’Hawks sign let­ters

The Times (Northeast Benton County) - - FRONT PAGE - JOHN MCGEE Spe­cial to The TIMES

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.

Photographs cour­tesy of Russ Wil­son

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