When the Bald Knob Lady Bulldogs recorded the final out in their 8-0 semifinals’ win over Genoa Central last Saturday, there were some interesting things missing.
Underdog. Upstart. Unlikely.
What an eventful week it was last week, and this coming week looks just as eventful, both personally and professionally.
They certainly have a ways to go, but the Riverview Raiders can look at the positives from last season as they wrap up spring workouts this week.
He always wanted to get back to the Academy.
SHERIDAN — When his team needed a boost, Bryce Bartlett certainly gave it to them.
PARKERS CHAPEL — It was a bit ugly, but it was indeed a win.
It is certainly the season shedding a few tears.
What a way to go out.
The postseason gets serious starting today. Nine teams from White County will compete beginning today in regional softball and baseball tournaments.
I want to vent a little bit about an injustice.
Rainy weather last week forced the alteration of many district tournament schedules throughout the state, including the 2-4A which was held in Stuttgart.
Riverview, which finished as a five seed, beat Estem and was set to play in the second round when the rains came. For the Raiders, a second win was necessary to secure a spot in regionals.
But bylaws in the league forbade any other site from being used as an alternate to hold the district tournament, and it seems the organizers of the district tournament, for whatever reason, could not conduct the tournament sooner.
The 2-3A saw the impending weather coming and made the forward-thinking decision to play the baseball district on Wednesday and Thursday and play the entire softball tournament using two fields on Thursday.
It all worked well, and all tournament games were played.
Softball is different. The Lady Raiders, as of Tuesday, are still playing. The baseball team’s season was cut short.
The official reason is because of pitching rules. Their are mandates that require a certain amount of rest for pitchers of baseball, and I want to say I completely agree with those rules.
However, all that was needed to sidestep any unfairness was to emulate the 2-3A and find a way to get the tournament in early or just allow a play-in game with Riverview and Heber Springs, which were the two teams affected by the decision.
How it was handled resulted in Riverview’s baseball season abruptly coming to a halt.
Suddenly, Riverview’s seniors’ baseball careers were over.
By the rules that 2-4A played by, all anyone has to do conceivably is pull a page out of the movie Bull Durham. When they need a rainout, just trip the sprinkler system.
Most of the time, those who make such decisions do so with intelligence, and every athlete is considered no matter what school uniform they wear.
This time, however, they got it completely wrong.
They scored in every inning. They played solid defense. The Pangburn Lady Tigers “got over the hump” as head coach Scott Hoffman said and won their first district tournament title 16-1 over Tuckerman on their home field.
In a game of comebacks, the Harding Academy Wildcats delivered a final blow in the bottom of the sixth inning to re-snatch an 8-3 win over the Bald Knob Bulldogs in the 2-3A district championship on Thursday.
It seemed like another day at the office for the Bald Knob Lady Bulldogs. After both teams won 10-0 games earlier on Thursday, Bald Knob and Rose Bud squared off for the 2-3A district title at Harding University.
All the Searcy Lions had to do was calm down, especially on defense.
I am not much of an activist. I have never been one to shake my fist in any type of protest.
As a young pitcher, Harding Academy’s Dalton Koch got to experience a milestone early in his high school career — and he got to do it in the postseason.
Tuesday saw another close loss for the Lady Lions.
They may be peaking at the right time.
In an effort to beat impending rain, the 2-3A district tournament schedule has been changed.
When the workday on April 29 finishes for James Frank, it will be a bittersweet finish. That particular Friday is the day that Searcy’s athletic director will step down to begin a new chapter in his life.
The Searcy Lions dropped their second game in a row to the Jonesboro Hurricane on Friday 3-1 at home. The Lions held Jonesboro scoreless until the third when Jonesboro got two runs off starter Hayden Bowman.
No. 15 should be pretty memorable for Pangburn’s Tylar Vernon.
Even during her greatest adversity, former Riverview Lady Raiders’ point guard Alexis Baker has found meaning. On Friday in front of family, friends and classmates, she found purpose.
WHITE HALL — If anyone were to ask Bald Knob head softball coach Todd Finley about going undefeated, he will say that the Lady Bulldogs' schedule was not built to go undefeated — and yet, that is where they stand even after playing one of the best teams in the 5A classification.
Looking to make a run before district tournament, the Pangburn Tigers beat Sloan Hendrix 8-0 on Tuesday winning their fourth in their last six games.
Sitting in front of a library full of family, classmates, friends and coaches, both past, present and future, Taylor McGraw sported the attire of her new school and new team.
