The Gurdon Go-Devils boys basketball team defeated the Arkadelphia Badgers by a final score of 44-40 in a thrilling conference game Tuesday night in Arkadelphia.

The Gurdon Go-Devils boys basketball team defeated the Arkadelphia Badgers by a final score of 44-40 in a thrilling conference game Tuesday night in Arkadelphia.
The Go-Devils jumped out to a 19-2 lead at the beginning of the first quarter, but Arkadelphia battled back to make for an exciting ending.
At the end of the first half, the Badgers only trailed 26-17. In the third quarter, the Badgers battled back within one point and then even took the lead with three minutes remaining in the fourth.
Turnovers plagued Arkadelphia in the final minute of the game as an experienced Gurdon team was able to come out on top.
“We’re playing with a young, inexperienced group, and I felt like, playing against a veteran ball club like Gurdon, they were going to come out and pressure us,” said Arkadelphia Head Coach Donald Williams. “I was hoping we could hold on and keep our composure. It took a little time for us to get our composure, but once we got it I knew we would get back in the ball game – it was just a matter of time.”
The Badgers were missing four of their five starters as the Badger football team prepares to play in Saturday’s state championship game. Senior forward Kanovas Leeper was the Badgers’ only starter to play. He finished the game with 13 points.
“It’s tough,” Williams said. “These kids want to play. I was a little apprehensive about playing a conference game without my starters, especially playing against a veteran team and a rival like Gurdon, but I think it’s good for the kids. This time of year, everybody is playing basketball, and they want to play. It’s good experience for a young group of basketball players who have been in the gym all year.”
For Gurdon, Coach David Davis attributes his team’s ability to withstand the late Arkadelphia comeback to its experience.
“We had a couple of veteran players make plays right there at the end,” Davis said. “I’ve got a few guys who’ve got a lot of experience, and I realize he’s missing a lot his right now. That was probably the biggest difference right there.”
Senior guard BJ Brewer led the Go-Devils with 14 points. Senior guard and Arkadelphia transfer Tre Buford contributed with five late points to help secure Gurdon’s lead.
Arkadelphia will look to bounce back in conference action Tuesday night against Malvern, while Gurdon will be looking to take down Haskell-Harmony Grove.