Hope ninth grade boys basketball team recently had a couple of big road contest battles on the hardwood to finish out the first half of the 2017-18 basketball season.

Hope ninth grade boys basketball team recently had a couple of big road contest battles on the hardwood to finish out the first half of the 2017-18 basketball season.

On last Thursday night, Hope headed to Spa City to challenge the Hot Springs Jr. Trojans in their first of two game season series meeting. Hope brought intense play that went down to the wire, but the Jr. Trojans prevailed to escape with a 34-31 victory. For the game, Hope's Tevin Hayden led scoring with 12 points for double-figures. Travion Rhodes and Zykeis Raglon each added six points apiece, Cory Lewis had three points and Jatario Lewis finished with two points.

On this past Monday night, Hope returned to the hardwood for more road hoops to conclude their season series meeting against the Arkadelphia Freshman Badgers. Hope came out with the early spark to take a 18-11 halftime lead over the Badgers. In the second half, Hope outscored the Badgers 24-18 for third and fourth quarter scoring, which led to visiting Hope securing the series sweep to defeat Arkadelphia, 42-29.

For the game, Hope's Rhodes led all scorers with a big 16 points and Hayden followed with 10 points for double-figures. Lavario Morris posted seven points, Raglon had five points, Tony Hall and Latario Lewis each contributed two points apiece.

Hope ninth grade head coach Ricky Rhodes believes his hoopsters are playing productive ball and their road win in Arkadelphia was helpful to finish the first half of their basketball schedule going into the Christmas break.

The victory improves Hope's overall record at 5-4 thus far into the 2017-18 basketball season. Following the Christmas holiday break, Hope returns to junior high hoops January 4, 2018 on the road to face De Queen to begin the second half of basketball season.