‘Katz bite ‘Dogs for 2A championship

Melbourne wins back-t0-back titles with win over Quitman
Quitman’s Autumn Johnson walks off the floor at the end of the 2A senior girls championship game. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

March 12, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

HOT SPRINGS — Melbourne’s height advantage and a tenacious full-court press defense proved too much for the Quitman Lady Bulldogs to overcome at Bank OZK Arena Thursday.

Quitman (30-4) never recovered from the second quarter and lost to defending champion Melbourne 47-28 in the Class 2A state basketball championship game.

2A STATE FINALS COVERAGE SPONSORED BY 

“We had an outstanding season,” Quitman coach Tim Hooten said. “We played a team with outstanding height and speed. We still won 30 games and kept the streak of five consecutive conference and regional championships going.”

The Lady Bulldogs stayed close during the first quarter, but Melbourne pulled away by outscoring Quitman 26-9 in the second quarter. Lucy Holland scored all of Quitman’s points during the opening quarter and finished with 14 points.

Quitman’s Erin Stephens looks to drive past Melbourne’s Kylee Humphries. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Melbourne (34-2) outscored the Lady Bulldogs 16-14 during the second half.

“We did a good job defending them during the first quarter,” Hooten said. “We took away the things from them we wanted to take way. The full-court press hurt us in the second quarter. We never recovered from the second quarter.”

Melbourne coach Eric Teague said winning back-to-back state championships was not easy.

“We started the season with a different group of players and didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said. “They trusted the coaches and each other.”

Jenna Lawrence led Melbourne with 11 points and blocked seven shots.

“Both teams were nervous at the beginning of the game,” Teague said. “We needed to let game come to us in the first quarter. I told them between quarters they hadn’t played well and they need to pick up their play. Our full-court press and by making 3-pointers helped us to the lead in the second quarter. We did a better job of challenging Quitman.”

Melbourne’s Josie Roark goes up for a shot against Quitman’s Carson Rackley. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Holland became the first player to score as she drove, drew a foul and made the shot with 3:54 left in the first quarter. She sank the free throw to complete the three-point play.

Kenley McCarn and Dani Hardaway answered by making 3-pointers and Melbourne never trailed again. Holland hit 2-of-2 free throws as the Lady Bearkatz led 6-5 going into the second quarter.

McCaron started the second quarter by making a 3-pointer. Holland kept Quitman close by making 2-of-2 free throws, reducing Melbourne’s lead to 10-9. The Lady Bearkatz broke the game open on a 22-5 scoring run and built a 32-14 halftime lead.

Melbourne’s Kenley McCarn was named the state finals MVP. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Melbourne increased its lead to 44-21 by the end of the third quarter.

“We felt a target on our back this year after winning it last season,” Teague said. “Every team gave us everything they had. We kept getting better and I knew it would help us to get back to the state final. That was one of the big differences against Quitman.”

Melbourne lost back-to-back games to Bentonville and Classen SAS from Oklahoma City, the second-ranked team in that state, in late December. Teague said that was a turning point for his team.

“Those experiences taught them to listen and trust more,” Teague said. “We lost to two good teams and learned our weaknesses.”

CLASS 2A SENIOR GIRLS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
QUITMAN VS. MELBOURNE
March 12, 2020
at Bank OZK Arena, Hot Springs
Quitman (30-4)   5  9 7  7 - 28
Melbourne (34-2) 6 26 12 3 - 47
QUITMAN SCORING (28): Lucy Holland 14, Taylor Hooten 6, Halle Bennett 5, Autumn Johnson 3.
MELBOURNE SCORING (47): Jenna Lawrence 11, Kenley McCarn 8, Dani Hardaway 8, Kiley Webb 6, Halle Weaver 6, Josie Roark 5, Kylee Humphries 3.
QUITMAN STATISTICS: Autumn Johnson 2 rebounds; Halle Bennett 4 rebounds, 3 steals; Taylor Hooten 3 rebounds, 1 rebound, 1 steal; Lucy Holland 7 rebounds; 4 rebounds; Carson Rackley 1 assist, 1 blocked shot, 1 steal; Erin Stephens 1 rebound, 1 steal; Gracie Smith 1 rebound; Haley Trawick 2 rebounds.
MELBOURNE STATISTICS: Kiley Webb 3 rebounds, 1 assist; Dani Hardaway 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals; Josie Roark 5 rebounds, 1 assist; Jenna Lawrence 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 7 blocked shots, 1 steal; Kenley McCarn 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals; Halle Weaver 1 rebound, 1 blocked shot.  

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High scores highlight archery regional tournaments

February 12, 2020

By RANDY ZELLERS/AGFC ASSISTANT CHIEF OF COMMUNICATIONS

Arkansas National Archery in the Schools tournament

LITTLE ROCK – Impressive team and individual scores highlighted a Saturday of statewide regional competition of the Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program, sponsored by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Two teams from each of 12 regional events across three age groups qualified for the ANASP State Tournament, which will be held at Bank OZK Arena in Hot Springs March 6-7. In addition, 12 more at-large teams were selected from each of the three divisions and will compete in Hot Springs.

