3A STATE BASKETBALL: Bergman opens second half with 16-0 run, advances to semifinals with win over Mountain View

Bergman’s Jacey Halitzka (1) drives to the basket Friday in the Lady Panthers’ 64-54 victory over Mountain View. Halitzka led Bergman with 19 points as the Lady Panthers advanced to the Class 3A state semifinals.
(NWA Democrat Gazette/Caleb Grieger)
Bergman’s Jacey Halitzka (1) drives to the basket Friday in the Lady Panthers’ 64-54 victory over Mountain View. Halitzka led Bergman with 19 points as the Lady Panthers advanced to the Class 3A state semifinals. (NWA Democrat Gazette/Caleb Grieger)


ELKINS -- A four-minute stretch to start the second half was just what Bergman's girls needed to propel themselves into the Class 3A state tournament semifinals.

The Lady Panthers manufactured a 16-0 run during that time and took the lead for good en route to a 64-54 victory over Mountain View during Friday's quarterfinal action at Elks Arena.

"I just told them if they would just slow down a step, they would start hitting," Bergman Coach James Halitzka said. "We hit that streak, and four different people hit a three-pointer in a quick spurt. Taryn Holt hit a layup, and the next thing you know it's double digits.

"Sometimes we've had our problems, and we just overthink. It's probably the most well-rounded scoring group I've ever coached. Anybody on the floor can score in double digits at the right night. Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and know we can score, then go make it happen."

Bergman (40-3) trailed 31-28 at halftime, but Jacey Halitzka and Ruby Trammell each hit a free throw before Holt made a three-pointer to put the Lady Panthers in front with 6:38 left in the third quarter. Holt later added a layup, then Kiersten Lowry, Brinley Collins and Jacey Halitzka each hit a three-pointer to make it 44-31.

Mountain View (24-13) would never get closer than 45-39 on Kaitlyn McCarn's two free throws at the 1:05 mark in the third quarter. Ruby Trammell hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Bergman a nine-point cushion, and the Lady Panthers used a 10-3 spurt to make it 58-42 after Jacey Halitzka hit back-to-back threes.

"We had to adjust some on defense," James Halitzka said. "Most people see this group as just an 'up-in-you' press from beginning to end for the past many years. But most people forget that come tournament time, sometimes our best thing is we just break down and guard half-court.

"We attempted to press earlier. The press didn't hurt us; it was them consistently scoring in the half-court. We made it a goal in the second half to guard McCarn a little more because she was on fire and take away everybody else. McCarn hit some big shots in the second half, but we did a great job taking away the others."

Jacey Halitzka finished with 19 points to lead Bergman, which plays Mayflower at noon today. Holt added 17 and Collins 13. McCarn finished with 30 points for Mountain View, while Jaci Cooper had 10.

Harding Academy 46, Fouke 41

Kloey Fullerton's bucket gave Harding Academy a 34-32 lead to end the third quarter and the Lady Wildcats went on to advance after handing Fouke its first loss of the season.

Fouke (36-1) picked up a free throw by Nailah Zetrenne to start the fourth quarter and make it a one-point game, but Harding Academy (27-8) started pulling away from that point. The Lady Wildcats secured the win when Emery Wilson and Fullerton each hit a bucket and made it a 45-38 lead with less than a minute remaining.

Wilson had 15 points for Harding Academy, followed by Fullerton with 12 and Claire Citty with 10. Zetrenne was the only Fouke player in double figures with 11.

Salem 52, Lamar 39

Lamar led 20-19 at halftime after Kori Sanders knocked down a three-pointer from near halfcourt at the buzzer, but the Lady Warriors' momentum was short-lived.

The Lady Greyhounds (29-6) outscored the Lady Warriors 17-7 in the third quarter to take a 36-27 lead going into the fourth and held a comfortable advantage the rest of the way.

Marleigh Sellars and Callie Hall each had 14 points to lead Salem, while Madeline Keen had 12 and Olivia Dockins 11.

Madison Davidson led Lamar (27-7) with 14 points and Sanders adding 10.


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