Conway Christian High School students took a formal approach to a junior high championship basketball game Saturday.
The CCS students postponed the start of their winter formal, then showed up in formal wear to cheer on the CCS junior girls, who capped a 16-2 season with a 38-28 win over Quitman in the 2A-5 title game at Quitman.
Bigelow won the boys championship with a 49-37 victory over St. Joseph.
"When I saw them (the CCS high school students in formal wear), I just started bawling," said CCS freshman Carly Lawrence.
"It was definitely an emotional moment for our kids; they were surprised by their siblings and classmates sacrificing their evening for night of basketball. Just a special moment," said CCS coach Jeremy Carson, whose team finished 6-0 in conference and wrapped up the regular-season title a week earlier with a win over Quitman. The Lady Eagles led 7-4 after the first period then got into foul trouble before Macey Vaught scored a pair of baskets and CCS took an 18-9 lead at the half.
Quitman cut the deficit to two before two baskets by Lawrence and one each by Katie Dather and Andrianna Ferrand sparked an 8-0 run to give CCS control of the game for good. "Quitman never gave up," said Carson. "They hit a couple of 3’s in the final period but we answered each one and prevented a run."
Lawrence and Dather each scored nine points. Ferrand added seven and 13 rebounds. Rhaegan Linn added five and Vaught, four.
"These girls worked hard all year and got better as the season went on," said Carson. "This was truly a team championship. Our freshmen commanded a large part of the playing time, but our eighth-graders pushed them throughout the year and played in some key moments. The girls decided that this team was their family and they treated it as such. They are a special group of girls."
Bigelow outscored St. Joseph, 14-8, in the second quarter to take command for good in the junior boys title game.
David Beck led the Bulldogs (15-8) with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Gage Berger added six points. Other leaders were: Daniel Lee Kordsmeier, six, Brad Vandivere, three, four assists and three steals; Jacob Welter and Triple, four rebounds; Zach Martins, two assists and two steals.
"I was proud of the boys for making the championship game and for having a solid season," said coach Brent Bruich. "I was also proud of how much improvement we made over the course of the year. They came a long way but still have a long way to go. They are a great group of young men and I’m honored and blessed to be their coach."
ST. JOSEPH VS. GUY-PERKINS
GUY — St. Joseph’s senior teams prevailed Friday night in the renewal of a longtime basketball rivalry with Guy-Perkins, former conference foes.
The Bulldogs (21-6) won, 73-64. The Lady Bulldogs (23-3) won, 63-53
Drake Cooper scored 28 points and had seven rebounds to lead the St. Joseph boys. Dylan Schrekenhofer added 12 points and six rebounds. William Fields had 10 points and four assists. Other leaders were Landon Enderlin, nine points, five assists; Taylor Schrekenhofer, eight points. Nash Nichols, four points, five rebounds, two steals; Jason Thielke, two steals.
"I was not pleased with our defensive effort in the second half at all," said coach Brent Bruich, whose team led 38-22 at the half. "We have to play with more intensity and a sense of urgency on that end during the postseason or we won’t be playing very long. We had chances to put the game away with leads of 17-plus. But give Guy credit, they kept battling and coming at us and playing with tremendous heart like they always do."
Anna Mayor had 23 points and seven rebounds to lead the Lady Bulldogs. Taylor Womack added nine points and 10 rebounds. Meagan Briggler had eight points.
Madeline Moix had seven points and four assists. Rachel Briggler had eight rebounds and eight assists.
"We had a nice win and now is the time for postseason starting at our place," said St. Joseph coach Chris Kordsmeier. "We need to keep working hard as we enter postseason."
JESSIEVILLE — Mayflower’s senior girls edged Jessieville, 55-52, Friday night.
LonJanae Wyatt had 30 points, Raegan Bartlett added 11. Tierra Lasker added 10.
The girls play at at 6:40 p.m. in the district tournament at Episcopal Collegiate in Little Rock.
At Jessieville Saturday, Mayflower’s junior girls reached Monday’s district championship game, outscoring Benton Harmony Grove, 29-6, in the second half on the way to a 50-25 victory.
Tori Lasker 20 points and Tristen Lasker had 13 points.