Both St. Joseph’s boys and Mount Vernon-Enola’s girls faced familiar county opponents in regional championship games Monday afternoon and kept their unblemished records against them this year.
In convincing fashion.
At Magazine, St. Joseph’s boys powered to the Class 2A West Region championship with a 79-55 victory over Conway Christian.
At Greers Ferry West Side, Mount Vernon-Enola’s girls defeated Guy-Perkins for the fourth time, 68-40, in the third-place game of Class A Region 3.
The victories mean a breather for one and a quick trip across the state for another.
St. Joseph opens state tournament play at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Marmaduke in northeast Arkansas.
MV-Enola opens state tournament play Thursday afternoon at Bradley in south Arkansas.
Conway Christian and Guy-Perkins also advance to state tournament play and will play Thursday.
Even though they defeated Western Yell County, 71-37, in the regional semifinals Friday, St. Joseph coach Brent Bruich was not happy with his team’s play. "We didn’t play a very pretty game," he said. "It was sloppy at times and we had some breakdowns on both ends of the court. We definitely can’t let that happen again or we won’t advance very far in the state tournament."
The Bulldogs didn’t against CCS on Monday. They built a 50-22 halftime lead and were never challenged by the Eagles, who will advance to state tournament play for the first time.
The Bulldogs ran their record to 31-2. CCS fell to 12-16.
"We had an excellent start," said Bruich, who cleaned his bench the second half. "We really didn’t have the same intensity that we need to the second half but that was expected.
"Now we have a quick turnaround because we play again in less than 24 hours. We’ve got to get some rest and some fluids."
"I am really proud of how our boys have played this weekend and in the regionals," said CCS coach Brian Narretto after the Eagles used a balanced attack to defeat Hector in the semifinals Saturday. "It is a lot of fun coaching them as they work to take the program to new heights."
Andrew Beck led the Bulldogs with 18 points. Drake Cooper added 16 and Taylor Schrekenhofer 10. Andrew Dather scored 14 for CCS. Tanner Stevenson added 13.
The Lady Warhawks broke open a close game with a tidal wave of points in the second half to defeat the Lady Thunderbirds going away and up their record to 32-3.
MV-Enola led only 28-27 at the half and the score was tied at 32 midway through the third quarter.
Then, the Lady Warhawks hit a hot streak, shut down the Guy-Perkins offense and went on a 24-4 run that extended to late in the fourth quarter to turn the game into a blowout.
That run was sparked by a rebound basket by Emily Jobe, who had 17 points, inside baskets and outside baskets by Shanna Smith, and eight straight points by Heather Prowse, who had two 3-pointers during the run.
VILONIA — Vilonia’s girls completed a 24-3 regular season Friday night with a 44-34 victory over Shiloh Christian on Senior Night.
Hannah Schebelen helped the Lady Eagles (12-2, 5A West) with a 3-point basket early in the fourth quarter. Then she hit six of eight free throws down the stretch for nine of her 11 second-half points. Audrey Moran led the Lady Eagles, who finished second in the conference, with 12 points.
Vilonia will play Pulaski Academy in the first round of the state tournament at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.
ST. JOSEPH GIRLS
MAGAZINE — In a season-ending, 54-40 loss to Hackett in the regional tournament, Madeline Moix had 16 points and 15 rebounds for St. Joseph.
Meagan Briggler had nine points and Anna Mayor eight points and nine rebounds. Rachel Briggler had five points, six assists and three steals.
"This was a game of runs and Hackett had more of them in the end," said St. Joseph coach Chris Kordsmeier. "It was good to get in the regional tournament and gain some experience for the future."