Freeman with six apiece.
Both teams will now travel to West Memphis to take on the Blue Devils on Friday night to complete the first cycle of 5A East conference play.
JV games are set to start at 5 p.m. with Senior Girls’ action set for 6 p.m.and the Senior Boys to follow.