Maumelle loses on last-second thriller

HOT SPRINGS -- It just wasn’t enough.

Despite a terrific second half comeback, Maumelle wasn’t able to pull off the state championship win as the Hornets lost, 58-56, to Jonesboro on Saturday night at Bank OZK Arena in Hot Springs in the 5A boys title game.

The game came down to the final play.

With just two seconds remaining, Maumelle called timeout with a shot at a tie or the win. Maumelle’s Riley Wade inbounded the ball to Josh Denton, who gave the ball back to Wade, who attempted an off-balance 3-pointer that went wide. 

The ending wasn’t representative of the effort Maumelle put forth in the second half. The Hornets never led in the game and were down, 37-21 at the half.

Maumelle coach Michael Shook lost his traditional tie at halftime and his team played with a new sense of purpose in the third quarter to take what could have been a blowout and into a tight back and forth game.

Key was senior guard Josh Denton, who had 9 points in the third quarter that gave Maumelle life and it was Jonesboro 45, Maumelle 43 at the start of the fourth quarter.

Turnovers were also a problem for Maumelle in the first half as the Hornets had 10 of them and that led to 10 points for Jonesboro.

Maumelle also had trouble getting the ball into the basket as the Hornets took 20 shots, but only made seven of them for a paltry 35 percent shooting from the field.

The win for Jonesboro makes the Hurricane 24-3 while Maumelle ends the year at 20-6.

Wade and Denton led Maumelle with 12 each, while Darvis Rasberry finished with 11.

Jesse Washington’s 16 points led Jonesboro and all scorers.

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