The elementary and middle school divisions have Friday, March 6, to themselves in Hot Springs, while the senior division will determine its state champion Saturday, March 7. Admission to the event for spectators is free, but the school whose supporters bring the most canned food items will win cash for their team to purchase equipment and other team items. The prize has been donated by the AGFC Commissioners. The canned food drive at the State Tournament is being held to support Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry.

“There were some really high scores from across the state,” Curtis Gray, the AGFC’s coordinator of ANASP, said of the regional tournaments. “All of the tournaments went off without a hitch and we are now marching towards the State Tournament.”

A total of 3,731 girls and boys competed across the state in the three age groupings. Region 4, staged in Cave City, drew a high of 433 competitors.

“There were really good attendance at all of the regionals across the state with the exceptional weather we had this past weekend,” Gray said. “All of the schools are reporting that they were able to raise more than sufficient funds to support their archery programs and other student organizations on their respective campuses through hosting these tournaments.”

The most excitement among the Senior Division teams may have come at Harrison in Region 2, where Alpena’s boys and girls ran up a weekend best 3,341 points to win over Bergman, which had 3,284 points – enough to win most other regions. Valley Springs missed out on the top two spots by ending 12 points shy of Bergman, but Valley Springs landed an at-large berth with its score of 3,272. In another senior regional thriller, Valley View won Region 4 in Cave City by a mere 7 points over Greene County Tech, 3,239-3,232.

Team scores were determined by totaling the top four girls team member scores, the top four boys team member scores and up to four other boys or girls scores for the team.

Other Senior Division region winners and runner-ups, and their points, were: 1–Arkansas Arts Academy (3,063), Bentonville (2,959); 3–Batesville Pioneers (3,191), Hillcrest (3,002); 5–Charleston (3,077), Waldron (3,064); 6 –VHS Eagles (3,090), Pangburn (2,987); 7–Bryant Hornets (3,301), Oden Timberwolves (2,959); 8–Cabot (3,320), Homeschoolers on Target (3,009); 9–Acorn Tigers (3,257), Murfreesboro Rattlers (3,154); 10–Glen Rose (3,115), Robin’s Hoodlums (3,056); 11–El Dorado Wildcats (3,245), Taylor (3,109); 12–Hamburg (2,933), Drew Central (2,715).

Brady Webb of Acorn scored a 295 with 25 bulls-eyes to lead all senior boys scoring on Saturday. Kaleb Tramel of Pottsville and Jacob Jones of Greene County Tech both totaled 292 at their respective regionals, with Tramel getting one more bulls-eye, 23-22.

Emilee Evers of Bergman amassed 293 points, including 23 bulls-eyes, to lead all senior girls scoring. Allie Strother of Oden amassed 292 points, including 23 bulls-eyes, and Emma Everett of Cabot totaled 290 points with 21 bulls-eyes.

Bullseye at Regional Tournament

Middle school regional winners were: Washington Junior High, Bergman, Batesville, Greene County Tech, Charleston, Pangburn, Bryant, Des Arc, Eagle Eye Archery, Murfreesboro Rattlers, Glen Rose, El Dorado Barton and Hamburg. Finishing in second in their regions were: Woodland Junior High, Alpena, Hillcrest, Valley View, Pottsville, Patriots Archery, Bryant Blue, Cabot North, Wickes, Region 10 Straight Shooters, Washington Middle and Blue Steel.

Hill Farm Elementary of Bryant, which has dominated the Elementary Division at the ANASP State Tournament, cruised on to Hot Springs again in winning Region 7 in Mt. Ida. Other elementary qualifiers for the State Tournament were Bentonville Old High Elementary, Arkansas Arts Academy, Bergman, Omaha, Eagle Mountain Magnet, Southside Batesville Southerners, Valley View Intermediate, Cross County Archers, Charleston, Pottsville Apaches, Hornet Archery, Davis Elementary Knocked and Loaded, PFE Archers, Carlisle, Murfreesboro Rattlers Archery, Vandervoort Sharp Shooters, Glen Rose, Mockingjays, Taylor, Emerson, Hamburg and Monticello Blue Steel.

At-large Elementary Division qualifiers (and points in the regional) were Greene County Tech (2,751), Valley Springs (2,725), Sulphur Rock (2,676), Cedar Ridge (2,657), Collegeville (2,656), Hillcrest (2,608), Searcy County (2,602), Salem (2,576), Maynard (2,557), Springhill (2,465), Parker’s Chapel (2,415) and Jasper (2,401).

Middle school at-large qualifiers were Valley Springs (3,131), Omaha (3,105), Maumelle (3,096), Taylor (3,076), Emerson (3,027), Cabot Junior South (3,024), Acorn (3,014), Southside (2,987), Cross County (2,985), Waldron (2921), Carlisle (2,908) and Searcy County (2,889).

Senior High Division teams earning an at-large berth were Valley Springs (3,272), De Queen (3,139), Pottsville (3,042), Brookland (3,000), Omaha (2,997), Southside (2,987), Cross County (2,965), Perryville (2,958) Jasper (2,955), Blevins (2,952), Fordyce (2,951) and Little Rock Christian Academy (2,947).

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