’Hawks sign letters
Though they had already clinched a conference championship and were all but certain to gain the No. 1 seed in this week’s district playoffs, the ’Hawks came out ready to play this week. They swept Prairie Grove and Elkins to end the season with a sparkling 23-4 record, the most wins of any school in 4A.
The court ’Hawks blasted Prairie Grove 53-28 Wednesday, avenging the only loss that Pea Ridge suffered on their way to a 17-1 league mark. The last regular season game was at Elkins where the ’Hawks broke out of a tie score at the break to win by 18, 65-47.
The ’Hawks came out with a stifling defense against Prairie Grove, allowing them but one field goal by Pearson along with a pair of free throws by Pridmore. Hayden Holtgrewe tossed in a pair of shots from downtown, with Mike Mahoney and Wes Wales scoring inside. Nick Coble added a free throw as the home boys led 11-4 after the first period.
The ’Hawjs grew cold in the second quarter, with only two field goals to show for their efforts. A trey by Kobe Rose, a Mahoney score in the paint along with single free throws by Coble and Holtgrewe were all the ’Hawks could muster. The Tigers got a bucket by Elder and a pair of free shots by Pearson, but the guests got a boost when a bench player came in (Edmiston) to drain a three, helping Prairie Grove to shave a couple points off the lead, trailing 18-13 at intermission.
The Blackhawks came out on fire in the third quarter, putting points on the board while holding the Tigers to single digit scoring. Carson Rhine ripped the nets for two 3-pointers with Coble adding a trey and layup. Mahoney scored twice inside and Rose converted two free throws. The Tigers’ Elder dropped in a pair of field goals, with Pridmore adding a goal and Millwood two charity tosses. The ’Hawks’ offensive flurry put the Tigers in a deep hole as the guests trailed 35-21 with a quarter remaining.
The ’Hawks’ defensive got better in the last period, holding the Tigers to just 7 points with the offense picking it up to score 18 to turn the game into a rout. Coble hit three field goals and a pair of free throws to pace the last outburst, with Sheppard and Mahoney adding treys and Denver Yates and Holtgrewe scoring regular goals. The Tigers’ trey by Von Bergen and goal by Cooper with Pearson’s free throws were not enough to move the needle in their direction as Pea Ridge won by a final of 53-28.
Coble led the offense with 15, followed by Mahoney with 11, Holtgrewe with 9, Rhine 6, Rose, 5, Sheppard 3, Yates 2 and Wales 2. Pearson and Von Bergen led the offense for the Tigers with 6 each.
Blackhawks defeated Elks
The ’Hawks ran into a determined crew at Elkins in the season finale, with the hosts celebrating their senior night.
The ’Hawks got out to a first quarter lead, but it was close, leading only by a pair at 12-10 at the first buzzer. Coble and Landon Allison drained a trey each, with Coble adding a layup and Mahoney scoring inside twice. The Elks’ Hipps scored three times with Barnett and McClain adding goals of their own.
The ’Hawks shot a bit better in the second quarter, but the Elks were a lot better as the home boys managed to force a tie at the intermission by outscoring Pea Ridge 16-14. Rose scored twice from behind the arc, with Mahoney scoring twice inside to pace the attack. Coble added a goal and Will Feemster popped in a pair of free tosses as the two teams were knotted up at 26-26 headed for the third quarter.
The third quarter saw an abrupt turn in the game as the ’Hawks began to light up the scoreboard while holding Elkins to single digits in the time frame. Holtgrewe picked up a mountain of assists as he helped set up Mahoney to score three times inside. Coble and Rose nailed 3-balls with Holtgrewe adding a goal and free throw himself. Rose’s two free throws were a part of the 19-8 blowout of the third to give Pea Ridge a solid 45-35 lead headed into the fourth period. Hipps scored all eight of the Elks’ points in the period.
While Elkins got their offense back on track in the last quarter, they could not hang with the ’Hawks’ production as they were outscored 20-13. Chase Duncan, Rhine, Coble and Rose all hit 3-pointers to help keep the lid on any Elk comeback. Mahoney and Coble scored field goals with Sheppard and Alex Wilkerson adding single free throws to complete the scoring. The offensive ’Hawk surge came in spite of the fact that Pea Ridge made only five of 15 free throws in the second half..
Coble led a balanced attack with 17 points, followed by Mahoney’s 16, Rose with 14, Rhine 3, Holtgrewe 3, Allison 3, Duncan 3, Feemster 2, Yates 2, Wilkerson 1 and Sheppard 1.
The ’Hawks’ second season began Tuesday night with the opening round of the 4A-1 District playoffs. They were slated to play Gentry with the winner to face the survivor of the Prairie Grove/ Shiloh Friday. The Tigers and Saints were to play Wednesday at the tournament in Lincoln.
Senior Blackhawk Denver Yates (above, left, No. 42) went up for a lay-up Wednesday night in the postponed Senior Night game against the Prairie Grove Tigers. Lady Blackhawk senior Catherine Hooten (above, right) battles defenders as she prepares to shoot Wednesday in the game against Prairie Grove.