Change: 4A-1 bas­ket­ball con­fer­ence in two di­vi­sions

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

While I guess I missed this par­tic­u­lar bit of news, the boys and girls bas­ket­ball con­fer­ence play in the 4A-1 District has been split into East/West di­vi­sional play due to the ex­tra team placed in the con­fer­ence this cy­cle.

Last year, the 4A-1 was split and then com­bined with the 3A-1 to form blended con­fer­ences which met none of the sought af­ter goals while cre­at­ing new prob­lems. That idea was scrapped, so the AAA de­cided to elim­i­nate the 7A clas­si­fi­ca­tion, push­ing the 16 7A teams into the 6A class, in turn push­ing those 16 teams into the 5A class, with the 5A los­ing 16 of their mem­bers down­ward, with the 4A push­ing their 16 smaller mem­bers into the 3A class.

The shake out was that that two of the north­ern 4A dis­tricts (in­clud­ing the 4A1) ended up with 9 teams with the two fur­thest south 4A con­fer­ences wind­ing up with 7 league mem­bers. The two dis­tricts kind of in the mid­dle re­tained their nor­mal eight team align­ment. The 4A-1 lost Lin­coln to the 3A class this year with Har­ri­son and Farm­ing­ton mov­ing in to take the Wolves place.

Pea Ridge wound up in the West Divi­sion of the 4A-1 along with Gen­try, Gravette, Farm­ing­ton and Prairie Grove. The East Divi­sion has Ber­ryville, Huntsville, Har­ri­son and Shiloh Chris­tian. The teams play at home in their own divi­sion and just a single con­fer­ence game against their out of divi­sion con­fer­ence op­po­nents.

The ’Hawks were slated to play Shiloh Tues­day night for per­haps their only matchup of the sea­son. Shiloh’s boys and girls teams are both ranked near the bot­tom of the state rank­ings which usu­ally means a quick end to their sea­son.

The di­vi­sional ar­range­ment re­duces the num­ber of con­fer­ence games and al­lows the teams a bit more flex­i­bil­ity in sched­ul­ing. This ar­range­ment will be in force for this sea­son and next, where it might likely be up­ended for for some­thing new, the AAA’s usual way of do­ing things.

The district play­offs be­gin in Fe­bru­ary, with the top four district fin­ish­ers go­ing on to re­gion­als, with the top four there go­ing on to the state tour­na­ment.

Black­hawk girls garner all-time high rank­ing

Heath Neal’s Lady Black­hawk bas­ket­ball girls have reached the No. 4 rank­ing in the MaxPreps/CBS 4A State poll this week­end.

The ’Hawks are the third team of the 4A-1 that is ranked in the top four over­all in 4A. Farm­ing­ton is the state’s No. 1 ranked team with fel­low district op­po­nent Ber­ryville right be­hind in the sec­ond place rank­ing.

The Lady ’Hawks will host the No. 2 Bob­cats on Jan. 18 with the top ranked Car­di­nals com­ing to town on Jan. 29. There are eight con­fer­ence games left af­ter the Shiloh game of last night.

In­ter­est­ingly, the Black­hawks are ranked No. 20 in the state re­gard­less of clas­si­fi­ca­tion. They are ranked ahead of Rogers, Her­itage, Siloam Springs, Bentonville West, Spring­dale and Spring­dale Har­ber, all 6A and 5A teams.

Pea Ridge has made their climb to the top de­spite their be­ing placed in a much tougher clas­si­fi­ca­tion of the cur­rent sea­son. Half of the 2018 5A teams were moved into the 4A for this sea­son.

The boys have a 14-4 record, but could have eas­ily been 18-0. They lost 1-point de­ci­sions to Eureka Springs (49-48) and Robin­son (43-42) while los­ing two games by a single bas­ket. Farm­ing­ton won 65-63 in triple over­time with Alma edg­ing the ’Hawks 64-62. The ’Hawks four losses were by a grand to­tal of 6 points.

MaxPreps State 4A Bas­ket­ball girls poll

1. Farm­ing­ton

2. Ber­ryville

3. Batesville

4. Pea Ridge

5. Star City

6. Clarksville

7. High­land

8. Brook­land 12-2 16-0 13-2 15-3 13-2 14-4 9-5 8-4

9. Har­ri­son

10. Mo­rill­ton

11. Stuttgart

12. DeQueen

13. Pu­laski

14. Pottsville

15. Cam­den

16. War­ren

17. Gravette

18. Baux­ite

19. ESTEM

20. Nashville

21. He­ber Springs

22. Ozark

23. Poc­a­hon­tas

24. Val­ley View

25. Prairie Grove

26. Huntsville

27. Dar­danelle

28. Mena

29. Mon­ti­cello

30. Gen­try

31. Mag­no­lia

32. Robin­son

33. Cros­sett

34. Lonoke

35. South­side

36. Dover

37. For­rest City

38. McClel­lan

39. Shiloh

40. West­side

41. Mills

42. Blytheville

43. Hope

44. Malvern

45. Arkadel­phia

46. Ham­burg

47. Wynne 12-3 12-3 15-1 11-2 6-5 8-6 12-3 5-3 8-6 13-4 10-7 7-3 8-6 8-9 8-7 6-8 5-7 6-10 5-7 7-6 6-6 5-6 6-5 4-6 10-4 6-8 3-12 7-9 3-7 3-5 5-11 4-7 4-8 1-11 1-5 2-10 2-11 2-12 0-11

MaxPreps/CBS State 4A Boys bas­ket­ball poll

1. Mills

2. West­side

3. Pottsville

4. Har­ri­son

5. ESTEM

6. For­rest City

7. Brook­land

8. McClel­lan

9. Blytheville

10. Pea Ridge

11. Mag­no­lia

12. South­side

13. Mena

14. Dar­danelle

15. Pu­laski

16. Su­bi­aco

17. Farm­ing­ton

18. Robin­son

19. Lonoke

20. Val­ley View

21. Mon­ti­cello

22. Huntsville

23. Stuttgart

24. Ozark

25. Star City

26. Mor­ril­ton

27. War­ren

28. Cam­den

29. Nashville

30. Baux­ite

31. Arkadel­phia

32. Cros­sett

33. High­land

34. Gravette

35. Ham­burg 10-3 11-2 11-3 12-3 14-7 6-5 9-3 8-5 7-4 14-4 6-3 11-4 11-4 11-2 6-3 9-5 11-6 7-5 8-5 7-6 8-4 11-5 7-6 9-6 9-4 7-8 6-4 5-6 5-3 8-8 4-4 5-6 7-6 8-7 8-8

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