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Norfork girls, in second straight finals appearance, win 1A State Championship over Mammoth Spring

It's the first State Title in program history for the Lady Panthers.
It's the first State Title in program history for the Lady Panthers.(KAIT-TV)
Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 5:10 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 11, 2022 at 11:21 PM CST
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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KAIT) - In what has been an emotional state tournament for the Lady Panthers, Norfork (34-8) wins their program’s first 1A State Championship, beating Mammoth Spring (32-8) 48-43 at the Bank OZK Arena Friday.

The win comes exactly one week after losing one of its own players, Taylor Ferretti.

“We had a funeral in the gym last week, that’s about as bad a deal as it can be especially when it’s one of your players and you’re close to them,” Norfork head coach Will Stewart said. “It’s just highs and lows to where we try to stay in the middle, no matter what controversy we have we just stay in the middle. We’re excited now we’ve won, we’ve been tired in the last two weeks, just dead tired, the girls are probably tired, just glad it’s over and glad we got a win.”

The Lady Bears led it by seven midway through the third quarter, but the Lady Panthers stormed back thanks to two triples by Kiley Alman.

After trailing by one at the end of the third, Norfork used a 10-0 run, holding Mammoth Spring scoreless for a five-minute period in the fourth, to come away with the win and the State Title.

Alman had 22 points and won the Finals MVP. Ashlyn Estes joined her in double figures with 12 points.

The Lady Panthers shot 52 percent from the field and were 7-of-10 from three.

Mammoth Spring, in their first State Championship appearance in program history, was led by Brynn Washam’s 15 points. Sara Crowe chipped in 10 points.

“We’re a young group,” Lady Bears head coach Scott Small said. “We had a slogan, ‘nothing new,’ by the end of the year we wanted to be able to be in no situation that was new to us and obviously the state final is pretty new and hopefully we got this one under our belt and learn from it, grow from it, and shoot our shot next year.”

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