McGraw announced Wednesday she will play basketball for the Lyon College Lady Scots and will continue her basketball playing career with a very successful Lyon program that began the 2015-16 season ranked No. 14 and finished with its most successful campaign to date, qualifying for its fifth consecutive NAIA Division I National Championship berth, winning 30 games and capturing its first-ever national tournament victory in March. At the conclusion of the season, the NAIA DI Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll has the Scots ranked No. 4 nationally.
“I had about three schools picked out, and I chose Lyon just because of the community,” said McGraw who also considered Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and Central Baptist College in Conway.
The way Lyon plays attracted McGraw to the Lady Scots.
“I just like the fast-paced style of play,” McGraw said. “It’s what I am used to at Beebe.”
Lyon head coach Teresa Stewart-Lange was also in attendance for McGraw’s announcement and said the admiration that McGraw showed Lyon was certainly mutual.
“The main thing I love about Taylor is how she loves the game of basketball,” Stewart-Lange said. “She’s all in 100 percent. She was all in about Lyon, too. So that combination was really attractive.”
Beebe head coach Greg Richey watched McGraw’s statistics increase steadily as his three-year starter at guard, especially in her shooting percentage from behind the 3-point line.
As a sophomore, she shot 25 percent in just 44 long-range attempts. As a sophomore, she improved to 32 percent, and finally made herself an all-State performer shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc.
As a result, her scoring average jumped from 6.6 to 12 points per game between her sophomore and junior years, but dropped slightly to 11 points per game last season.
“She’s been a team leader and an example for all of the girls that have played with her,” Richey said.
The Lady Scots have had great success in recruiting Beebe. Former Lady Badger Jamie Jackson is entering her senior season at Lyon and averaged 14 points in 29 starts for the Scots who finished with a 30-4 record.
Even Stewart-Lange has some personal ties with the city, playing for ASU-Beebe’s women’s basketball team in the 1980s.
McGraw said one of the things she will work on individually is to adapt and improve her 3-point shot to adjust to the college range.
“She plays extremely hard, and that sets you up for success at any level,” Stewart-Lange said.
The Searcy Lady Lions’ soccer team is looking firmly toward some unfinished business.
With their softball season approaching the home stretch, Scott Hoffman’s Pangburn Lady Tigers are showing no signs of letting up.
It was a good day to be a softball pitcher on Monday — especially from Bald Knob and Pangburn.
The Rose Bud Ramblers are on a bit of a hot streak in the last 10 days.
With the announcement of Riverview head girls basketball coach Ryan Smith being named to the coaching staff for the East squad of the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star game, the rosters were due out on Thursday.
The photo that is shown as our main that accompanies the story about Roddy Mote leaving Harding Academy should tell you everything you need to know about the coach, the mentor, the father, the husband, the man.
A humble Roddy Mote ended a 10-year stint with the Harding Academy Wildcats on Tuesday with his final game being a 3A state championship, a 33-18 win over Rivercrest on Dec. 12.
It’s hard to gauge much from a blowout no matter which end a team may fall.
Another win against another quality opponent.
All of the ingredients were present. There was an underdog uprising, a controversial call from an umpire and a comeback by the favorite culminating in a walk-off homerun to win.
They needed to get right.
There hasn’t been much time or space to lament the 4A girls state basketball championship in the last couple of weeks, so while there is a spring break, I will express a few thoughts.
It hasn’t been a banner week for the Riverview Raiders’ baseball team.
HOT SPRINGS - One of the things that has been a staple in describing the Riverview Lady Raiders this season, and every season for that matter, is the fact that they largely do not show emotion.
It had to be the toughest job at Bank of the Ozarks Arena on Friday after Riverview beat CAC for the 4A state championship.
HOT SPRINGS — It was closer, tougher and had more drama in the latter minutes of the fourth quarter than any other meeting this season.
MALVERN — And then there was one.
HOT SPRINGS — All the Beebe Lady Badgers needed was one more — one ball to fall through the net. But a Kassidy Elam three from the left wing at the buzzer rolled off the rim and the Lady Badgers watched their season end with a 34-32 loss to the Nettleton Lady Raiders on Friday in the 5A state tournament at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs.
MALVERN — Too many missed shots, foul and otherwise. Too many turnovers and too much Andre Jones, who led all scorers with 31 points put the Riverview Raiders back on the bus to Searcy Friday night with no return trip to the Leopard Center.