Basketball: Maumelle Charter loses in first round of regionals

MELBOURNE -- It wasn’t Maumelle Charter’s night as the Falcons lost a hard fought game, 65-53, to host Melbourne in the first round of the 2A regionals

Junior guard Caleb Ross led Maumelle Charter with 17 points, while junior forward Jalen Turner added 14 and set the final margin with a game-ending, breakaway dunk.

Maumelle Charter ends the season 16-10.

It was a rough game for Maumelle Charter’s Dustin Gunn, who finished with just five points and also broke a tooth diving to the floor for a loose ball. While Gunn went to the bench, it was Aidan Hughes who picked up what was left of Gunn’s tooth and returned it to him while he was being tended to by a trainer.

While Melbourne (17-6) won the game, it was bittersweet as senior forward Layton Hennings was injured early in the third quarter. Hennings went up for a block, landed awkwardly and went to the floor with a thud and a scream.

The screams didn’t stop as Hennings right leg was bent at an unnatural right angle under the basket and the game was stopped. Melbourne coach Scott Bowlin described the injury as a “compound fracture” to Batesville newspaper The Daily Guard.

Hennings was immediately treated by on-site personnel, while volunteer firefighters and an ambulance crew responded. The injury was in front of the Melbourne student section and immediately cleared the area. Both teams went to their respective locker rooms before EMS arrived.

Bowlin brought his team and they briefly prayed over Hennings, who hadn’t moved for nearly 40 minutes. He was packaged for transport on a spine board and rolled off on a gurney. Hennings was conscious and raised his index finger to the crowd. Hennings had 13 points in the game before he left due to the injury.

His younger brother Keyan did the same as the tears flowed and the crowd stood and applauded.

Ball is life, they say, and it was on display Wednesday night.

The win moves Melbourne on to the regional semifinals and next week’s 2A state tournament, that will also be held in Melbourne. The season is over for Maumelle Charter.