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The Blackhawks led in every quarter and gradually cruised past Shiloh 77-58, ending their conference rival's last chance for a league title.

Shiloh was in a log jam with three other teams in the conference, all tied with 9-4 records behind the league leading mark of 12-1 held by Pea Ridge. Gravette whipped Elkins 52-39 to drop the Elks from the tie while Prairie Grove kept up with a 48-21 victory over Greenland.

The 'Hawks now have a three-game lead over second-place teams Gravette and Prairie Grove, with the final four conference games to be played this week and next.

At Shiloh, the privateers were hoping to spring an upset and they started well with a 5-0 run to get out ahead first. The opening quarter was made up of runs, with the 'Hawks employing longer ones to take control of the contest. The first period was also marked by excessive fouling with 16 fouls being whistled by the officials in the first 8 minutes of the game.

Shiloh's 5-0 run was fueled by a 3-pointer by Jackson Hutchinson and a 2-point bucket by Greg Bryant. The duo of Nick Coble and Mike Mahoney melted that lead with 9 straight points. Mahoney scored inside, Coble followed with a trey, the two juniors each scoring again from inside the arc to give Pea Ridge a 9-5 lead mid-way in the quarter.

Micah Button then hit a field goal and free throw and when Hutchinson scored again, Shiloh was back into the lead with a 9-10 advantage.

Kobe Rose quickly erased that with a field goal and pair of free shots to get the 'Hawks on top 13-11. Bryant scored two from the floor again to tighten it, but Landon Allison fired in a 3-ball with Wes Wales nailing two of two from the charity stripe to put the 'Hawks ahead 18-13 headed into the second period.

Rose ripped the cords from behind the arc to start the second period with Carson Rhine scoring a bucket followed by a pair of free shots by Mahoney to boost the 'Hawk lead to 25-13. Shiloh's Jaret Russ pumped in his own trey to stop the Blackhawk run, but Rose answered the score with another one of his own to raise the lead to 11 at 27-26.

Shiloh's John Morrison popped in a bucket and free throw to cut the lead to 8, but Rose countered with another shot from downtown, restoring the 11-point margin at 30-19. Coble drained a pair of freebies with Alex Wilkerson adding another one to get the 'Hawks their biggest lead at that point, 33-19.

The fouls kept on coming with Shiloh's Truitt Tollet connecting on a pair along with teammate Bryant. Will Feemster added one for the 'Hawks as the visitors still led, 35-23 late in the half. When sent to the line, Coble came through knocking down both shots. Shiloh's Reagan Neal then dropped in a 3-ball but Rose rose to the occasion by firing in one of his own before the clock expired, sending the 'Hawks into the intermission with a 39-26 lead.

The third period saw the teams fight on even terms, with the teams trading field goals for much of the quarter. Coble led the quarter off with a goal, with Hutchinson dropping in a 3 to shrink the lead to 12. Mahoney scored again inside, but Shiloh's Seth Turpin matched the score soon after. Rose then scored a regular bucket, but Russ shot a trey for the hosts to cut the lead to 11. Rose then threw in his own trey to get the lead back to 14. Turpen scored for Shiloh with Mahoney doing the same for the 'Hawks, keeping the lead at 14 at 50-36.

Shiloh's Bryant then scored back to back goals to get Shiloh to within 10 at 50-40, but Hayden Holtgrewe canned a trey to end the short run.

Shiloh's Tollett and Thomas wrapped a pair of goals around a single free throw by Holtgrewe to cut the lead back to 10 at 54-44,but once again, Holtgrewe threw a dagger into their hopes with a long trey to regain the 'Hawks' 13-point bulge 57-44. Button and Wales traded shots to keep things even, and Allison's two free throws at the end of the quarter put the 'Hawks firmly ahead 61-46 with just one quarter left.

Holtgrewe likely dashed whatever faint hopes of a comeback Shiloh had when he led off with a trey to start the fourth quarter scoring. Coble's subsequent field goal put the 'Hawks up by 20, at 66-46. Shiloh called a timeout, and made another run using a pair of 3-balls by Turpen and a regular shot by Tollet to outscore the 'Hawks 8-2 in short order, narrowing the score to 68-54. Mahoney's score inside was all the 'Hawks could muster in the Shiloh brief run.

Holtgrewe's free throw and Rose's bucket blunted the hosts' mild comeback attempt, with Rhine's two free shots and another freebie by Holtgrewe locking the game up, restoring the 20 bulge at 74-54. Shiloh's Hutchinson closed out their scoring with a pair of shots which were offset by a charity toss by Holtgrewe with Rose scoring the game's last field goal as Pea Ridge won by 19, 77-58.

Holtgrewe and Coble led the scoring with 13 each with Mahoney close behind at 12.

The 'Hawks were scheduled to play Lincoln Tuesday night. A victory by Pea Ridge would ensure at least a share of the conference crown with a three-game lead and three games left, Pea Ridge will have a chance to claim an outright crown by taking down both Lincoln and Haas Hall this week.

While the 4A-3A-1 title may be on ice by the weekend, the seeding for the district will not be so cut and dried. The 'Hawks will be playing two very good teams in the final week, Elkins and also the team that has given the 'Hawks their only conference loss.

The seeding will be done by a vote of district coaches, which means that anything can happen. The two other district teams, Berryville and Huntsville, were assigned a different conference so the voting will be necessary to seed the teams. The 'Hawks will have to play strong to the end of the season to gain the No. 1 seed, which is theirs for the taking.

Sports on 01/31/2018

Print Headline: Blackhawks jump out early

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