Bentonville coach Rippee wins 350th career game in Tigers’ win over Heritage

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BENTONVILLE – Dick Rippee just smiled as he looked at the scoreboard after Tuesday night’s home game against Rogers Heritage.

Bentonville’s 76-37 win was significant for several reasons, but what made the Tigers coach smile more than anything was that nine players scored in the 6A-West Conference win.

“It was a great night for our guys,” said Rippee. “We played a tough schedule and I feel like it was one of the best games we’ve had in a long time this year, and the fact that it’s our first home game makes it really special. “

The victory was also a milestone for Rippee, who won his 350th career game.

Bentonville (12-4, 2-1 6A-West) played their first 15 road games of the season, including back-to-back road games to open the conference last week. On Tuesday, the Tigers wasted no time in showing the Tiger Arena crowd what they had been missing, jumping to a double-digit lead with two minutes left in the first quarter.

Junior guard Jaylen Lee scored his 10 points in the first quarter, showing his range with a three-pointer, then his ability to finish at the rim with several practices.

“The key for us tonight was our intensity,” said Lee. “I’m not going to lie, in the first two conference games we just didn’t play very intensely, like we didn’t want to be the best team in the gym. So tonight we wanted to hang out with it. a lot of energy because when we do it it turns out good for the team. “

By the time the second quarter reached halfway, the Tigers had turned the game into a course. Owen Dehrmann cut into the lane for a layup with just over two minutes left in the half, giving the Tigers a 26-point advantage at 43-17 and Bentonville had a 45-21 lead at the half time.

Bentonville opened the second half the same way Hayden Shanks, who scored a team-high 16 points, hit a few buckets early to take the Tigers’ lead to 35 points to 56-21. The lead fell to 75-34 in the fourth quarter.

Dehrmann finished with 11 points for Bentonville and Caden Miller added 10.

Jaden Torres was the only Heritage player (5-9, 0-3) to hit double digits, finishing with 11 points. Carson Simmons added 8 points.

Tuesday’s game was Bentonville’s fourth game in the past week including a Saturday game at Hoop Hall South in Bentonville West. Rippee said he was happy to see his team pushing hard and responding with two good days of preparation.

“We had a great training session yesterday and a great progression today… good spirit, good enthusiasm,” said Rippee. “These are the kinds of things we can do when we’re in it mentally. Sometimes when you’re physically tired you’re not as mentally sharp. So we try to keep them fresh and tonight we were able to. do this.”

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