Dustin Jones and Brett Cotter teamed up to give the Salem Greyhounds a rude welcoming to the Longhorn Corral Nov. 24 as Viola whipped their Fulton County rivals 58-40 in a battle that is always charged with intensity for the bragging rights at stake in the contest.
The Greyhounds, just stepping into the hardwood fray after football season, got off to a good start in the first period by building a seven-point lead.
Leading 7-6 late in the frame, the Greyhounds closed with six straight points to lead 13-6 after one before they hit a brick wall in the second period.
The inside-outside duo of Jones and Cotter took over in the second as Cotter opened the frame with back-to-back treys, before Jones posted a pair of low block scores.
Jones paced the Longhorns with a game high 19, while Cotter's five triples helped him to 17, all coming in the second and third period, for the game.
By the time Cory Batterton (four points) nailed an off-balance 18-footer at the buzzer, the Longhorns had outscored Salem 22-zip in the second period to take a comfortable 28-13 lead to halftime.
The Greyhounds warmed up a touch in the third, but the Longhorns still extended their lead.
Tyler Humphries (10 points) opened the third with Salem's first shot outside the arc, before Justin Howell (10 points) sank a baseline move for the Greyhounds.
Howell did most of the low block work for Salem, posting all of his points in the paint against Jones.
Chad Willet (four points) sank a 3-pointer for the Greyhounds at the 1:32 point of the third, but Salem trailed 42-26, before Dustin Shrable (six points) hit a layup to give Viola a 46-27 lead after three.
Ryan Walker hit a jumper to open the fourth for Viola, and the Longhorns remained in front for the duration of the period to take a 58-40 win over the Greyhounds.
Cody Hutson added eight points for the Longhorns.
In girls' action, a game high 15 points from Salem's Heather Bales was not enough to keep the Lady Longhorns from cruising to a 62-44 victory over the Lady Greyhounds.
The Lady Greyhounds, like their boy counterparts, also suffered shooting woes from the floor, posting just five field goals in the first half of play, while getting 10 of their points from the foul line.
Viola opened the game with a vengeance, racing out to a 21-7 lead after the first period.
A layup from Melinda Guffey (10 points) put Viola in front 17-4 before Ashley Smith (four points) hit Salem's first shot from the floor at the 1:26 point of the first.
Cayla Cotter (12 points) finished Viola's scoring in the first with a hoop to give the Lady Longhorns a huge 21-7 lead.
Jamie Daily (nine points) popped Viola's first 3-ball to start the second, and Teegan Baumunk (four points) drained a jumper before the Lady Hounds stopped the Viola run.
Samantha Smith (seven points) dropped in a shot, but the Lady Greyhounds were staring at a 26-9 deficit with 6:45 left in the second.
Stephanie Barker canned the Lady Greyhounds only trey on the night, and her only points, just before halftime, but Salem trailed 35-21 at the break.
The Lady Longhorns kept in front, opening the third with a 10-5 run, to lead 51-33 after three.
Keeping a sizeable lead throughout the last period, the Lady Longhorns posted a 62-44 win over the Lady Greyhounds.
Kyla Batterton added nine points for Viola, Chelsea Taylor seven, while Breeann Wray and Lindsey Barker had four each for the Lady Longhorns.
Hanna Bray had four points for Salem, while Cassie Hickinbotham and Brittney Bales had a hoop apiece for the Lady Hounds.
Salem ended their week by traveling to Melbourne Nov. 25 to take on the always-dangerous Bearkatz.
The Bearkatz (13-0) kept the Greyhounds (0-3) winless on the young season with a 53-42 win.
Levi Taylor had 16 points for Melbourne, while Jordan Davidson tossed in 15.
Justin Howell had a big game for the Greyhounds with 16 points and 12 boards, while Phillip Taylor added 10 points.The Lady Greyhounds emerged from the Bearkatz' Barn with a 57-39 win over the Lady Bearkatz.
Heather Bales and Ashley Smith knocked in 13 points each for Salem, while Brittney Bales added 10.
Kristin Teague paced Melbourne with 13, and Jackie Wommack followed with 12 for the Lady Bearkatz.
Viola traveled to Harrison over the holiday break to take part in the Wendy's North Arkansas College Thanksgiving Classic Nov. 28, with both teams earning wins.
Lindsey Barker led a balanced scoring attack for the Lady Longhorns with 15 points as Viola knocked off the Deer Lady Antlers 52-47.
Kyla Batterton added 11, and Chelsea Taylor followed with nine points for the Lady Longhorns.
Brett Cotter had another hot-shooting outing by stroking five treys on his way to 19 points as the Longhorns defeated the Drew Central Pirates 56-44.
Cody Hutson added 12, and Dustin Jones 10 for Viola.