Black­hawk bas­ket­ball teams highly ranked to start sea­son

The Times (Northeast Benton County) - - SPORTS - JOHN MCGEE Sports Writer

The Black­hawk boys and girls bas­ket­ball teams have rolled to a col­lec­tive 15-3 start to their 2018-2019 hard­wood sea­sons, and have gained lofty rank­ing po­si­tions in the process.

Both teams at­tended the same tour­na­ment last week in Lavaca with each squad com­ing back with the first­place hard­ware in tow.

The boys crushed Mag­a­zine 50-16, blew past de­fend­ing cham­pion County Line 48-41, then whipped the host team Lavaca 57-52 in the fi­nals.

The girls thumped Mag­a­zine 76-49 to start the tour­ney, got past La­mar 63-57 in semi­fi­nal ac­tion, then beat Providence Academy 47-43 in the fi­nals.

The MaxPreps/CBS rank­ings are based on com­puter cal­cu­la­tions, us­ing past re­sults, re­turn­ing per­son­nel, and dif­fi­culty of schedule to de­ter­mine the early rank­ings. The Pea Ridge boys are ranked as high as third partly due to an as­sump­tion that a key re­turn­ing player will be on the floor this sea­son for the ’Hawks, an as­sump­tion that turned out to be in­ac­cu­rate.

The girls team starts out in the eighth po­si­tion in 4A, a sign of good things to come with so many younger play­ers con­tribut­ing along with a solid se­nior class. With all the 5A schools that were dropped into 4A this sea­son, the rank­ings are even more im­pres­sive.

In the boys’ rank­ings, the lo­cal 4A-1 District ap­pears to be start­ing out as one of the tough­est, if not the tough­est league in the state. Four of the top-seven ranked teams in the boys’ con­fer­ences were from the 4A-1, with only the 4A-3 (north­east Arkansas) hav­ing more than one team ranked that high.

Har­ri­son is a 4A-1 league mem­ber with Pea Ridge and is the cur­rent top-ranked boys team in the state in 4A. Pea Ridge is third, Huntsville sixth and Ber­ryville sev­enth.

On the girls’ side, the 4A-1 is al­most as im­pres­sive, hav­ing four of the top 11 teams listed. Ber­ryville com­pletes the 4A-1 sweep by claim­ing the top rank­ing in the clas­si­fi­ca­tion. Farm­ing­ton is third, Pea Ridge eighth and Prairie Grove 11th.

Bas­ket­ball has a long sea­son, and lots of things can and will hap­pen be­tween now and the state fi­nals in March. Un­her­alded play­ers will make their pres­ence known, up­start teams will al­ter the land­scape, and any­thing is pos­si­ble.

One thing you won’t see this year is any good teams in the 4A-2 District, as that district has been dissolved. It its place is the re­vived 4A-5 league which hasn’t been des­ig­nated for play in a long time.

The 4A-2 was gen­er­ally north and north cen­tral teams, and the new 4A-5 is the Lit­tle Rock area and east. Five of the schools are in Lit­tle Rock.

It has al­ways struck me as odd that the 4A dis­tricts have hereto­fore been num­bered 1 through 4, then 7 through 8, with 5 and 6 left out. Why they didn’t just num­ber them 1 through 6 in the first place is some­thing I can’t grasp.

The plan in the past has been to have six eight-team con­fer­ences. The new plan has the 4A-1 and the 4A-5 hav­ing nine teams with the two south con­fer­ences (the 4A-7 and the 4A-8) hav­ing only seven teams. The 4A-3 and the 4A-4 re­main at eight teams.

The drop­ping of so many 4A teams into 3A this year cou­pled with de­mo­graphic changes across the state, led the Arkansas Ac­tiv­i­ties As­so­ci­a­tion to shift the teams that would have been in the 4A-2 into the 4A-3 or 4A-4. He­ber Springs and Mor­ril­ton are the new mem­bers of the 4A-4 which will be a part of the North­west Re­gional com­pe­ti­tion at the end of the sea­son.

The AAA tried out a blended con­fer­ence for­mat in the 2016-2018 cy­cle and it proved to be a dis­as­ter. Not con­tent to just put it back the way it was be­fore the change, the AAA moved the small teams out of the blended con­fer­ences and then dropped for­mer 5A teams into the 4A mix, re­sult­ing in a much, much tougher leagues for 4A bas­ket­ball and other non-foot­ball sports. At least, this sea­son will see the district tour­na­ment seeds awarded on head to head com­pe­ti­tion rather than a coaches poll.

The sea­son ahead looks to be a promis­ing one.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.