JUDSONIA — A year after being eliminated from state tournament contention, the Conway Christian girls exacted some revenge on Hughes in Friday night’s Class 2A East Regional semifinal.
Thanks to a free throw from both Kelly Hays and Cheyenne Wood and timely defense, the Lady Eagles took a 56-54 win to advance to tonight’s Regional title game against crosstown foe St. Joseph. Tonight’s game, set for 6 p.m., will mark the fourth time the two schools have met this season.
But reaching that far didn’t come easy. Conway Christin committed 24 turnovers in their semifinal tilt.
“Hughes is an unbelievable, quick and athletic team,” said coach Ashley Nance, whose Lady Eagles improved to 24-4 on the season. “It was a big game and a great atmosphere. We didn’t handle the pressure well at all.
“We stood through our adversity and did what we needed to do at the end. I’m glad we had that type of game going into the state tournament.”
Christina DenHartog led Conway Christian with 16 points and four assists. Bre Hobbs added 13 points and three steals, while Mallory Clutts had a double-double performance of 10 points and 15 rebounds to go along with three steals. Hays and Wood had 10 and eight points, respectively.
ST. JOSEPH GIRLS
JUDSONIA — The St. Joseph girls will get their shot at Conway Christian again.
The Lady Bulldogs (26-3) lost to their crosstown rivals in the finals of the district tournament, but after defeating Bigelow 66-34 at White County Central on Friday, St. Joseph has another date with the Lady Eagles in the finals of the Class 2A East Region tournament.
“We wanted to build some momentum before going to the state tournament. I’m pleased with where we’re at having a chance to play for a regional championship,” St. Joseph coach Chris Kordsmeier said. “It was good to play some of the younger players and get them some experience in the tournament and rest the starters at the same time.”
St. Joseph jumped out ahead to a 23-10 lead by the end of the first quarter and led 35-16 at halftime. Kelsey Davidson had her biggest performance in the tournament by recording 19 points and six rebounds. Heather Moix also had a big night, scoring 12 points and six rebounds.
“Our defense set the tone early,” Kordsmeier said. “We were able to get some steals and get some easy baskets on the other end. We got in the passing lands and were able to make shots, so we kind of fed off that. We had a good game, with nice balance in our scoring. It was a complete game on both ends of the court.”
For the Lady Bulldogs, Jessie Moix ended with 11 points and nine assists. Brooke Enderlin pitched in 10 points and five steals. According to Kordsmeier, Rebecca Moix and Elaine Kordsmeier had outstanding defensive performances.
ST. JOSEPH BOYS
JUDSONIA — The Carlisle Bisons were just a little bit too much for the Bulldogs in a semifinal game of the Class 2A East Region tournament.
The Bisons came away with a 74-68 victory over the Bulldogs, knocking them down to the third-place game at 1:30 p.m. today against Clearedon.
“We had too many turnovers that led to easy points,” St. Joseph coach Brent Bruich said. “We also couldn’t rebound. Carlisle killed us on the boards. We didn’t play good enough defense and that’s somethiing we have to fix before we go to state. We have to come out on Saturday and play with a chip on our shoulder.”
St. Joseph’s Wade Beck ended with 17 points and Jesse Light followed with 15. Tyler Jones and Cash Schichtl finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively for the Bulldogs.
MOUNT VERNON-ENOLA BOYS
BEE BRANCH — The Warhawks advanced to the Class A Region 2 title game on Saturday after their 58-47 victory over Blevins.
For MVE (29-8), Colton Sherrill led all scorers with 19. Neal Bartley also pitched in 12 points.
“We’ll see how much we have left in the tank in the finals on Saturday,” MVE coach Justin Rodgers said. “Colton has had a good tournament. He has done a good job of going up when he has the ball and doing what we need him to do. He has really been playing well these last two games, and Blevins had some athletes.”
BEE BRANCH — Both of Guy-Perkins basketball teams will play in the finals of the Class A Region 2 tournament today at South Side Bee Branch.
The Lady Thunderbirds (26-8) beat Ouachita 52-35, advancing to the 6 p.m. title match against Poyen. The Guy-Perkins boys (29-9) ran past Poyen on Friday, 79-54, setting up another game against Mount Vernon-Enola.
“That Mount Vernon-Enola/Guy-Perkins game has turned into a really big rivalry. It kind of reminds me of the old St. Joseph/Guy-Perkins rivalry,” Guy-Perkins coach John Hutchcraft said. “Our boys played well and we had a good mixture of our inside and outside game.”
Denell Henderson led with 29 points, followed by Brandon Rooney.
The Guy-Perkins girls were led by Brooklyn Hartwick’s 16 points. Lainie Lagasse and Lyndsey Mcghee score 14 points apiece.
“Lyndsey held their best player to four points. She did a really good job defensively,” Hutchcraft said. “Christian Ward als had a big game with five blocks. Amy Smith had 11 rebounds and five assists.”
VILONIA — The Vilonia Lady Eagles clinched the top seed in the 5A-West Conference with a 54-29 win over Harrison on Friday night at Eagle Gymnasium.
The Lady Eagles (25-2, 13-1) will take on Crossett at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the Class 5A state tournament in Alma.
Leading 22-10 at halftime, Vilonia extended its lead to 41-14 after three quarters of play.
Catherine Puckett led the Lady Eagles with 15 points and added four rebounds and three assists. Bailey Sisson finished with nine points, while Julie Stanley contributed five rebounds and three assist. Betsy Bartlett chipped in four assists.
ALMA — Greenbrier dropped a pair of games Friday night to Alma.
In the boys game, the Airedales took a 55-47 win.
Isaac McCoy led Alma with 19 points.
Neal Burcham scored 18 to lead the Panthers (13-12, 8-6). Shane Murray scored 11, while Trent Virden finished with eight.
The Greenbrier boys, who finished third in the 5A-West, will be returning to Alma next week to take on North Pulaski on Tuesday in the first round of the Class 5A state tournament.
In the girls game, the Airedalettes used a strong fourth quarter to take a 61-53 win over the Lady Panthers.
Kayle Browning led Greenbrier (12-15, 5-11) with 17 points.