They may have been the smallest school in the field, but they were certainly not pushovers.
It took a last-second shot for Class 6A Benton to knock off Class 1A Mammoth Spring, 44-42, in the opening round of the Ultimate Ford/1st Arkansas Bail Bonds Tournament Dec. 27 at The Hanger on the campus of Mountain Home High School.
Garrett Wooldridge hit a big 3-pointer late in the game that locked things at 42-all.
Next time down court, Benton's Thaddeus Caffery stuck back a missed shot with one second on the clock to push Benton in front 44-42.
Mammoth Spring (14-5) had one last chance, but a desperation heave from near halfcourt missed the mark, leaving Benton with a hard-earned two-point victory over the Bears.
Benton went on to claim the tournament title.
The Panthers led 16-5 after one and 26-21 at the half.
Wayne Coffey scored 17 points to lead Mammoth Spring, while Matt Turnbough hit three treys en route to a 12-point game. Wooldridge finished with nine and Mason Brown four.
The next day, the Bears fell to Class 3A Arkansas Baptist 53-41.
Mammoth Spring led 13-11 after one, but Arkansas Baptist pulled even at 24-all at the half.
Using a big 12-1 run in the third, Arkansas Baptist moved in front 43-32 after three.
Houston Cooper paced the Bears with 15 points. Coffey added nine, Brown had eight and Wooldridge seven. Turnbough tallied two points for Mammoth Spring.
Dakota Newkirk led all scorers with 19 points for Arkansas Baptist.
The Bears ended up with a win in the seventh-place game, knocking off the Paragould Rams 54-44 Dec. 29.
Mammoth Spring led 14-10 after one, 26-19 at the half and 41-30 after three.
Wooldridge tossed in 18 points, while Coffey had 16.
Turnbough finished with nine, with Cooper and Brown adding five points apiece. Tyler Mullins had one point for the Mammoth Spring Bears.