Class 5A and 6A have two more weeks of regular season basketball.
The smaller classifications in Arkansas do not have that luxury. Starting Monday, teams will begin a journey that they hope carries them for four weeks.
Yes, four weeks of postseason activities. It is in this dangerous water that one mistake or one game of not playing well will end year season.
All roads hope to end in Hot Springs for the finals weekend that will be held March 12-14 at the convention center in the Spa City.
There are five district tournaments that involve our local schools. Those things are fortunately all located in the northwest Arkansas area within two hours of us.
We are not as fortunate when it comes to regional tournaments as well as state events.
Harrison’s first time to the district and regional tournaments last season had different results for the squad.
The Goblins won the district tournament and the Lady Goblins were a third place team. The next week in regional play, the Goblins had their season ended in the regional tournament with a loss in the first game. The Lady Goblins went on to win the regional event.
Getting to the regionals will require three straight nights of winning for the Goblins. The team finished fourth in the 4A-1 East and will now face Gentry in the district tournament.
Gentry may have had the best non-conference schedule in Arkansas. The Pioneers entered the conference season with a 13-1 record while the Lady Pioneers were 14-0. Those are impressive records.
In 4A-1 play, the Pioneers were 0-11 and the Lady Pioneers were 2-9 heading into Friday night’s games. The school was 27-1 in non-conference play and 2-20 in league play.
If Harrison wins the Monday night game with Gentry, then they will play host Prairie Grove on Tuesday night. The Tigers downed Harrison in Goblin Arena about a month ago.
A win over Prairie Grove will send Harrison to the quarterfinals of the tournament to face Huntsville. This game would be on Wednesday night. A win in the third game in three days would get the team to the regional tournament that will be held in Berryville.
On the bottom side of the bracket, the Bobcats of Berryville have to win two games in two nights to make the regional tournament. The team will play Gravette in the first game and a win would move the team into the quarterfinals against Farmington on Wednesday night.
The Lady Goblins are cruising. They have earned a regional berth by claiming a division championship in conference play. The Lady Goblins will play in the semifinals on Thursday. They will also play on Saturday win or lose from Friday nights action.
Berryville’s girl team has a bye to the quarterfinals on Wednesday night. They must win to advance to the regional tournament.
Tuesday night, the Lady Bobcats played the No. 2 team from the conference that will be conference’s opponent in regional play. Berryville defeated Clarksville, who split with the conference winner Morrilton.
The 3A-1East District Tournament will be held at Bergman. This is the last tournament for the 3A-1East as the league will be dissolved at the conclusion of this season.
Valley Springs’ boys are at the top of the league and earned a trip to the regional tournament. They will be playing in the semifinals on Saturday against the Marshall and Mountain View matchup winner. The Tigers have beaten both squads by around 40 points in the last three weeks. But, it is postseason action and teams have to be prepared every night.
The bottom side of the bracket should be interesting with Bergman and Clinton battling — should they both win their first round games.
On the girls side of the bracket, things could get interesting. Mountain View won the conference and have a regional berth, but the Lady Yellow Jackets are on the same side of the bracket as Bergman and Marshall.
Bergman and Marshall meet for a trip to regionals. This could be an interesting game. Marshall defeated Bergman by three points last week. If Bergman wins the game, it could be an interesting contest with Mountain View. Mountain View beat the Lady Panthers by two points in Panther Palace.
Yellville-Summit’s boys have a date in the regionals. The squad finished second in the league race to earn the spot. They will play in the semifinals of the district tournament that is being held in Decatur.
Yellville-Summit’s girls will play in the district tournament for a chance to go to the regional tournament. The Lady Panthers play the host on Monday afternoon. The team already has two wins over Decatur this season.
The 1A-1 will be playing its tournament in Kingston. It is a wide open event with the key contest on the boys side being a game between Deer and Alpena on Tuesday night.
Omaha is hosting the 1A-2 tournament. It should be an interesting event, hopefully our area will have two teams in the boys and girls make it to the semifinals.
Complexion of teams can always change during the district tournament. The freshmen class is allowed to move up at the conclusion of the season if members of the class have not already been moved up to help salvage a season.
Of course there are exceptions to this rule. Valley Springs’ school board passed a rule about 10 years ago that freshmen were not allowed to move up unless they would be an immediate contributor to the senior high team.
That rule was set in place by the board to appease parents of ninth-grade players that were not getting moved up as well as a measure to save money for the school since its finances were shaky and the school had been placed on financial distress.
There will be some teams that benefit this season from ninth-grade additions. Several squads will get depth that could help.
As the season comes to a conclusion, athletes remember that it is about the team and not you. Listen to your coach. Parents, remember you are parents, not coaches especially at this time of the year. A team must function as a team in order to continue playing.
Good luck everyone. Honk at the Jeep as you meet it going to another game.