Winter weather across Arkansas has already frozen the beginning of high school state tournaments in parts of the state.
Seven Faulkner County teams have qualified for state tournaments, and all but Conway face time changes. The 7A tournament at Buzz Bolding Arena was altered because of icy conditions throughout the state. The Arkansas Activities Association has postponed Tuesday’s scheduled opening round of state tournament play in Classes 6A, 5A, 3A, 2A and 1A.
The postponement will which push the semifinal round in Classes 6A, 5A, 3A, 2A and 1A to Sunday and will keep the state championship games which are scheduled for March 13-15 at Hot Springs’ Summit Arena, on schedule.
"The decision was based on a safety issue," said AAA executive director Lance Taylor. "We wanted to make sure that everyone could travel to our state locations without hazardous driving conditions. The weather conditions are not favorable to travel on Tuesday, and warmer temperatures are expected for the rest of the week."
The starting times will remain the same for all state tournament games. The semifinal rounds will be played on Sunday starting at 12:30 p.m.
That means Vilonia’s girls, a No. 1 seed in 5A, will not play until Wednesday afternoon in Alma.
Mayflower’s boys, a No. 2 seed in 3A after losing to Episcopal Collegiate in the regional title game, will not play until Friday in that tournament at Charleston.
St. Joseph’s boys, a 2A West Region champ, will begin play at Hampton on Wednesday night, while the girls will play Thursday afternoon.
Mount Vernon-Enola’s girls, a No. 3 seed in Class A, will begin tourney play at Northark Community College in Harrison on Friday afternoon.
The Lady Eagles (25-3, 13-1) extended their winning streak to 13 games Friday with a 57-36 romp over Shiloh Christian at Springdale.
All 15 players on the Vilonia roster saw action as the Lady Eagles jumped to a 18-6 first-quarter lead and extended that to 30-14 by halftime. Mckenzie Morris led with 21 points. Hannah Schnebelen followed with 10 points, and freshman Abby Hightower chipped in eight points and five rebounds.
On Senior Night last week against Greenbrier, the Lady Eagles broke away from a 25-21 halftime lead and held off a late Lady Panther comeback to win, 50-40.
Schnebelen and Morris led in scoring with 12 points each. Morris also led in rebounds with six. Audrey Moran and Sydney Wader each added eight points. Kyndal Clower, Morris and Schnebelen each had three assists. Kory Westerman led Greenbrier with 22 points and Ali Skudlark had 10.
In the 2A West Regional title game at Eureka Springs on Saturday night, St. Joseph’s boys (26-6) edged Bigelow, 56-54.
"I’m so proud of the boys for playing with a lot of heart and determination," said coach Brent Bruich. "We got into some serious foul trouble and we were able to not let the game get away from us. Jensen Thielke, Jacob Lampe and Britt Stroth gave us some solid minutes. The boys faced a lot of adversity in this game and I’m proud of how we responded each time."
Drake Cooper led the Bulldogs with 16 points and six rebounds. Dylan Schrekenhofer had 15 points, three assists and four steals.
Other leaders were: William Fields, seven points, three assists and four steals; Thielke, seven points, two steals; Taylor Schrekenhofer, five points, four rebounds; Nash Nichols, four points, seven rebounds, two assists.
"It’s a one-game season now," Bruich said. "You win and you advance; you lose and the season is over. I’m hoping the boys are not satisfied and are still hungry and more determined this week."
In the girls’ third-place game, the Lady Bulldogs (27-4) defeated Hackett, 45-36.
Meagan Briggler led with 14 points, three steals and six rebounds. Anna Mayor added 10 points. Taylor Womack had nine points and eight rebounds. Rachel Briggler had seven points, six assists and four steals.
"We had a gritty performance," said coach Chris Kordsmeier.
"I was really proud of the effort. We had to come back and play (after the semifinal loss) in less than 18 hours. We had a tough loss on Friday, and the girls were determined to come out and play well. It was a big win heading into state play."