NORTH LITTLE ROCK — The state high school championship games this week will be sandwiched by the Hutchcraft family.
The Arkansas Activities Association announced the times at a selection event here Sunday.
The Conway girls, coached by Ashley Nance, will open the series of 14 championship games in all seven classifications, at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Bank of the Ozarks Arena at Hot Springs. The Lady Cats will play North Little Rock in the 7A girls final.
The Guy-Perkins boys, coached by retiring coach John Hutchcraft (Ashley's father), will close the three days of basketball with the 1A boys finals against Izard County at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Mount Vernon-Enola's boys, the other Faulkner County team in the finals, will take on conference rival Wonderview at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
"The last game was the game I didn't want," said Hutchcraft about the curtain call after 42 years of coaching. "Nobody wants the last game. Everybody is just tired by the last game. Maybe we'll have a big crowd. The early rounds in the tournament last week at Morrilton had great crowds."
Some had advocated Conway and Guy-Perkins playing back-to-back.
"I didn't want us to play on the same day," said Nance. "That way we wouldn't be able to enjoy each other's games. Now, we can sit back and watch each other."
John Hutchcraft and his daughter will now experience state championship games as a coach and player, as a coach and assistant and as a coach of different teams.
Vilonia and Bryant will play in Unified game at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Three teams, North Little Rock, Jonesboro and Earle, had both boys and girls make the title games and will play back-to-back on various days.