Hope ninth grade boys basketball team pulled off an intense and close battle against talented Arkadelphia Freshman Badgers 36-30 last Thursday night to open the 2017-18 season at Jones Field House Gymnasium.

Hope ninth grade boys basketball team pulled off an intense and close battle against talented Arkadelphia Freshman Badgers 36-30 last Thursday night to open the 2017-18 season at Jones Field House Gymnasium.

In opening quarter play, Hope jumped out to a 4-0 lead down to the 5:16 mark. Arkadelphia stopped the run and scored their first basket of the game at the 4:59 mark to trail Hope 4-2. Hope sparked to spread open their lead draining a trifecta from behind the arc and scoring their final field goal under a minute at 32 seconds to play in the first period. Arkadelphia added five points for the final three and half minutes to play in the first, but Hope held a slim two point lead over the Badgers 9-7 to end opening period action.

In the second quarter, the Badgers dropped eight points on the scoreboard, but Hope posted in double-digits with 10 points scored and led Arkadelphia 19-15 at the break. In the second half, both teams continued to keep pace with each other but Arkadelphia outscored Hope 6-5 in the third quarter. After three periods of action, Hope led the Badgers 24-21 to anticipate a much watched finale period of play for the fourth and final quarter of the night.

In the fourth, the game reached it's first knot at 27-27 for a tied game down to the 3:49 mark. Hope rallied to regain the lead splitting a pair of free-throws at the 3:17 mark to take a 28-27 advantage. From this point, Hope maintained the lead the remainder of the game to score eight final points on the scoreboard. Arkadelphia totaled for nine points scored in the quarter and held to three points for the final three and half minutes of play. Hope secured the six point victory to begin the season 1-0 under returning veteran head coach Ricky Rhodes.

For the game, Hope was led in scoring by Tevin Hayden dropping 13 points for double-figures. Cory Lewis followed with nine points, big man Travion Rhodes added five points, Kenneth Anderson had three points, Zykeis Raglon chipped in four points and Jatario Lewis finished with two points.

This Thursday night, Hope ninth grade hoopsters return to the court to host Texarkana for the nightcap of a three-game home stanza beginning with seventh grade and eighth grade action at Jones Field House Gymnasium. Tip-off at 5 p.m. for first game competition at JFH Gymnasium.